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Five Unique Walking Tours in New York City

December 27 2021

Walking tours are one of the best ways to explore a new city or to get to know one of your favorites a little better. 

New York City is one of the world’s top ten most visited cities, but many tourists miss so much by only visiting the top landmarks. A walking tour, on the other hand, offers an immersive and interactive experience, encouraging you to learn more about the city and see things like a local.  

As you can imagine, New York City is home to hundreds of different walking tours - but some stand out from the others. We previously wrote about walking tours on the UWS (find the article here) but we wanted to update our list with some of the city’s most unique walking tours, for those looking for something different. 

If you’re visiting the Upper West Side (or you live here and you’re looking for something new) here are our favorite quirky walking tours in the Big Apple.

Foodie Tours 

Do you love food? New York City is a paradise for food lovers. Whether you’re looking for delicious street food, international cuisine or an up-market restaurant - you can find it all here.  

Foods of NY Tours offer seven different walking tours in the city including: 

  • The Heart and Soul of Greenwich Village 
  • Chelsea Market and the Highline 
  • Nolita and Little Italy’s Secrets 
  • Flavors of Chinatown 
  • Original Greenwich Village 

You can take a quiz on their website to see which of their food tours is the best for you - and explore the city with your tastebuds. 

Film and Television Tours 

Some of the best films and TV series ever made were filmed in New York and if you love the silver screen, film tours are a great way to see the city. 

Free Tours by Foot offer a 90 minute self-guided movie tour in Central Park - just minutes from the Hotel Beacon. The tour will visit 11 different filming locations used for a variety of films and series including: 

  • The Great Gasby 
  • Home Alone 2 
  • Bride Wars 
  • Mr Popper's Penguins 
  • It Could Happen to You 
  • The Ghostbusters 
  • Wall Street 
  • When Harry Met Sally 
  • Breakfast at Tiffany's 
  • Enchanted 
  • Stuart Little 
  • And many more!

The tour is completely free to download from the Free Tours by Foot website. 

Female tourist with backpack takes photo of Manhattan skyline from the river bank under the Brooklyn Bridge

Scavenger Hunt 

For something truly unique while visiting the Upper West Side, the UWS Scavenger Hunt is a great way to explore the neighborhood. 

The three-hour tour is self-guided using GPS and your smartphone (you will need a data plan as WiFi won’t be enough). The tour is still being beta tested, meaning it’s completely free to try out!

The tour will take you through: 

  • Central Park 
  • The Lincoln Centre 
  • Strawberry Fields 
  • Spooky Central
  • Cherry Hill 
  • The Dakota
  • Belvedere Castle
  • Juiliard School 
  • And more...

Freaky Tours

Love ghost stories? As one of the oldest cities in the USA, New York has a colorful and interesting history. The Ghosts, Murders and Mayham walking tours take place at night by lantern light and are not for the faint hearted!   

You can choose from three different tours - Greenwich Village, Lower Manhattan or Hell’s Kitchen and see the city from a more gruesome angle! 

A slice of New York pizza held up in front of a NYC intersection.

Pizza Lovers

Can you visit the Big Apple without a slice of the famous NYC pizza? Scott’s Pizza Tours offer a 2.5 hour pizza tasting tour that visits 3 different pizzerias. There are several different tours available - each offering 3 different pizzerias - choose from the different starting locations on the map to select the tour of your choice

If you’re thinking about visiting New York this year, the Upper West Side is located in the heart of the action - providing a great base for everything you need in the city. Learn more about the Hotel Beacon.