Friends of a friend just started Local Expeditions, a service giving visitors and locals alike a chance to explore cities with a guide who is a real “insider” based on specific interests. My expedition was with Rebecca Cole, who is a renowned garden designer (and also a friend). She did a really fun, very insidery, Soho Garden Tour of three hotels where she has designed all the greenery and plantings inside and out.
We started at the Soho Grand’s Dog Park before moving on to the hotel’s pop-up tropical hangout, Gilligan’s. We then wandered over to the James Hotel where plants and art provide a lush patio and restaurant area. Our expedition ended at Sixty Soho (which was my favorite – just gorgeous!!).
For $40 this is a fantastic way to spend an afternoon with up to 10 people who share similar interests and if all the locals/insiders are on a par with Rebecca, you will have an absolutely outstanding time. We learned about what it takes to plant gardens in NYC hotels, the legal and aesthetic hurdles,what plants do best in this environment, and even dog favorites. Also lots of funny background stories and you get to meet great people – we were all exchanging our snapchat handles by the end of the day.
Currently only available in NYC/Brooklyn and Boston. Also, keep this in mind: if you are outgoing, personable, well-connected and knowledgeable about topics that people are always asking you about, check out the site (here) to sign up as an expedition guide.
More photos below.