In New York City, all roads lead to Lower Manhattan. That’s not just because the neighborhood sits at the very southern end of the island, either. As a visitor to the city, you will likely visit at least one of our world-class attractions, like the Statue of Liberty, Wall Street, the 9/11 Museum and Memorial and the endlessly popular Charging Bull and Fearless Girl statues.
Here are eight more must-see attractions in Lower Manhattan:
While exploring the Wall Street area you’re likely to snap a photo of George Washington out on Federal Hall’s front steps, yet you might not realize that inside is a museum that tells the historic tale of this important building. Inside Federal Hall, the first American Congress met, implemented the Constitution and passed the Bill of Rights. Here, the Office of the President was created and George Washington was inaugurated.
Speaking of George Washington, it was just up the road at what is now (and was then!) Fraunces Tavern where Washington officially declared the end of the American Revolutionary War and sent this generals home. Today there is a museum and restaurant inside this historical highlight. Alexander Hamilton would likely also have been present that day, and he was at a dinner here just one week before his fatal duel with Aaron Burr. Today, you can see his gravestone just up the road at Trinity Church.
National Museum of the American Indian
From Trinity Church, head south down Broadway past the Charging Bull and Fearless Girl statues, to find the National Museum of the American Indian, an expansive, free museum dedicated to the knowledge and understanding of Native cultures in the western hemisphere. Get your cameras ready, as the architecture is as breathtaking as the exhibits themselves.
Continue walking west along The Battery and you’ll arrive at the SeaGlass Carousel. Ride inside an iridescent fish and glide around and across the spiraling glass pavilion for a mystical underwater experience that transports you into a dreamlike state for a few minutes out of your day. The inexpensive tickets and Instagramable magic make this the perfect break for children of all ages.
Museum of Jewish Heritage
When you are transported back to reality (or you return from the Statue of Liberty cruise) head further west along the water to the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust. The Museum is focused on educating visitors from around the world on Jewish life through engaging exhibits, programs and educational resources. Set right on the water, the museum’s gorgeous light and views of the Statue are hard to beat. If you’re hungry, definitely grab a bite to eat at Lox, the museum cafe. Pay a visit to the Skyscraper Museum just across the street as well, to learn more about the fascinating structures that make the NYC so iconic.
China Institute of America
From the water, head north to the China Institute, tucked up on the second floor of 100 Washington Street. This is the very definition of a hidden gem. While small, the quality of the gallery’s exhibits is exceptional, as are the nightly events and curriculum of classes that connect you with China’s past, present and future.
9/11 Tribute Museum
While a visit to the 9/11 Museum and Memorial is an absolute must, the nearby 9/11 Tribute Museum – created by the families of the victims of September 11th – brings an educational experience designed especially for kids and families in mind. The Tribute Museum gives people a place to connect with the 9/11 community through its exhibits, events and programming, and focuses on the spirit and generosity that arose after the attacks.
One World Observatory
From here, make sure to continue north to the World Trade Center campus and head up to One World Observatory, 102 stories above ground, for a bird’s eye view of all that you just explored down below.