NEW YORK - The pandemic has put travel plans on pause. But Michael Morgenthal and Jeremy Wilcox say there is plenty to explore at home.
"A lot of New Yorkers think they know New York, but tour guides really know New York," said Morgenthal, who is the vice president of the Guides Association of New York.
They're both part of a new initiative called "Tour Your Own City" meant to encourage locals to plan a staycation.
The Guides Association of New York launched a website so people can choose from more than 100 tours available from different guides and operators.
"Just plan these little experiences and fall back in love with New York City," said Wilcox, who is the treasurer of the association.
There are tours about the World's Fair in Queens, the history of gangs in Lower Manhattan, and the evolution of DUMBO in Brooklyn, just to name a few.
NY1 got a tour of street art on the Lower East Side. Wilcox says now is a great time to cross off something off your bucket list.
"A lot of New Yorkers, you can fill in the blanks here whether it's Times Square, the statue of liberty or even little Italy or Chinatown and say I'd love to go there and take my family and show them these spots, but it's too crowded -- well right now very little is too crowded," said Wilcox.
The impact of tours goes well beyond employing guides and operators.
"Whether we're visiting restaurants or boutiques or cultural institutions, we tell the story, but we also want to expose our guests to everything that is great about New York," said Morgenthal.
Tours are available in different languages, and some are available virtually.
Prices of tours vary. For more information, visit www.touryourowncity.com.