1. Pacific Heights, San Francisco
San Francisco City Guides offers free walking tours of San Francisco, covering themes and neighborhoods ranging from Cow Hollow to Alfred Hitchcock’s San Francisco. You know the Golden Gate bridge, but what about those fabulous mansions where San Francisco’s fanciest have lived since the late 19th century?
2. Crissy Field, San Francisco
Forget Fisherman’s Wharf. The best spot in SF to see the bay, watch the locals, enjoy the flora & fauna, and inhale a crisp breeze is Crissy Field. A long stretch of park, a jewel in The Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy’s cap.
3. Downtown Chicago with the Chicago Architecture Foundation
So much more to see beyond Wrigley Field and Millennium Park. For less than the price of a pizza at Gino’s East, a super knowledgeable guide will take you around the city’s noteworthy spots in the historic center for 45 minutes – 2 hours.
It’s clean, new, free, filled with trees and shh…great spots to BYOB while staring at spectacular views of Lower Manhattan – you just can’t find that anywhere else in the city. But the walking! Start under the magnificent Manhattan Bridge in the culture driven DUMBO neighborhood with an ice cream or chocolate beverage from Jacques Torres, be awed by the weight of the stony Brooklyn Bridge, get a glass of vino from Brooklyn Bridge Wine Bar and keep strolling the 9.5 acres of Pier 1, the prettiest little landfill this side of New York Harbor.
Can’t get enough of this suddenly leafy outer borough? Brooklyn Bridge Park, the nonprofit organization that provides lots of great programming, offers free walking tours that address a new topic each week. Upcoming themes for their tours include Native New Yorkers and High Tech History. Wednesdays 6:30-8:00pm through September 5th, 2012, meet at the entrance to Pier 1. RSVP required.
This organization explores and preserves the corners of this caliente city like no one else in town. Join them for a Twilight Cityscape Miami River Eco-Walk for something a bit off the beaten path, or “wander the lush tropical lanes of the South Grove, admiring the colossal banyans and grassy vistas with eco-historian Frank Schena.” July 14th, 9am – 11am, $20-$30. Advance reservations and payment required.