The Top U.S. Cities to Take Guided Tours in - Go Wandering

The Top U.S. Cities to Take Guided Tours in

By Shannon Alfes |
The Top U.S. Cities to Take Guided Tours in
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If you’re visiting a city for the very first time, you might enjoy taking a deep dive into its history and culture – especially if it’s a destination that has a storied past. Exploring museums, landmarks, and other significant spots around a city on your own is a fantastic way to learn about what makes the region unique, but some places are even better when experienced through the lens of a guided tour. There are tons of cities around the U.S. that offer amazing guided tours, but we’ve narrowed it down to our top 6 picks in today’s guide.

From the architectural wonders of Chicago to the plethora of national landmarks in D.C., you’ll have the chance to see these cities in a brand-new light when you take dedicated guided tours of them. Get ready to discover hidden gems and hear riveting stories about these destinations that you might otherwise miss when you pencil in a tour around any of these extraordinary U.S. cities.

New Orleans, Louisiana

There’s no question that New Orleans is one of the best U.S. cities to take a guided tour in due to its combination of culture, history, and one-of-a-kind cuisine. Taking a guided tour through the French Quarter, for instance, reveals stories of its Creole heritage, architecture, and the influence of jazz music that pulses through every bit of the city. If you consider yourself a foodie, a number of companies provide designated food tours that bring you to infamous spots like Café du Monde for their beignets as well as local treasures for classic Louisiana dishes like jambalaya.  

New Orleans is also known as one of the most haunted cities in the country and has plenty of ghost tour options that are both exciting and educational – if you’re brave enough! Whether exploring the hauntingly beautiful cemeteries on a ghost tour, savoring all the delicious dishes during a food tour, or learning about the city's pivotal role in American history, guided tours in New Orleans really immerse you and allow you to fully appreciate the many unique aspects of The Big Easy.

Boston, Massachusetts

With its sheer abundance of landmarks and deep-rooted history, taking a tour in Boston with a knowledgeable guide brings you back in time to the Revolutionary era and provides special insight into the pivotal moments that led to America’s freedom. Embark on a tour of the Freedom Trail, which is a 2.5-mile stretch through the city that takes you to 16 different historic sites such as Paul Revere's House, the Old North Church, and the Boston Common. Proficient guides deliver commentary on the role Boston played in American independence and can help answer any burning questions you may have.

Beyond its history, Boston has diverse neighborhoods like North End and the charming Back Bay. Tours of these areas showcase the city's remarkable art scene, architectural beauty, and waterfront scenery. For the sports fanatics out there, having a guide take you behind the scenes at  Fenway Park and share their knowledge about this iconic stadium is bound to be one of your most unforgettable travel experiences to date. Boston is a place to revel in all things history, art, architecture, and cuisine, easily making it a top destination to book a guided tour and receive professional accounts of the amazing stories engrained in this New England city.

Savannah, Georgia

It’s hard to outdo Savannah when it comes to Southern charm, Colonial-style buildings, historic sites, and gorgeous scenery. Founded in 1733 and recognized as America’s first planned city, a guided tour through Savannah will lead you along cobblestone streets lined with oaks draped in Spanish moss to impressive landmarks like the Forsyth Fountain and the Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist. Skilled guides will take you on a journey through Savannah’s past and uncover the stories that date back to the Revolutionary and Civil Wars.

Explore the 160 acres of the infamous Bonaventure Cemetery via an educational daytime tour or an eerie ghost tour once the sun goes down. For even more breathtaking scenery, hop on a riverboat for a peaceful float down the Savannah River at sunset. No matter what kind of tour you opt for while visiting Savannah, you’re guaranteed a time filled with natural beauty and important history that will only deepen your appreciation for this timeless city.

Washington D.C.

As the nation’s capital and the center of American politics, Washington D.C. is certainly a city you can spend days exploring before even scratching the surface. There is simply so much to do and see around D.C. that it can be difficult to know where to even begin, but guided tours here give you the chance to see the best of everything. Tours through the National Mall allow you to visit landmarks such as the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, several different Smithsonian Museums, the U.S. Capitol, and the White House. Depending on your interests and if they lean more towards history or politics or somewhere in the middle, there are tour options that are bound to suit what you’re looking for.

If you’d rather dedicate time to the various museums and really diving into the specific topics within, that’s always an option, too. Between the Air and Space Museum, the Natural History Museum, the American Art Museum, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture, there is a true wealth of knowledge waiting to be discovered. Walking tours through neighborhoods like Georgetown reveal stories about prominent individuals who lived and worked here while you take in the stunning federalist architecture buildings, some of which are among the oldest in D.C. With so much to see and learn, guided tours in Washington D.C. promise insightful experiences that highlight the city's pivotal role in shaping the nation.

St. Augustine, Florida

Known for being the oldest European-established city in the country, St. Augustine boasts over 450 years of remarkable history. Guided tours of St. Augustine bring you on a journey through time – discover the Castillo de San Marcos, a 17th century fort that does daily demonstrations, the historic St. Augustine Lighthouse that still operates today, and the Oldest Wooden Schoolhouse in the United States.

The abundant Spanish colonial architecture, cobblestone streets, and coastal location add to the experience of visiting this amazing city. Walking, trolley, and scenic boat tours around the area are offered, so there’s an option for every individual preference. St. Augustine is also a destination known for being quite haunted, so ghost tours are another popular choice among visitors here. With such a profound history that still permeates the entire city to this day, taking a guided tour is a top-notch way to really absorb the many cultural highlights of St. Augustine.

Chicago, Illinois

Getting the chance to go behind the scenes in Chicago via a guided tour is something that shouldn’t be passed up on. Known for being a food-centered city and having tons of architectural marvels, there is so much to discover in the Windy City. The “L” is the train system through Chicago, and there are tour options that allow you to hop on and explore the various neighborhoods around the city, such as Pilsen, Chinatown, and the Loop. Each area has its own unique story and special sights to see.

For unmatched views of the skyline and insight into the city’s storied past, jump on a boat for a tour along the Chicago River for a deeper understanding about the architecture that is so significant to the city and the names that are behind such iconic buildings like the Willis Tower and the Tribune Tower. If you want to eat your way around the city, there are of course tours for that too! Indulge in Chicago-style pizza, Chicago dogs, and hearty beef sandwiches. Lastly, guided tours of world-class museums, such as the Art Institute of Chicago  and the Field Museum, allow you to see the journey the city has taken over time through its natural history and through art. Guided tours in Chicago are such an engaging and informative way to experience the city's brilliant character, no matter what variety you go for!

Guided Tours for Unforgettable Travels

From the Freedom Trail in Boston to the melting pot that is New Orleans, guided tours in these U.S. cities bring visitors on a journey through the country’s various histories, unique landscapes, and artistic scenes. Aside from all the new knowledge you’ll leave with, guided tours also provide us with the opportunity to encounter hidden gems and meet likeminded people. Whether you're a history buff, want to try all the local delicacies, trying to get spooked on a ghost tour, or simply eager to explore, guided tours in these cities guarantee a memorable time that allow you to experience everything you’re looking for during your travels.

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