These NYC Walking Tours Are Anything But Cheesy

Photo: Getty Images.
Whether you're a tourist or a life-long New Yorker, doing a walkabout in NYC is never a bad idea. It's simply the best way to familiarize yourself with the cultural and historical riches the city has to offer.
While exploring on your own can be immensely rewarding, going on a guided tour can open your eyes to an under-appreciated side of the city. No, we're not talking about the big bus tours or Sex and the City pilgrimages, but rather, unique arts and cultural experiences that are way more educational than cheesy.
From late-night jazz crawls to treks through abandoned subway stations, these five tours will make your weekend in the Big Apple much more memorable.
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Gotham Sidewalks

Hosted by art-lover and museum-educator Rich Garr, these tours are the best way to get acquainted with NYC's street art scene. The community-based walking tours with expose you to lesser-known but equally fascinating murals on the Lower East Side and Gowanus.
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Borough of The Dead

Got a taste for the spooky and morbid? This boutique tour operator organizes two-hour walking tours to places haunted by ghosts from centuries past. The tour guide will regale you with stories of haunted corners in Greenwich Village, Brooklyn Heights, and beyond.
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Gourmet Chinatown

Ordering at a busy Chinese restaurant can be a really intimidating experience, especially if you don't speak the language or you're unsure what to order. This three-hour food safari organized by Foods of NY will give you the chaperoned experience at various gourmet hotspots in Chinatown. You'll be sampling such dishes as Peking duck, wontons, and Malaysian roti. The experience wraps up with a street tasting of egg tarts, an iconic pastry hailing from Hong Kong.
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NYC Underground Tours

This two-hour tour is your crash course on one of the largest and most efficient mass transit systems in the world. You'll be taken through nine subway stops in the original transport system — first completed in 1904 — and entertained with intriguing historical trivia. The experience also includes a stopover at the abandoned Worth Street, 18th Street, and City Hall stations. If you're too timid to hit up these deserted stops on your own, this is your perfect opportunity.
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Harlem Jazz Crawl

Harlem is a fascinating neighborhood steeped in jazz history, and there's no better guide than Gordon, a music fanatic. During your night on the town, you'll be exposed to some of Harlem's finest hidden live music clubs with a quick stop at the famed Apollo Theater. The Airbnb-experience guide is also a pro at recommending lively venues for an after-party should you want to carry on the fun.
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