Looking for a great long weekend vacation somewhere but would like to save money too? Try a guided/self-guided walking tour close to where you live. The following are some of the most popular walking tours across the United States.
1. California: Oakland Hills. The East Bay area (San Francisco, Berkeley) is filled with 59 large parks and over 1,000 miles of maintained trails, which are perfect for day walking/hiking trips sightseeing of the natural environment. Off Hwy 24 there is the Robert Sibley Volcano Regional Preserve that offers spectacular views of the Bay Area. The Redwood, Joaquin Miller, Anthony Chabot Regional Parks are also nearby. They can be walked, hiked, or mountain biked. Bus lines run from Fruitvale and Coliseum BART stations to the park areas.
2. New York: New York City. The World Trade Center Walking Tour is $25.00. The 2-3 hour guided tour is of the former grounds around Ground Zero and the recently finished World Trade Center Memorial Garden. Also includes St. Paul’s Chapel, the American Express Eleven Tears Memorial and Winter Garden.
3. Florida: Fort Myers/Penzance Crossing. 2,000 acre woodlands/wetlands area, otter pond, 1 mile long boardwalk lined with benches, free guided walks and an amphitheater for educational local flora and fauna lectures, picnic area. Admission is $3. Parking is free.
4. Illinois: Chicago. Chicago Pedway Tours is $20.00. This guided tour of the city by foot travels through its walkways, tunnels and pathways that lead to famous landmarks (Picasso and Calder sculptures downtown Chicago, etc) and buildings (The Sears Tower, City Hall, etc) and much more.
5. Louisiana: New Orleans. Garden District Walking Tour is $26.00. A tour by foot of New Orleans most exclusive area – The Garden District, an integral part of southern/New Orleans history. This tour includes the Lafayette Cemetery, Greek revival/Italianate architectural-style homes of former Mardi Gras kings and queens, and former New Orleans dignitaries.
6. Tennessee: Nashville. Guided walking tour of downtown Nashville and all its colorful historical tales, and sites, of its famous residents Andrew Jackson, Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett, Fanny Battle, et al. Also includes Nashville’s renowned history as the country music capital including a tour of the Ryman Auditorium where Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley and other prominent country music artists got their starts. Cost is $19.00.
7. Pennsylvania: Philadelphia. “Haunted Philadelphia – The Spirits of 76 Tour”. This fun, one of a kind 75 minute Halloween special walking tour takes you to historic cemetery sites. Hear about Edgar Allan Poe a former resident of Philadelphia, as well as other macabre and ghoulish local lore. Learn about the reportedly haunted Independence Hall, Carpenters Hall, the dancing statue of Ben Franklin at Liberty Hall, Pine Street paranormal activity, haunted hotels, and much more. The tour picks you up from your hotel and drops you back off. The cost is $17.49.
8. Washington, D.C. The National Gallery Tour. A little pricier than the other tours at a cost of $65.00, but this is a 3-hour guided small group tour (no more than 6) of one of the world’s renowned art galleries, The National Gallery of Art in D.C. The National is comparable to the Louvre in Paris, the National Gallery in London, or the Uffizi in Florence, Italy. The museum is home to some of the works from the world’s art masters like Leonardo DaVinci, Jan Van Eyck, Rembrandt, and many more. The tour picks you up, drops you off at your hotel.
9. New Mexico: Santa Fe. Explore the beauty of the American southwest for $22.00, in a guided local tour. Santa Fe is known for its rich place in American western history, as well as its high ranking in the modern art world with its many Native American artists, art galleries, and numerous public art displays. Visitors may also catch the many Native American tribal dances that take place downtown almost every weekend. If you want to venture a little further west into New Mexico, you might want to take a tour of the ancient, sacred Anasazi Indians’ former grounds, or the Four Corners National Monument sacred Native American site that borders New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado.
10. 9 State Trail. The Trail of Tears National Historic Trail are historic paths that you can visit by foot, car or a guided educational tour where15,000 of America’s Native Cherokee Americans were taken into U.S. Military custody. The trail runs through 9 states: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. Many of the state entrance sites contain museums and other American landmarks of interest to stop at and visit. Each state may have different hours of operation, so check ahead. Only 3 of the states entrance sites to the Trail charge a nominal fee of about $3. The others are free entry.
There are numerous other walking/bus tours throughout all of the United States. To find more, see Sources below.