8 Best Walking Tours in the West

Discover the best food and wild history in these towns and cities.

A historic building in Barrio Viejo in Tucscon, Arizona.
Walk through Barrio Viejo in Tucson, Arizona.
Rocío  La Pierre / Borderlandia

Walking tours provide wonderful opportunities to get to know a place up close. Whether it’s eating your way through California’s capital or delving into the history of a Wyoming frontier community, these eight walking tours offer new and exciting ways to see, taste, appreciate, and experience some of the West’s most storied cities and towns. 

Juneau Food Tours in Juneau, Alaska

Come hungry for this 1.5-mile meander spotlighting Juneau’s most beloved culinary establishments. Each 2.5-hour tour includes authentic food and drink samplings such as King Crab bisque, rockfish tacos, and even locally sourced beer, as well as details on how the individual stops fit into Juneau’s vibrant food scene. The lunch time outing is perfect for small groups, couples, and anyone with an appetite.

Alex La Pierre leads a tour in Rosendo S. Perez Park.
Alex La Pierre leads a tour in Rosendo S. Perez Park in Tucson, Ariz.
Rocío  La Pierre / Borderlandia

Tucson Origins Walking Tour in Tucson, Arizona 

Learn about Tucson’s multicultural roots and the role the city played in the formation of the American Southwest on a two-hour-long cultural heritage walk. Guided by a former National Park ranger with a background in historic preservation, tours visit downtown’s El Presidio—encompassing the site where the city was first established as a Spanish military fort in 1775—as well as the Barrio Viejo, a colorful neighborhood that’s home to El Tiradito, the only Catholic Shrine in the U.S. that is devoted to a sinner instead of a saint. Topics include Tucson’s Indigenous, Spanish Colonial, Mexican, and American Territorial eras, as well as details on its designation as an UNESCO City of Gastronomy (one of only two cities in the U.S. to receive this honor). 

Hippie to Hipster Walk in San Francisco, California 

From the imposing parkside mansion once occupied by the rock band Jefferson Airplane to Golden Gate Park’s Hippie Hill counterculture gathering spot, relive the Summer of Love and the heyday of San Francisco’s famed Haight-Ashbury, the heart of hippie culture. Local native Ginevra takes guests on an immersive multimedia walk through the neighborhood’s almost-mythical past, pointing out the places that musicians such as the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, and Jimi Hendrix called home. She highlights the area’s Victorian architecture and shares wild and wondrous stories en route.

A group of friends at sandwiches and soup on a food tour in Sacramento, California
Eat around Midtown Sacramento with Local Roots Food Tours.
Courtesy Local Roots Food Tours

Local Roots Food Tours in Sacramento, California 

Taste your way through Sacramento’s Midtown on a three-hour walking tour that combines local history and mural arts with a handful of diverse eateries. Local Roots’ Midtown Arts excursion takes place at 2 p.m. daily, and includes samplings of everything from pad Thai and pizza to French macarons. The locally based company hosts tours of other Sac neighborhoods and their edible offerings as well—such as Downtown Historical, which highlights foodie features along the city’s original main street, and Sutter District, home to a bevy of off-the-beaten path bars and restaurants. 

Las Vegas Walking Tours in Las Vegas, Nevada

Don a wireless audio headset and discover Vegas beyond the strip. This insider day tour features stops like the former site of the city’s first train station, historic Fremont Street—home to Old Vegas history, as well as a 200,000-gallon shark aquarium. Amble through the Downtown Container Park, an open-air shopping and entertainment venue built out of shipping containers. A 40-foot-tall metal praying mantis, originally built for the week-long Burning Man festival in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, stands as the park’s unofficial mascot. The .7 mile tour is family friendly, though there’s also a similar night version reserved for those 21-years-old and over.


Tours by Locals: History and Art of Salt Lake City in Salt Lake City, Utah 

Delve into Salt Lake City’s vast immigrant past and discover lesser-known neighborhoods like Plum Alley—Utah’s original Chinatown—and Japantown, home to more than 2,000 Japanese people for almost a century. Local guide Kevin Earl leads up to six people on this customizable two-hour walk, which also includes visits to the city’s historic Greek and Italian communities, as well as a German bakery for snacks. Tours begin and end at downtown’s Brigham Young Statue and are priced per group, making it ideal for a group of friends or a family with teens interested in learning more about SLC’s diverse heritage.

A group listens to a tour guide on the Unseen Missoula's Basements and Back Alleys tour.
Unseen Missoula's Basements and Back Alleys tour.
Athena Photography / Downtown Missoula Partnership

Unseen Missoula Walking Tours in Missoula, Montana

With several guided walking tours to choose from, Unseen Missoula is a program from Heritage Missoula and the Downtown Missoula Partnership that introduces visitors and local residents alike to this university city’s unique history. While their aptly named Basements and Back Alleys tour takes a look at Missoula’s transition from frontier town to a major economic and cultural hub, the Hotels and Hooligans tour showcases daily life during the city’s railroad boom. For the complicated story of Missoula’s ‘red light district,’ which also housed Chinese laborers, African American soldiers, and immigrants who helped shape the city, don’t miss Unseen Missoula’s Carnal Enterprises tour. Tours typically run between April and September, although dates and times vary. 

Historic Downtown Cody Walking Tour in Cody, Wyoming 

Travel back in time to Cody’s frontier days on a self-guided stroll through downtown that was created in partnership with the Buffalo Bill Center of the West and Park County Travel Council. Simply download the free app, and hear the stories that have shaped this Rodeo Capital of the World. Learn about showman William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody, a legendary figure of America’s Old West and one of the town’s co-founders, as well as that of the Cody Stampede Rodeo and its more than 100-year history. Discover iconic spots such as the classic Irma Hotel, named after Cody’s daughter, and the Chamberlin Inn, where novelist Ernest Hemingway once stayed. Swing by the supposedly haunted J.H. Vogel Building, now a western wear retailer that was once a mortuary.