SoHo, Little Italy, Chinatown Walking Tour

ExperienceFirst’s SoHo, Little Italy, Chinatown Walking Tour is your ticket to exploring three of Lower Manhattan’s historic neighborhoods during one unforgettable afternoon. This popular guided walking tour runs daily at 1:00pm, departing from SoHo and covering two to three miles of prime New York City real estate. Along the way you’ll encounter unique architecture, scope out notable restaurants, and come face to face with colorful pieces of New York City history.

SoHo, Little Italy, Chinatown Background Information

Despite their differences, the Lower Manhattan neighborhoods of SoHo, Little Italy, and Chinatown are forever linked by a shared history and, of course, geographic proximity. Broadly speaking, during the nineteenth century the area that comprises these three neighborhoods today was a hotbed of industrial activity, with numerous textile factories and mercantile companies operating here. At the advent of the twentieth century, significant numbers of immigrants from Italy and China moved to the United States and settled in the area. Their influences would forever reshape the neighborhoods that bear their names to this day.

Three decades into the twenty-first century, SoHo has become one of New York’s hottest shopping destinations and housing markets, Little Italy has shrunk in size, and the Chinatown of Lower Manhattan is just one of many such neighborhoods found throughout the city. Still, a trip through these three neighborhoods makes for an indelible part of any visitor’s time in the Big Apple.

What to See on the SoHo, Little Italy, Chinatown Walking Tour

The SoHo, Little Italy, Chinatown Walking Tour begins at Spring Street Park, near the corner of 6th Avenue and Spring Street. From there you’ll move through the charming streets of trendy SoHo, admiring the allure of the neighborhood’s old-fashioned cobblestone streets (which are actually “setts,” but more frequently referred to as cobblestones). Special attention here will be paid to the SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District, a remarkable stretch of New York City that features arguably the highest concentration of cast-iron architecture found anywhere in the world. If time allows, you might even have the chance to stop at the Dominique Ansel Bakery, home of the trademark hybrid donut-croissant pastry, the “cronut.”

Little Italy is next on your tour. Though it’s a prime example of a New York City neighborhood threatened by marked demographic changes and ever-increasing levels of gentrification, the area’s rich history makes for a fascinating part of your outing. Your guide will point out famous restaurants and sites where legendary movies were filmed as you learn about the Italian-American experience of the early twentieth century.

Last but not least comes Chinatown. Before your SoHo, Little Italy, Chinatown Walking Tour concludes in Columbus Park, you’ll have the chance to sample some of the city’s finest food while learning about this remarkable corner of New York—prior to the area being transformed into the neighborhood we know and love today by immigrants from China and Asia, it was the infamous Five Points, a gritty, poverty-stricken nineteenth-century neighborhood forever immortalized by the Martin Scorsese film Gangs of New York.

Tips for Taking the SoHo, Little Italy, Chinatown Walking Tour

  • SoHo, Little Italy, Chinatown Walking Tour is included on several money saving tourist passes including the New York Pass, Go NY All-Inclusive Pass and NY Explorer Pass
  • As a well-regarded guided tour, ExperienceFirst’s SoHo, Little Italy, Chinatown Walking Tour is very popular with visitors from all over the world. As such, it tends to book up pretty fast. When in doubt, make your reservations for this tour well in advance of when you plan to be in New York.
  • With rare exceptions being made for extreme weather events, the SoHo, Little Italy, Chinatown Walking Tour runs no matter what the conditions are outside. Make sure to check the forecast before you join up with your guided tour so you can bring along that umbrella, light jacket, puffy coat, or whatever else the day’s weather might be calling for.
  • It’s recommended that you arrive for your ExperienceFirst tour about 15 minutes before it’s scheduled to depart. The SoHo, Little Italy, Chinatown Walking Tour typically leaves right on time, so you don’t want to find yourself scrambling to catch up with an already-in-progress excursion.
  • A gratuity is not included as part of your SoHo, Little Italy, Chinatown Walking Tour ticket. Tips are by no means mandatory, but if you feel like your guide has done a nice job, it’s customary to demonstrate your appreciation for their efforts with a bit of money at the end of the tour.

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