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5 Self-Drive City Tours for Your 2021 Travel Calendar

  • Travel Guides
  • Celine Jerly
  • 5 minutes

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City Tours from the comfort and safety of your own car – no better way to cautiously kick-off your 2021 travel while the world continues to heal from the COVID crisis.   

After a year of armchair traveling, it’s time to step out and feed your wanderlust. Although many international destinations are slowly opening their doors to travelers, it’s better to tread carefully. Keep the jet-setting on hold for now; meanwhile, you can explore or rediscover must-visit cities in the US to keep your 2021 travel calendar packed.   

Popular tourist attractions across the country are back in action, with necessary health safety precautions and regulations. Even restaurants, shops, cafes, bars, hotels, and vacation rentals are back on track with services adapted to the new normal. There’s nothing stopping you from having a good time exploring top US cities on your own. Self-drive city tours are the safest and cheapest way to put your 2021 travel plans into action right now. Apart from the safety of traveling in your own vehicle with people you know, self-drive city tours also give you the freedom to manage your time according to your interests and needs.   


A day out in your own city or a road trip for the weekend, we have rounded up the top US city tours you can add to your 2021 travel to-do list:    

Boston City Tour  

Revolutionary history, Red Sox, architectural marvels, Irish pubs, parks and gardens, clam chowder, Beacon Hill, and Boston Harbor – your Boston city tour is limitless; there’s just so much to see and do in the Massachusetts capital. Short on time? The Freedom Trail, Fenway Park, the Boston Public Garden, and Quincy Market are some of the must-visit places in Boston. If you are looking for hidden gems, Acorn Street, Adams National Historical Park, and the Black Heritage Trail might interest you. Head to Charlestown to check out the traditional Irish pubs. The Harbor Shipyard and waterfront parks in East Boston are worth a visit too. You can’t miss Boston’s finest seafood delicacies – the Barking Crab, Union Oyster House, Row 34, and Boston Sail Loft are some of the top-rated places to eat in Boston.    

city tours

New York City Tour  

Before you brush-off the New York City Tours as too touristy, give the megacity a chance to prove otherwise. It’s not all about the Times Square and SoHo – delve a little deeper, and you would have a memorable city tour of New York to mark on your 2021 travel highlights. Looking to rediscover NYC and refresh your memories at the city’s top attractions? The 9/11 Memorial and Museum, American Museum of Natural History, and Castle Clinton National Monument must make it to your itinerary. The Elevated Acre, Renwick Hospital, and the Berlin Wall display at Midtown plaza could be the hidden gems on your New Your city tour.    

Philadelphia City Tour  

Philly might not be the first city that comes to your mind when you think of planning a city tour. With its colonial history, offbeat museums, and waterfront, the Pennsylvania city offers a variety of things to do and places to see. Start in downtown Philadelphia, called Centre City – the Independence Hall, Liberty Bell, the Museum District, Rittenhouse Square, and other popular Philadelphia attractions are right here. Philly is a great city to get around by car; you could park your car at a downtown Philadelphia parking garage and do the Center City tour on foot. Head on to Penn’s Landing waterfront area or Fairmount Park to relax. Don’t forget to capture the old charm of Society Hill and also visit the City Hall, museums, and galleries around Logan Square.    

city tours

San Francisco City Tour  

Cable cars, Victorian homes, bay views, hilly streets, hippie culture, and museums – San Franciso City tours are as diverse as it can get! You can start early by driving to Fisherman’s Warf and watch the sea lions at Pier 39. A visit to the Golden Gate Bridge is a staple for San Franciso City tours, and you can follow it up with a short drive to the Golden Gate Park. A drive over the bridge will take you to the Muir Woods, where you can walk among giant redwood trees. Union Square, Chinatown, Haight Street, Lombard Street, and the Palace of Fine Arts are a few other places to add to your San Francisco City Tour itinerary.    

Seattle City Tour  

The trendy neighborhoods, LIVE Art Scene, coffee culture, and craft breweries of Seattle will make sure you have a great time exploring this fascinating city. From top tourist attractions like the Pike Place Market and Space Needle to local favorites like Gas Works Park, you choose your Seattle experience as per your interests. Do explore the city’s coffee culture beyond the ‘original’ Starbucks — you will find many more cafes and small eateries at Pike Place Market itself. Brewery tours are another option to get a taste of authentic Seattle. Try the Pike Brewing Company, Reuben’s Brews, and Stoup Brewing. Make sure to add the Chihuly Garden and Glass, Museum of Pop Culture, the Olympic Sculpture Park to your Seattle must-visit list.     

Driving around is a different experience in each city. Planning in advance can solve a lot of challenges that come with self-drive city tours. Remember to factor in the time needed to drive from one stop on your city tour to another. Keep track of rush hours and regulations to avoid traffic delays. Book your parking in busy neighborhoods beforehand to avoid last-minute hassles. Try not to depend on street parking so that you can enjoy your city tour without worrying about time limits and parking violations.   

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