Many New York visitors don’t realize that the tip of Manhattan the Financial District is a great place to visit, with historic sights, fashionable hotels and a picturesque waterfront with green space, parks and public events.
1. Pay tribute to the victims of the September 11 World Trade Center attacks at the Tribute WTC Visitor Center, 120 Liberty St., a moving and place where visitors can take walking tours and see exhibits. The Visitor Center was set up until the completion of the Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center site in 2009. Walking tours around the perimeter of the WTC site are offered.
2. See where this country’s major financial decisions are made, at the Federal Reserve, 33 Liberty St., between Nassau and William Streets. Tours of the Fed take place Monday through Friday at 9:30, 10:30 and 11:30 a.m., and at 1:30 and 2:30 p.m. Since all visitors are screened for security, it’s wise to arrive about 20 minutes early. Tours are free, but only 30 visitors per tour are permitted. Reserve a spot online or by calling (212) 720-6130.
3. Visit Trinity Church and St. Paul’sÂ Chapel, 2 historic churches in lower Manhattan now best-known for being close to the World Trade Center and surviving the destruction. Both welcome visitors. Trinity, an Episcopal parish founded in 1697, conducts tours 7 days a week at 2 p.m., and after the 11:15 a.m. mass every Sunday. It is on Broadway at Wall Street. The tiny St. Paul’s Chapel permits self-guided tours during non-worship hours. Look for their current exhibit, “Unwavering Spirit: Hope and Healing at Ground Zero,” which chronicles the role the chapel played in the months after 9/11. St. Paul’s is on Broadway and Fulton Street.
4. Send a day at Battery Park City, an oasis of green space, parks, playgrounds, sculpture gardens and museums at the very tip of Manhattan. Wander along the paths and walkways of Wagner Park, where you can eat lunch in one of its restaurants, view the Statue of Liberty from the roof deck, or visit the Museum of Jewish Heritage.
5. See where George Washington bid an emotional farewell to his officers at the end of the Revolutionary war–Fraunces Tavern, now a museum located at 54 Pearl Street, at Broad Street. The Museum, which was a tavern in the 1760s, houses 2 reconstructed period rooms including the Long Room, site of Washington’s farewell to his officers, and the Clinton Dining Room, where Dewitt Clinton commemorated the British evacuation of North America. Admission is $2.50 adults, $1 students and seniors.
6. Spend quality time at the World Financial Center, in Battery Park City. This huge office building is a vibrant part of the lower Manhattan, offering shops, restaurants and a host of events year-round in its fabulous lobby space, the Winter Garden. This spring, for example, the Winter Garden will host a children’s program by the New York Theatre Ballet. In the Financial Center plaza April 24-26, the Tribeca Film Festival will hold its “drive-in” event, where films are screened for free.