Exploring Greenwich Village On a Walking Tour

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Greenwich Village isn’t really a secret. It can’t even be called an off-the-beaten-path area of New York City. But on a visit to Manhattan, baby boomer travelers will find tree-lined streets, a secret garden and respite from the chaos of Times Square. At least that’s what this boomer discovered on a summer visit to the Big Apple when I attended the Travel Blog Exchange (TBEX10) conference.

Jefferson Market Library

My first introduction to the former Bohemian enclave was during a Hop-on Hop-off bus tour around Manhattan. When the bus pulled up to a stop on Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village, four starving travel writers, including me, hopped off to find lunch. Afterward, we went our separate ways.

Jefferson Market Community Garden

On the walk back to my accommodations at the Chelsea Pines Inn in Chelsea, I embarked on an unplanned, self-guided walking tour. Arriving at the Jefferson Market Library, a circa 1883 red brick building that’s included in the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, I rounded the corner that leads behind the historical edifice. What did I discover? A pocket of New York City peacefulness. Actually it was the Jefferson Market Garden. Short paths meandered beside rose beds and around hydrangea bushes dripping with big globes of blue flowers. Book-reading patrons sat on benches tucked here and there in the community garden. Eventually, I wandered by a water feature that provided cool relief on a hot June day.

Brownstones line this residential street

Later, I turned down a side street that led in the direction of Chelsea. Taking my time, I walked on the shady street, admiring the old brownstones. It seemed that the busyness of Manhattan was miles away.

The impromptu walking tour of Greenwich Village introduced me to a part of New York City that I had not explored before. But there is another way. I could have downloaded a walking tour app from GPSmyCity.com onto my iPhone or iPad. The Greenwich Village Music Tour in New York by Eric Kraft, leads visitors on a walking journey that explores 12 venues that are significant in the history of Greenwich Village’s music scene. Covering the West Village, the tour offers a map plus detailed description of each site, including hours of operation, history of the club, type of music and contact information. But baby boomer visitors won’t have to stop on every corner to read about the tour. Instead, put in your earphones and listen to the audio description.

Greenwich Village not on your boomer destination list? GPSmyCity.com offers a variety of downloadable tours from around the world. Be sure to check out the details before downloading the tour app of your choice. Not all of the tours include audio; however the site offers a detailed description of each tour so that you know what you’re getting.

Are you a Greenwich Village insider? Post a comment to offer your choices on a self-guided walking tour. Have you used a GPSmyCity.com tour app? Post a comment to share your experience. Before our next trip, Alan and I will be checking to see if there’s an app for our destination.

Disclosure: GPSmyCity.com provided a copy of the Greenwich Village Music Tour in New York for this review.

If you like to walk as much as I do, be sure to read Terry Trucco’s guest post about New York City Walks.

Scratch those itchy travel feet!

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