If you’re headed to New York City anytime soon, you’re probably already planning on doing plenty of exploring by foot through this bustling urban center. Why not make it a little more informative and fun by trying out one (or more!) of the city’s newest walking tours?
The Alliance for Downtown New York, the nonprofit managing Lower Manhattan’s business improvement district, has helped develop five new walking tours through its Walking Tour Incubator Grant Program. The walking tours were chosen as winners following an application process that encouraged submissions of compelling and original tour concepts that went beyond the typical downtown highlights. The five entrepreneurs leading the tours have undergone a rigorous two-month incubator, led by the Downtown Alliance, which included one-on-one coaching from tourism industry leaders and a cutting-edge educational curriculum designed for tour businesses. Each winner has also received a grant of up to $12,500 to help develop, launch and scale their walking tour.
“Pack your walking shoes on your next visit downtown because these new tours will make the perfect addition to any Lower Manhattan itinerary. There’s something for everyone, with each offering a fresh perspective on the neighborhood,” said Jessica Lappin, President of the Alliance for Downtown New York. “As we’re in the midst of a busy tourist season in the neighborhood, these new tours are launching at an ideal time.”
Meeting spot: Castle Clinton National Monument
This tour visits historic sites that shaped the LGBTQ+ Rights Movement, including spots where pivotal protests were ignited and lead activists fought for justice. Christopher Street Tours describes it as such: “These are the places where unspoken heroes spoke truth to power, igniting pivotal protests and fighting tirelessly for justice. As we explore City Hall, Wall Street, Battery Park, and other landmarks, you’ll be inspired to uncover your own inner activist and become a part of the legacy of resilience, activism, and progress. This tour is not only an opportunity to honor the past but also to celebrate the present and actively contribute to a more inclusive future.”
Meeting spot: Ryan Maguire’s Bar & Restaurant, 28 Cliff Street
Visitors go on a twisting journey through the Seaport, unraveling scandalous stories ripped from the headlines and publications from the 1790s to the 1990s and lurking in the cobblestone streets, historic buildings, and waterfront. Throughout this interactive tour, your guide will provide a new perspective on the history of the area that helped to make New York a global metropolis.
This route will bring visitors through the history of Lower Manhattan, from New Amsterdam to today, by showing what makes New York City such a unique enclave of people from around the world seeking both religious freedom and fortune. While Vivace Tours hasn’t launched yet, more info and booking will become available soon.
“How to Be a New Yorker” is an interactive, immersive audio group walking tour where participants will meet business owners and community leaders, thinkers and doers, and get to see the city through their eyes.
Equipped with brand new bluetooth headphones, tourists start the journey with local music. Participants walk roughly 2 hours through Downtown Manhattan, entering real places and meeting – in-person and virtually – the people that shape them, as well as sampling local snacks. Be up for surprises along the way!
These are two food-themed tours: Culinary Masters is a progressive meal journey featuring three renowned chefs and restaurants, while the Culinary Adventure is a mouthwatering tasting tour across Lower Manhattan led by expert guides. Inside Out Tours also currently offers several other great New York City tours, including a Wall Street Walking Tour, Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island tour, and a Slavery and the Underground Railroad tour.