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New York Neighborhood Walking Tours

The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), at Columbus Circle in New York City.

Photo: Thomas Loof

See T+L’s New York City Arts Guide

Chelsea Walking Tour

The closest subways to Chelsea only go as far west as 8th Avenue, which may explain why this neighborhood—which sits roughly between 14th and 30th streets, and 7th Avenue to the Hudson River—feels like one of Manhattan’s quietest. But with the calm comes the buzz of high-end retail, warehouse art galleries, an indoor market, and—perhaps the most talked-about development project in recent city history—the High Line. A converted rail line, this elevated urban park offers views of the river and New Jersey, plus the bustling-yet-still-tranquil streets down below. See the Full Tour

Highlights:
• Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre
• Chelsea Market
• Gallery Hopping in Chelsea
• The Tippler

Upper East Side Walking Tour

The Met Museum gets more than five million annual visitors, making it the most popular of the prestigious art institutions that line Fifth Avenue, a.k.a. Museum Mile. An earlier nickname, Millionaire’s Row, referenced the mansions of Gilded Age barons like Andrew Carnegie and Henry Clay Frick. While both their properties are now museums, this slice of the Upper East Side—70th to 95th streets, Lexington Avenue to Central Park—remains primarily a millionaires' territory of prewar apartments and gracious townhouses. See the Full Tour

Highlights:
• 92nd Street Y
• Guggenheim, New York
• The Frick Collection
• Bemelmans Bar

Columbus Circle Walking Tour

Occupying a trapezoidal island diagonally across from Central Park, the 12-story, white-marble building by Edward Durrell Stone stood for close to half a century at 2 Columbus Circle, near the geographic center of Manhattan; but around it lay a cultural wasteland. Today, it is the new home of the Museum of Arts and Design (also known as MAD) which, with the Time Warner Center and Central Park, completes the rebirth of Columbus Circle as a major destination. See the Full Tour

Highlights:
• Lincoln Center
• Museum of Arts and Design
• Mandarin Oriental, New York
• Bar Boulud

East Village Walking Tour

Once an enclave of immigrants, then the refuge of bohemians fleeing West Village rents, NYC’s East Village is now firmly established as an eating/drinking/shopping playground. While you’ll still find unshorn poets, beatniks, and runaways, you’re just as likely to see baby strollers, runway models, and tomorrow’s celebrity chefs on its colorful streets. See the Full Tour

Highlights:
• St. Mark’s Church-in-the-Bowery
• Tompkins Square Park
• Death & Co.
• Momofuku Noodle Bar

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