50 Free Walking Tours Across America
Lace up those sneakers! Locals and tourists alike can learn much about a place by pounding the pavement. Free walking tours offer an up-close way to experience a new city and sometimes a new perspective on a town you've long called home. We've taken a cross-country approach, spotlighting a variety of free tours that touch on history, architecture, music, sports, recreation, and more. Bring a camera and remember, although no payment is required, tips are always appreciated.
Walk back in time on the Freedom Trail in the heart of Boston. Follow the red-lined, 2.5-mile route past 16 historically significant sites including burial grounds, museums, churches, and meeting houses key to the American Revolution. As they like to say, "Every step tells a story."
Add a touch of vintage Hollywood glamour to a trip to Los Angeles with a free two-hour, 2-mile morning walking tour that takes you back in time along Hollywood Boulevard. See where Charlie Chaplin's children went to school, the Capitol Records Building, and Grauman's Chinese Theatre.
Related: The Best of California on a Budget
San Francisco City Guides, a nonprofit and primarily volunteer operation, has more than 200 active guides who lead free walks that last 90 minutes to two hours. Combining landmarks and off-the-beaten-path sites, these popular walks range from "Golden Gate Bridge" to "Haight-Ashbury" and "1850s San Francisco: Paris of the Pacific."
Free Tours by Foot's New Orleans Voodoo Tour puts a spotlight on the Big Easy's spirited subculture. Mystery, secrecy, and more surround Louisiana's voodoo connections, from its roots in West Africa all the way to the modern-day French Quarter. Superstitions, rituals, and cemeteries are explored on this guided mile-long, 90-minute excursion.
Visitors can experience Redwood National and State Parks in northern California through a wide array of free ranger-led tours including junior ranger treks (short and sweet for the younger set), tidepool walks, and many other nature walks and programs. (Note: Upcoming tours and programs have yet to be scheduled.)
"Key West" suggests a slower place, so take as long as you like (an hour, maybe two) to walk the Old Island Restoration Foundation's Pelican Path Self-Guided Tour. Explore more than 50 of the Florida destination's notable buildings, from President Harry S. Truman's Little White House to the circa-1829 "oldest house in South Florida."
Related: The Best of Florida on a Budget
Lewes is a gem of a walking town where the Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean meet at Cape Henlopen. Founded in 1631, Lewes' historic district is filled with museums, inns, restaurants, and shops. Visitors can check out Lewes.com's tour of the town, which features everything from historic homes to the best place for ice cream.