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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Neighborhood Tours

No, that's not St. Louis, but its neighbor and rival to the north, Chicago.

Not surprisingly, Chicago, with 77 "Community Areas" that are further subdivided into neighborhoods, offers tours of its many enclaves.

Here is a quick description of the tours:

Mine the city’s hidden gems, its neighborhoods. From South Side neighborhood Beverly on the new Beautiful Beverly tour to historic parks on the new Garfield Park & Beyond tour, Neighborhood Tours showcase the arts, culture, history and people of Chicago. Approximately 4 hours long, Neighborhood Tours include light refreshments. Admission: Adults $30; Seniors 65+/Students with valid ID/Children 8–18 $25.

Why does St. Louis not offer tours of its neighborhoods?

There are many possibilities in a city St. Louis's size.

What would your perfect tour be?

Northside - Southside - Central Corridor?

African American - German - French - Italian - Bosnian - Vietnamese - Other Ethnicities?

Specific neighborhoods or groups of neighborhoods, such as Central West End, Lafayette Square, the Hill, the Ville, Old North St. Louis, Downtown, Tower Grove South and East, etc.?

Would you do a nightlife tour, and if so, where would you go?

How about an eatery tour?

Or a historic churches tour?

Would you do a walking tour, a car tour, a van, a bus, bike, helicopter, balloon, segway (I put that one last for a reason!)?

The possibilities are many.

I'm always taking people around the city, so it got me thinking. Why not set up a booth at America's Center and offer tours of the city? Cater them to visitors' interest (history/architecture, nightlife, dining, etc.) and get some sort of vehicle and go.

The Chicago Neighborhood Tours seem like they're very popular.

Again, I ask, what kind of tour of the city would you design?


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