Experts claim that spending time outdoors is now more important than ever during this time of social distancing and isolation due to the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic. Keeler Tavern Museum & History Center (KTM&HC) has just the thing: A free, 11-stop, outdoor walking tour on its four-acre site called Gilberts in the Gardens.

“Cass Gilbert and his wife, Julia Finch Gilbert, purchased the Resseguie Hotel (former Keeler Tavern) in 1907 during the Gilded Age and made many changes to the property — from designing the Garden House, Rose Arbor, and Walled Garden, to adding a kitchen onto the former Keeler Tavern,” said Hildegard Grob, executive director at KTM&HC. “We recently created a walking tour of each of these Gilbert landmarks to allow people to experience this important period of history at their own pace.”

The walking tour is an inviting, meandering experience where visitors can take in history while still social distancing. It provides a perfect outlet for families and others relegated to the house for long hours.

“As long as people adhere to social-distancing recommendations of at least six feet between them and refrain from touching the signage, the walking tour can be both a learning tool and a much-needed break outside,” said Grob.

Indeed, many experts claim that spending time outside is essential to build immune systems and for mental health. Grob views the walking tour as a community service. “Our site is lovely every day of the year, but we are especially important now as a regional history center during an historically unprecedented time.”

The Gilberts-in-the-Gardens self-guided walking tour is open to visitors for outdoor enjoyment during daylight. All stops are numbered. For more information, contact KTM&HC at info@keelertavernmuseum.org.

KTM&HC tells 300 years of the town’s — and nation’s — history through the lives of its past residents. The 4-acre historic site, including the Keeler Tavern Museum, Cass Gilbert-designed Garden House, Carriage Barn and Gardens, is currently open for outdoor enjoyment only pursuant to state and local health guidelines for social distancing in the time of the coronavirus. Additional information about the site, including updates about programming and events, as well as rental of the Cass Gilbert-designed Garden House and Walled Garden, can be found at keelertavernmuseum.org, @KeelerTavernMuseum on Facebook and Instagram, and @KeelerTavern on Twitter.