April 2019, Tours
Photo: Chelsea Flower Show in London © LONDONGAL27 – DREAMSTIME.COM
By Kristy Alpert – April 1, 2019
FOLLOW THE GUIDEBOOKS in your next destination and they will likely have you pound the pavement in an effort to uncover the hottest of the crowded restaurants or the priciest of the charming boutiques without even breaking a sweat. While there’s something to be said for shopping locally and supporting small businesses, cities often go only partially explored when visitors stick to the concrete pathways and brick-and-mortar establishments within their borders. A destination’s green spaces are often the lifeblood of the city, acting as a place where locals and visitors can breathe in fresh air, commune with nature and maybe even embark on an adventure or two.
Green spaces are becoming essential for urban environments, generally funded and maintained by the city in an effort to help filter urban pollutants while improving overall well-being and quality of life. Tour operators and hotels get behind these spaces in a big way by offering unique experiences for visitors and guests to get out in the open air and see the city in a different light.
In Florida, World of Hyatt loyalty members can use their points to book bespoke experiences in the wilderness with a guided hike through an oldgrowth forest outside Pembroke Pines through Hyatt’s new FIND experience platform. The platform recently launched in cities around the world with exciting tours and experiences to encourage Hyatt guests to get out and explore more of their destinations.
“These immersive local experiences speak to various facets of well-being and encourage members to feel at their best while enhancing the mind, body and spirit,” said Amy Weinberg, senior vice president, World of Hyatt. “Members are able to earn and redeem World of Hyatt points by partaking in these authentic, exclusive experiences that encourage travelers to adventure into the beauty and nature that surrounds their destination, whether that’s in their home market or where they travel.”
In New York City, visitors can indulge in a hearty, farm-fresh breakfast at The Bar Downstairs and Kitchen at Andaz 5th Avenue in Midtown Manhattan and then be transported moments later into the pristine waterways of Cold Spring Harbor for a guided kayak trip through a beautiful landscape. Other options include taking a guided hike with Ambassador Wolves in Frazier Park, California, or enjoying a meditative walk through nature with a forest therapy guide in Chicago, Illinois.
Lynott Tours offers insights into some of Ireland’s and the United Kingdom’s best gardens, including tours through Ardkinglas Woodland Garden and Crarae in Scotland and the famous Chelsea Flower Show in England. The Old Town Trolley sightseeing tour in Boston drops passengers off at the Boston Common for a chance to wander around the nation’s oldest city park, and many other parks around the world are free and open for visitors to stop and smell the flowers while exploring on self-guided, self-paced tours.