Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time. ~Steven Wright
|"View in Wall Street from Corner of Broadway", New York. http://oldstreets.com/index.asp?letter=B |
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Walking to Wall Street
In the previous post we discussed visiting Manhattan. So how to get around to see the sights in the city? If you're going a distance across town you must try the subway of course. For those who prefer not to deal with those crowds, taking a taxi can certainly be a viable method of travel, but it can also get expensive if you use them too much. These are decent ways to get where you are going and they are big city transportation modes that you probably would want to try at least once just for the experience of doing it. However, you won't see the city like you should--on the street, up close and personal.
If you want to immerse yourself among the population and have that tangible encounter with the city itself, then you need to take to the streets on foot. Yes, get the exercise and trod that pavement. You can walk on your own meandering and exploring the sights or you can join up with a walking tour guided by someone in the know. Some walking tours are free while others with a more personal touch might cost you a few bucks.
The tours might provide a more expedient way of seeing sights since the guides have the experience and know the best places to go, but if you've got the time why not hoof it on your own? Don a comfortable pair of sturdy shoes and dress suitably for the weather (as well as for the places you are going) and have fun exploring. A good city map or guidebook will be helpful to avoid wasting time, but the thrill of discovery by surprise isn't a bad way to go either. Essentially it all comes down to your time, your stamina, what exactly you hope to accomplish while in the city, and your own sense of adventure.
My last visit a few years ago was on a very hot day. We took it slow, went inside air conditioned places now and then, and stayed hydrated. The heat didn't affect me too adversely, but it did wear my wife down a bit. Still things turned out well for us. We didn't push too hard and took breaks when they were needed.
Walking is not a seasonal activity either. Inclement weather might be a deterrence, but that's what coats and umbrellas are for. Any time of year the streets will be filled with pedestrians and there are many folks who are more than happy to get you back on track if you happen to get temporarily lost.
When the question "What Does Manhattan Say to You?" was presented on this blog back in January, my cousin Tom Jackson from Tracy, California was quick to respond on Facebook with, "Capital of Finance". This as most of you probably know refers to Wall Street.
One of the places any Manhattan walking tour should include is a visit to Wall Street. Centrally located with many other sights worth seeing nearby, Manhattan is the iconic financial hub of not just the United States, but the world. There are several interesting walking tours that include visits to the New York Stock Exchange, Ground Zero, and many other fascinating sites that are educational, interesting, and fun.
Going to visit Manhattan? Bring your walking shoes and be prepared to get some exercise as you get an intimate look at Manhattan while mingling with those who live and work in the city. There are bus tours and horse-drawn carriage rides as well that will provide a good look at the Manhattan tourist sights, but there's nothing quite like walking those bustling streets.
If you're interested in walking tours you might want to check out some of the websites such as Free Tours By Foot, Wall Street Walks, and Big Onion Walking Tours to name just a few.
Do you enjoy walking tours? Would you rather tour on your own or with a knowledgeable guide? Are there any walking tours in Manhattan or elsewhere that you have taken that you would recommend to readers here?