In today’s age, a typical guidebook experience of a city just doesn’t cut it anymore. While iconic tourist sites are still worth visiting, traveler’s favorite experiences are often based around much more unique (and often, locally-focused) itineraries.
AllTheRooms is based in New York City, and we’re big advocates on seeing our city like a local, whether you’re here for a quick visit or a more in-depth stay. Below, you can check out some of our favorite tours for a taste of NYC that really showcases it in a way we’re proud of:
Visit.org is an online content and booking platform for immersive, impactful travel experiences offered by local nonprofit organizations around the globe. Travelers use Visit.org to add half- or multi-day off-the-beaten-path experiences to any itinerary, and revenue is channeled back to the local community through the host organizations. In NYC, the platform offers a walking tour of the Lower East Side run by the nonprofit Greenmap; a cooking workshop with immigrants hosted by the social enterprise League of Kitchens; an immersive half-day in the Jewish’s culture and heritage through to the Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy; rowing activities with ROW NY; and more.
Turnstile Tours researches, develops, and operates tours in partnership with non-profit organizations that highlight places and communities underrepresented in the public record. This includes programs about history, manufacturing, and economic development at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and Brooklyn Army Terminal, food and culture tours of New York City’s public market system, and tours about street food and the street vendor community.
New York City Urban Adventures supports the local businesses that make New York City unique through small group, food- and beverage-themed walking tours throughout the city. Currently the company offers six regular public tours and private custom tours that allow travelers taste their way through a neighborhood’s rich history and meet business owners and residents to get a true local experience.
BQE Tours provides “the Brooklyn Queens Experience” on small-group walking tours in DUMBO, Williamsburg and Long Island City, led by a NYC native guide. Tours focus on offering a slice of life and allowing guests to engage with local artists, makers and entrepreneurs.
NYC Tours & Photo Safaris are active and educational tours through some of the city’s most scenic areas, led by a professional photographer, travel blogger and native New Yorker. With a focus on getting travelers out from behind their guidebooks and into meaningful experiences, tours combine historical facts, cultural stories, lesser known sites and local foods.
Local Expeditions offers “community-driven adventures,” excursions designed by locals for visitors who want an insider experience. Adventures range from a CitiBike ride over the Manhattan Bridge combined with a walking tour of DUMBO to a book lover’s stroll through the West Village to a photography workshop on Coney Island. Five percent of each expedition is donated to a local nonprofit of the guide’s choice.
Read More on New York City (NYC) at ATR