Are you looking for something fun and different to do? Need an easy to execute everyday adventure? Why not try a walking tour? Walking tours are the best way to enjoy the city.
Benefits of a walking tour
Unless you sign up for a paid version (which can also be fun), most walking tours are free. A walking tour is a great way to get a good feel for a location. You’ll learn a little history, see some interesting sites AND get exercise. Sounds like a win-win-win to me!
When we participate in walking tours I always end up finding something extra that wasn’t a part of the tour too. An interesting shop, a local restaurant, or just a beautiful old house are all things we’ve stumbled upon while out walking. I’ve definitely found that the best way to enjoy a city is on foot.
How to find a walking tour
Most touristy areas have either maps or guided tours so the easiest way to find those is to simply Google “walking tours” and the city name. For example, when I Googled “walking tours Indianapolis” I came up with over a dozen options – most of them free or less than $10!
If you are visiting a smaller town, you might have to get a bit more creative. As I’ve been doing a lot of research lately for my Explore Indiana series, I’ve discovered some really cool walking tours in towns I would never have thought would have them. Some of them are geared towards sculptures or murals, some are historical in nature, but regardless I’ve been able to print or download maps for most of them through the local Convention & Visitor’s Bureau (CVB).
Another possible resource is the app PocketSights – depending upon where you are going you may find a few great walking or driving tours. I put in a radius of 100 miles from my location and discovered half a dozen options! The app is free, so definitely check it out.
If you don’t mind paying a small fee, Let’s Roam is a unique way to check out a city. There are many options for scavenger hunt type outings – and some of them could definitely qualify for a walking tour. It’s a ton of fun and all you need is your phone! Let’s Roam is the perfect way to enjoy a city you already know – or a new one!
How to get the most out of your walking tour
If you are on a group tour, get to know your tour guide. Pay attention to the info they are sharing and ask questions – if you get them engaged, I bet you’ll learn a lot more and have a more interesting time.
If you are walking on your own, print out a map (or pick one up at the CVB if available). Google Maps on your phone can also be helpful to keep you from getting lost if you have specific locations you are visiting.
Take your time. Don’t try to rush through your walking tour. Really look at the sites and soak in the atmosphere. If there is a historical marker, read it. Often they have interesting stories about the location as well as the facts.
Stop if something catches your eye. See a cute little chocolate shop? Pop in and talk to the employees – they can often tell you even more history or background about the nearby buildings or area you are exploring. Take a leisurely lunch break at a darling cafe or mom and pop diner along your path. Have fun posing by all the murals you find. These little stops will make your experience much more memorable – and fun!
Do you enjoy walking tours? I think it’s one of the best way to get a feel for a location and it’s so much fun!
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