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Fun Things To Do In Lower Manhattan

Visit The Intrepid Sea Air And Space Museum

LOWER EAST SIDE, Manhattan- 10 BEST Things To Do (NYC Travel Guide) !

Have you ever been on a submarine? You can do just that at this museum, which proudly charts Americas military and maritime history from Word War II to the space race.

Explore the Space Shuttle Pavilion and be amazed at original artifacts from the Marine Corps and NASA. There is an aircraft carrier and a supersonic reconnaissance plane to check out too.

Visit The Flatiron Building

The flatiron building in lower Manhattan. One of the best things to do in lower Manhattan.

Perhaps one of the most instantly recognizable pieces of architecture in all of Lower Manhattan is the Flatiron Building in Gramercy.

Its got that iconic, well, flatiron-like shape that was the brainchild of Daniel Burnham, who first built the structure way back in ye olde 1902, when it was still known as the Fuller Building.

Since then though, the narrow, triangular shape of this 20-story, traditional beaux-arts limestone building has become somewhat legendary and is now easily one of the top things to do in lower Manhattan.

For the best photo ops though, capture it from the traffic island that sits on 23rd street, right in between Broadway and Fifth Avenue.

Whatever you do though, do NOT photograph it straight on since youll totally lose the beautiful shape of the building.

Address: 175 5th Ave, New York, NY 10010

Hours: Open twenty-four hours a day since youll just be admiring it from the outside.

Price: Free .

How to Get There: Take the R or W train from Times Square to 23rd street station and walk to the building from there.

Take A Tour Of The Met

The Metropolitan Museum of Art was originally opened in 1870, but not in the location you see today which is known by few. Nine years later the current building was opened and has been its home ever since, but like any home it has been subject to renovations, additions, and improvements for this growing family of art!

The collection is one of the greatest on Earth which is why you absolutely cannot miss it. We recommend you take a tour of the MET since it will elevate your experience. Local guides in NYC are passionate and will save you from a less than awesome experience where you stare and wonder what you are looking at.

Also, check out our articles on what to see at the MET. They are super-comprehensive but not meant to replace a tour. I find when I do background research on a museum it becomes even more interesting when I actually explore with a guide.

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Have I Covered All Of What To See In Lower Manhattan

Of course not! That would be nearly impossible in the city that never sleeps.

Hopefully, though, this Lower Manhattan itinerary helps you explore like a local and get the most from your time in Downtown Manhattan.

Which things would you like to do in Lower Manhattan?

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/11 Memorial And Museum


More than one person highly recommended I visit the 9/11 Memorial and Museum before my last trip to the city, My friend Mike advises that you should sign up in advance for the guided tour. You get to crawl around the foundation of the 2 towers, many amazing artifacts. Spoiler alert, you will cry.

I was at the 9/11 site within 4 months of the attack when the site was still covered with memorials and pictures of those who were missing and it was moving and very interesting to return to the site now that it is a memorial. The memorial is at ground level and open to the public. The original shape of the foundations of the towers of the World Trade Center have been turned into a memorial reflecting pool with the names of the victims engraved on the side.

The 9/11 museum is much more about the victims and the heroic response than the act of terrorism. If you dont take a tour you can still save yourself some time by buying skip the line tickets ahead of time.

  • Admission to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum is included in .

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Y Like Theres No Tomorrow At Alphabet City

Aint no party like an ABC party the legendary neighborhood where numbers and letters begin!

A post shared by Andrew on Nov 12, 2019 at 4:50pm PST

Lou Reed and Madonna are among the long line of artists that once haunted these avenues where party people still kick it all night long in the best places for live music and dancing. Two spots not to miss are:

  • Rockwood Music Hall: This huge and eclectic venue has three stages, some with a friendly one drink minimum. Rockwood makes it easy to discover new bands and music.
  • Lola: Formerly known as Coney Island Baby, this venue captures the grungier old vibe of Alphabet City. Great live music you can dance to with a cheap cover charge.
  • If were not too hungover tomorrow, theres plenty more. Like speakeasies, a popular trend right now NYC is full of them. Or a trip through Tribeca! In winter, theres 6 River Terrace, a Battery Park community center offering everything from Indie Craft Fairs to Film Noir screening nights to Zumba dancing!

    Breakfast And Lunch In Lower Manhattan

    Conveniently located next to one another on the corner of William Street and Beaver Street , you will find the perfect breakfast and lunch options for a traditional New York visit.

    Breakfast Leos Bagels

    Bagels are something of a New York specialty and in Leos you have the perfect Lower Manhattan bagel breakfast. The line is always long here so arrive early to beat the hungry finance workers!

    Lunch Underground Pizza

    Exactly the experience you want from a traditional New York City pizza place. Super friendly owners and staff, great pizza in a hidden gem hole-in-the-wall type joint, no frills and by the slice.

    Perfect refueling spot on your Lower Manhattan itinerary.

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    Stop By Please Dont Tell A Secret Speakeasy In New York City

    Travel back to nester-year at this secret, prohibition era, St. Marks Place speakeasy.

    So hidden in fact:

    That the only way you can gain access to this dark and mysterious bar is through a nondescript, vintage phone booth at Crif Dogs .

    And once you do find the aforementioned phone booth:

    Youll need to dial a super-secret telephone number just to get inside.


    After youre in, youll enjoy the most glamorous parts of the roaring twenties and early thirties in this low key, relaxed feeling bar.

    A bar that comes complete with chic leathered booths and quirky beyond belief animal heads affixed to the walls.


    The real highlight of any trip to this fantastic, New York City bar is a taste of one of their premier cocktails, which are all served to you by the former, Pegu mixologist, Jim Meehan.


    Im not gonna spill the beans on their uber-delightful drinks menu since part of the fun of this place is discovering their awesome selection of drinks upon arrival.

    And if you need something to soak up all that alcohol goodness:

    Then feel free to treat yo self to any of the delicious hot dogs served at Crifs next door.

    ***Before you stop by, be sure to make a reservation, by phone, since this bar can get extremely busy and wait times can regularly exceed an hour without booking a table in advance***

    Address: 113 St Marks Place, New York, New York, 10009

    Hours: Open Sunday through Thursday from 5:00 pm to 2:00 am and Friday/Saturday from 5:00 pm to 3:00 am.

    Unusual Things To Do In New York City: Manhattan

    Things to do in LOWER MANHATTAN – if you only have 2 hours! (NEW YORK CITY travel video)

    Were gonna start this wicked awesome post off right by exploring some of the most unusual things to do in Manhattan, the most famous of New Yorks five boroughs.

    Because even though Manhattan is home to some of New York Citys most iconic attractions , there are a wealth of super quirky, totally unusual things to do here.

    Places youd only really know about if youve lived in New York City for twenty plus years, like me.

    Luckily for you though, Im about to share all of my insider secrets about some of the most unusual things to do in New York City, at least if youre planning on exploring Manhattan.

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    Take A Breath Of Nature In The City

    Besides Central Park, Lower Manhattan is the most lushly natural setting to be found on the main island of New York City. Indians made great use of the land in the past, and there are plenty of spots to enjoy in the present. Its very outdoorsy.

    Start the journey to Lower Manhattan with a brisk stroll or casual amble down the High Line, a former elevated railway that is based on a French concept. It has been converted to a pedestrian pathway high above the streets that is decorated with vegetation and flora.

    A post shared by Beautiful NYC on Nov 1, 2019 at 6:05am PDT

    After picking up some literature, soak in some peace at the appropriately and efficiently named Battery Gardens. These days The Gardens include a Bosque and an Urban Farm. It even hosts open Air Yoga. Can you imagine old-timey New Yorkers in those positions?

    And its not exactly nature, but the urban jungle called Lower Manhattan provides a fantastic canvas for enterprising graffiti artists. So be sure to take a minute to stop and admire the murals!

    Check Out The Used Books At Strand Bookstore

    The miles of used books youll find at Strand used bookstore in Lower Manhattan.

    Known for being one of the best bookstores in NYC, Strand is a straight-up New York institution.

    And that makes sense once you realize that this fine purveyor of used books in lower Manhattan is home to 2.5 million books that span a glorious length of 16 miles.

    Yeah, I see that skeptical look on your face right now. But no, Im NOT exaggerating. This place is THAT gigantic.

    However, in spite of its massive size, this bookstore is still pretty well-known and is located right next door to Union Square.

    Therefore, it can get quite crowded and is best visited on a quiet, weekday morning.

    Although, what this place lacks in solitude, it more than makes up for with top-notch customer service since the staff here are incredibly knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful, easily making any book-buying experience here a total joy .

    Oh, and another super cool fact for you? This place was actually first opened by Benjamin Bass in 1927, an immigrant from Lithuania whose family now owns one of the oldest bookstores in all of NYC.

    Yup, true story.

    Also, dont leave without visiting the third floor. Its brimming over with an awe-inspiring collection of rare books that are all for sale. Which is kind of appealing if you have an extra $300+ lying around to spend on the super rare, antique, leather-bound book of your choice.

    Address: 828 Broadway, New York, NY 10003

    Price: Free, unless you want to buy a book.

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    What To Do In Lower Manhattan

    A guide of what to do in Lower Manhattan. This section of New York City is where you will find the Financial District, the 9/11 Memorial, and the ferry to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty.

    Wondering what to do in Lower Manhattan? On my most recent trip to New York City, I focused my time on exploring this part of the city that I had overlooked in the past. New York City has so much to see that I like to pick a different neighborhood to visit each time I am in town. This time I picked Lower Manhattan since I had only been there a couple of times, even though I lived in NYC for two years. It turns out that Lower Manhattan has so much to see and do.

    Ride The Staten Island Ferry


    If you want to check out the Statue of Liberty from the water without paying the price for a tour, head to the Staten Island Ferry.

    Its free to ride on and youll have a fabulous view of Lady Liberty, Ellis Island, and Governors Island.

    Locals Tip: Once you get to Staten Island, stop by Enoteca Maria. A different Italian grandmother is invited to cook for the house each night.

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    Take A Free Ferry To Staten Island

    As you walk around Battery Park and along the waterfront you will notice enormous orange ferries out in the bay. That is the Staten Island ferry and its free to hop on any time of day.

    Many first time visitors to New York take the free Staten Island ferry to get close up views over the Statue of Liberty without having to pay. Its a great idea if youre traveling on a frugal budget but its nothing like taking the tour of Liberty Island.

    What do you do once you arrive in the southernmost of NYCs 5 boroughs?

    Well, you can explore the Staten Island zoo, Snug Harbor cultural center and botanical garden, Fort Wadsworth, Staten Island childrens museum and the Franklin D Roosevelt boardwalk and beach.

    With just a few days in NYC we wouldnt recommend visiting Staten Island, theres just too much else to see and do. But if you have a week in the city, you can afford to spare a half day here.

    Staten Island Ferry leaves from South Ferry red subway line terminal. You cant miss the building with enormous letters out front.

    Eat A Red Velvet Cake Black & White Cookie And/or Ny Cheesecake

    Neither of these dishes is native to NYC, but both have gone pro in this most metropolitan of cities. Where do you go to try one or ideally both of these dishes? Lilis Bake Shop on 7th & 53rd. We also like Venieros, City Cakes, and Buttercup Bake Shop.

    Their specialty is the Dirty Cheesecake which is delicious, but you could cross cheesecake, red velvet, and the famous black & white cookie off your list here. D-LISH!

    For more food tips, check out our post on the top foods to try in NYC!

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    Walk Through Lower Manhattans The Battery Gardens

    Battery Park is a waterfront park with harbor views stretching across a half mile along the southwestern edge of Lower Manhattan.

    Gardens of the Battery is the largest perennial garden in North America. The park offers the perfect place in Lower Manhattan to take a slow walk, go for a morning run, take the dog for a walk and relax.

    Castle Clinton is at the heart of Battery Park, an old historic fort and now home to Statue Cruises. Climb a set of stairs to a roof deck viewing platform looking directly over the Hudson to the Statue of Liberty and New Jersey.

    The Museum of Jewish Heritage and the National Museum of the American Indian are both within or on the border with Battery Park. Perfect for a rainy day.

    Open all year and always free, this public green parkland is a welcome break from towering concrete skyscrapers.

    Visit City Hall Subway Station

    10 Free Things To Do In New York City (for Tourists and Visitors)

    In 1904, New Yorks very first subway ride left from City Hall Station. Its one of the grandest stations still in existence today.

    Even though its no longer active, the 6 train still uses the station as a turnaround. If you get lucky, you may catch a glimpse of its beautiful architecture as the train changes direction.

    These days the only way to visit the station is by scoring tickets to the tour offered by the New York Transit Museum.

    Book early, as dates fill up fast.

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    Revolutionary War History Tour

    This tour is well-suited for children interested in history, in British-occupied precolonial New York.

    Learn more about the famous historical figures you already know such as George Washington and Alexander Hamilton as well as lesser-known but just as important patriots like John Jay.

    Tours run 10 am Wednesdays, Fridays, 11 am, Saturdays, 12 pm Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays. $40 per person. You can book tickets here.

    American Museum Of Natural History

    Address: Central Park West & 79th St, New York, NY 10024

    The American Museum of Natural History was founded in 1869 and has become one of the preeminent museums of natural history in the world. Museum exhibits include the famous fossils and dinosaur halls, earth and planetary, birds and reptiles, biodiversity and the environment and human origin and cultural halls.

    The museum is open Wednesday to Sunday, 10am-5:30pm. Tickets must be purchased online in advance, so plan ahead. > > Book your tickets here

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    Hang Out In Washington Square Park

    Washington Square Park is as much a part of New York history as the Empire State Building or Central Park which is why it is the landmark square of Greenwich Village. Imagine Bob Dylan or Andy Warhol must have passed more than a few afternoons there doing whatever artists do.

    In the center of the park, youll find a larger fountain framed by the triumphant arch which is pretty epic and a great place to snap a pic. On warm days youll find musicians busking in the square which can be more than youd believe. Ive listened to a student play a mini-grand piano there which was one of the most beautiful aftrenoons of my life.

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