Best Way to See New Places

I’ll let you in on a secret: there really isn’t one best way to see new places, but I have a few favorites and I’m going to share the pros and cons of each with you. There are other ways to tour new places, of course, including bike tours, hiking tours, segway tours — I’ve also flown in a hot air balloon and a glider (not exactly tours, but you do get to see a lot from a different perspective).

One of the stops on my Vegas Running tour

Running Tours
Running tours are definitely a must if you’re a runner.

Pros:

  • You don’t have to come up with a route
  • You know your guide will keep you in safe areas
  • Your guide will run at your pace
  • Your guide will most likely carry water & snacks for you
  • You’ll learn more about the area than if you just run by things
  • You’ll cover more area than you will walking
  • You may spot areas you want to come bac to & explore more
  • Your tour can work as a training run!
  • There’s a built in holder for your gadgets

Cons:

  • It can be hard to really “see” something as you’re running by it

There really isn’t much downside to a running tour!

Walking Tours
Before I started to run or had heard about food tours, I was totally into walking tours. Yes, I often just set out on my own in a new place, but I’ve been doing walking tours — often in places I’ve visited before — for decades. Exploring on your own is fun, but you can learn so much more with a guide.

Pros:

  • You will get to spend more time at stops than you will in a running tour
  • Walking tours can definitely be good exercise (hello, San Francisco, I’m looking at you!) but they are usually easier on the body than a running tour
  • You will learn more about the history in the area
  • You will usually have some time to shop in some of the the stops

Cons:

  • You will most likely cover less ground than you would with a running tour
This wasn’t actually a stop on our NOLA food tour but you’ve seen the photo of me stuffing my face with a Muffuletta plenty of times! Beignets at Cafe du Monde are a NOLA must, right?

Food Tours
Food tours won’t get you much time on your feet, but they have other advantages. In fact they can be a great way to take your mind off a race the day before and load up a little on some carbs! Most food tours really don’t involve a lot of walking. On the other hand, a food tour might fall into the “nothing new on race day” area.

Generally the portions are quite small at each stop (although this varies), but don’t worry, you are unlikely to go away hungry.

Pros:

  • You will get to taste food from a wide variety of restaurants
  • You may discover a restaurant you didn’t know about that you want to come back to for a meal
  • You will learn more about the history in the area
  • You will usually have some time to shop in some of the the stops

Cons
Seriously, I can’t think of any cons to food tours! Except maybe the amount of food you eat and the fact that it’s not always the healthiest food — but that really depends on what type of tour you choose, because yes, there are all sorts of food tours!

Final Thoughts
Can you tell that I love a tour? Discovering new things by serendipity can be great fun, and I do that a lot. Having a local guide can really add so much more to your travels. Sometimes it’s nice to let someone else do the thinking (and carry your water & snacks!).

These days there’s a tour to fit just about anyone. When it comes to food, it can be dessert, a certain type of food, the best places in a city — even a chocolate tour! I have toured local farmer’s markets, and while I’ve never done a dessert or chocolate tour (insert sad face here), I have toured a chocolate factory & done chocolate tastings. Heaven!

I don’t wear this scarf often because it’s on the shorter side but I always get compliments when I do! Plus the great memories. Bought on my walking tour in Paris,

One of my fondest memories in Sedona was the private hike & Yoga class I took (where Mr. Judy got to tag along). We also did a Pink Jeep tour in Sedona which I definitely recommend. We’ve done whale watching and eagle watching tours.

Another fond memory is the walking tour I did in Paris — and I have the scarf above as a reminder of that tour! Then there was the private photo tour we took in Kaiuia. We’d taken a group photo tour with the same company previously, but the private tour was even better. Although we almost got swept out when a rogue wave hit the beach and we were more than knee deep in ocean water in a mere matter of seconds!

Do make sure to read reviews of the tours, though. You want to make sure you’re safe, especially if you’re traveling by yourself. and not all tours are created the same. So far we’ve never regretted a tour!

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

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29 thoughts on “Best Way to See New Places

  1. Yes, I love walking tours! I’ve never done an official running tour, but I’ve definitely planned a running route to take me past various sights in a new city. And, I’ve never done a food tour but I’ve certainly walked around cities eating a lot!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. These are great ideas, Judy!
    On Airbnb, you can often book a walking or running tour together with the accommodation, which is great.
    I love signing up for races in new places. They have brought me to places I would have never discovered otherwise. And most of the time, they are beautiful, too!

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  3. I’ve done walking tours, but never running ones! I like running in new places to explore on my own, but having someone tell you about what you’re seeing is nice.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve never done a running or walking tour, but I have always wanted to try one. Usually I just walk around aimlessly and bump into cool things, but it would be nice to have a bit of structure.

    I would totally do a food tour if I were to visit a place abroad, like Italy!

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  5. I’ve done a few self-guided walking tours, but it would be fun to have a real guide along with me to give more info on the history, etc. Lots of great suggestions!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love to do running tours when we travel it is the best way to see a new city. We also did a chocolate walking tour in San Fran once also fun!

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  7. Maybe I’m just not looking hard enough or in the right places but I find running tours difficult to find so I’ve never done one. Walking tours are great though! I did a biking tour in Costa Rica once and that was a lot of fun too.

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  8. I’ve done food tours and running tours etc.

    They’re great. Unfortunately only available in big cities.

    Just as much fun to plan your own. That way you can run your own pace and stop and take pics when you want.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve run so much of Gaborone that I’ve often thought of having a running tour as a side gig! Not sure how it would work but I think it would be a great way to show off the city, connect with others, and get my run done!

    In Cape Town, they have quite a few wine tours that I’ve always wanted to try – I’m not much of a wine drinker though but I think I’d enjoy the different vineyards and mountain views.

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