Most tourists stick to midtown, especially on their first visit to the city.
I understand why they do. In fact, my first visit to the city my mom and I barely went below 42nd Street.
Now that I’m a local, I go downtown all the time.
Downtown NYC is one of my favorite places in the world to go out at night.
There are jazz clubs, historic dive bars, delicious restaurants, and plenty of young people out and looking for a good time.
You truly never know who you’re going to meet next or what adventure is waiting just around the corner in this magical city. It feels like anything is possible!
Downtown is pretty solid during the day as well, there are fabulous places to lunch, plenty of museums and historical sites to see, and beautiful parks to picnic in.
No matter what time you go there’s plenty to do, and now that I’ve created the ultimate list of things to do in lower Manhattan (below 14th street), you have no excuse not to head downtown on your next trip!
1. One World Observatory
This is easily one of my favorite touristy things to do in NYC.
It’s the 8th tallest building in the world and the view from One World Observatory is a must-see for locals and tourists alike.
On a clear day you can see five states from the observation deck.
Though my favorite time to go is sunset, the views of the city are out of this world.
2. Visit the 9/11 Memorial Plaza
While you’re in the area, visit the 9/11 Memorial to pay your respects to those who lost their lives.
It’s totally free to visit and a beautiful tribute to the historic past of the site.
They set the fountains on the footprints of the original Twin Towers and the outer rims of the railings around the fountains list every name of the people who were lost in the terror attacks in 1993 and in 2001.
3. See the 9/11 Museum
Alongside the 9/11 Memorial Park, you’ll find the 9/11 Museum.
I’ll warn you now, it’s worth a visit, but will probably leave you really feeling low the rest of the day.
They built the museum in the archeological site of the original World Trade Center.
The exhibits in the North Tower’s footprint will take you through all the history of the terror attacks in 1993, the attack on September 11, 2011, and the aftermath as the city and the country grappled with the massive loss.
When you visit the exhibit in the footprint of the South Tower, focus more on personal narratives from survivors, family, and first responders.
Book your tickets early to guarantee entry!
4. Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge
Strolling across this iconic bridge is my favorite way to get to Brooklyn during the summer.
It’s a beautiful walk that allows you to catch glimpses of The Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline.
Fair warning, it gets pretty breezy on the bridge, even during the summer, so dress accordingly.
5. Take a Tour of the Federal Reserve Bank of NY
Okay, so this probably isn’t up everyone’s alley, but it’s a free tour and you get to see behind the scenes at one of the 12 Federal Reserves.
They typically offered tours during the weekday afternoons unless it’s a bank holiday (which makes sense).
The coolest part is that you get to check out their gold vault. All the gold you’ll see is there for safekeeping on behalf of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and official international organizations.
Like I mentioned earlier, the tour is totally free, you just have to sign up ahead of time.
Also heads up, they require you to print out your tickets and bring a valid form of ID.
Fun Fact: As of 2019, the vault houses roughly 497,000 gold bars!
6. Explore South Street Seaport
I have to admit, my first time checking out South Street Seaport was just a few years ago after a friend got a job in the area.
The area is one of the oldest and most historical neighborhoods in Manhattan.
If you want to learn all about the area’s history, stop by the South Street Seaport Museum.
Today it’s filled with lots of adorable boutiques, cafes, and bars and provides a magnificent view of the Brooklyn Bridge and Statue of Liberty.
Local’s Tip: Stop by Bowne and Co. Stationers to shop at one of the oldest operating businesses in New York. They were established in 1775!
7. Visit the Museum of Jewish Heritage
The Museum of Jewish Heritage is a must visit despite being quite a sober place.
I rarely partake in audio tours, but am so glad my friend talked me into it.
The tour was super helpful. I highly recommended choosing the audio tour option when you visit.
You’ll learn all about the Holocaust, WWII, Auschwitz, and the stories of survivors.
Learn from my mistake and don’t forget to bring some tissues!
8. Catch a Show at Minetta Lane Theatre
This Off-Broadway theater in Greenwich village is one of my favorites because they really enforce their “No Phones” policy.
You’ll never end up with an inconsiderate viewer’s phone interrupting a key scene because they actually require everyone to essentially coat check their phones before entering the theater.
I’ll be the first to admit, I got a bit of anxiety about not having access to my phone during intermission, but by the end of the night it felt freeing to be totally cut off from technology.
Minetta Lane puts on some wonderful productions, so keep an eye out on their website for shows running while you’ll be in town.
9. See the Statue of Liberty
You can spot Lady Liberty from multiple points in Manhattan, but it’s next level seeing her up close in New York Harbor.
Booking a tour will get you access to Liberty Island and give you the opportunity to take the perfect selfie with the most famous Lady in Manhattan.
If you want the chance to go inside her, book a tour with pedestal access or crown access to go all the way to the top.
These tickets sell out weeks in advance, so plan extra early on this one!
Fun Fact: The Statue of Liberty was a gift from France. She’s one of the world’s most recognizable landmarks and a symbol of New York.
10. Explore Ellis Island Immigration Museum
While you’re checking out Lady Liberty, make a day out of it and spend some time checking out Ellis Island’s Immigration Museum.
You’ll learn all about the island’s history, plus stories about immigrants that traveled through Ellis Island on their way to a better life.
You can even try to trace any ancestors that may have passed through the access point.
History buffs will love this place!
Plan your visit early, since you won’t want to miss seeing this NYC icon up and Ellis Island close!
11. Visit the Federal Hall National Memorial
This is the place that George Washington took his first oath as President, and the building was the first to host the original Congress, Supreme Court, and Executive Branches of government.
These days, the Federal Hall National Memorial includes a museum and memorial dedicated to George Washington and the beginnings of the United States of America.
They have exhibits featuring the history of the building, but the real highlight is seeing the original bible Washington was sworn in on.
You can take a guided tour or go on a self-guided one depending on your preference. Just check ahead for hours and stop by the visitor’s center in the lobby when you arrive.
12. 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.
It’s free to ride on and you’ll have a fabulous view of Lady Liberty, Ellis Island, and Governors Island.
Local’s Tip: Once you get to Staten Island, stop by Enoteca Maria. A different Italian grandmother is invited to cook for the house each night.
13. Explore Battery Park
Battery Park is at the very tip of Manhattan, near where you catch the ferry to the Statue of Liberty.
Newly renamed “The Battery”, this small park is known for its famous Sea Glass Carousel.
It also has beautiful flower gardens and birdwatching tours.
You can also check out Castle Clinton, the circular sandstone fort that’s on the water’s edge.
It was the first American Immigration station and even used to house the New York Aquarium in the late 1800s.
14. Wander Down Wall Street
Time your visit just right and you’ll hear the infamous New York Stock Exchange bell.
They ring it twice per day, once to open the exchange (9:30 AM) and once to close it (4 PM).
Security is tight after 9/11 so the only way to gain access to the interior of the Stock Exchange is if you know someone or you catch the rare student tour.
You’ll also want to check out the famous Charging Bull and Fearless Girl statues located right down the street.
15. Visit City Hall Subway Station
In 1904, New York’s very first subway ride left from City Hall Station. It’s one of the grandest stations still in existence today.
Even though it’s no longer active, the 6 train still uses the station as a turnaround.
If you get lucky, you may catch a glimpse of it’s 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.
16. Walk the Canyon of Heroes
Until recently, I did not know the Canyon of Heroes existed.
In fact, a lot of my local friends hadn’t heard it until I brought it up.
Basically, it’s like New York’s version of the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Except instead of celebrities, NYC’s sidewalks feature over 200 plaques commemorating every ticker tape parade to take place in the city.
Are you wondering what a ticker tape parade is?
It’s essentially the city’s version of a victory celebration parade. The honorees ride down Broadway and have confetti (previously tinker tape) thrown at them.
Some of the most famous plaques include one for the Centennial of George Washington’s inauguration, Amelia Earhart’s first transatlantic flight, Winston Churchill’s visit to NYC, and the successful Apollo 11 mission.
17. Pay a Visit to Trinity Church
My Mom and I wandered into this church for the first time, not knowing any of its history.
From the moment we entered, we felt it was a special place.
In the days after 9/11, the St. Paul’s Chapel provided a place of refuge for those helping to dig through the rubble.
Trinity Church still has letters and gifts of gratitude on display from 9/11. I highly recommend stopping by for a quick visit.
Fun Fact: The church is also the site of Alexander Hamilton’s grave.
18. Check Out the Oculus
The Oculus’s mezzanine level is filled with shops and the ceiling makes for an epic photo.
Architecture lovers should spend some time admiring the modern and eye-catching design of this building.
It’s absolutely worth checking out if you’re in the area.
It’s also a major subway hub, making it an easy place to check out on your way to your next destination.
There's no such thing as having too many little black dresses, and this one is perfect since it's easy to dress up or down.
19. Visit the African Burial Ground National Monument
Although small, this museum blew me away with its beautiful design and the amount of history it takes you through.
This is a museum everyone should visit in their lifetime. It’s eye-opening to hear the stories of slavery and about what slaves in New York went through in the city’s early days.
The staff at the African Burial Ground National Monument are really friendly and quick to answer questions you have.
Don’t forget to stop and pay your respects outside the museum.
The burial ground, which is now listed as a National Historic Monument, was discovered in the early 1990s.
They unearthed 419 bodies of slaves during construction.
They did not rebury the bodies until 2003, with the memorial site officially opening in 2007.
20. Hop on a Dinner Cruise
Downtown NYC has a bunch of docks, so naturally a bunch of the dinner cruises that go around the city leave from lower Manhattan.
One of my very first nights in the city I ended up on one of these for orientation and it ended up being a total blast.
Seeing the skyline from the water is absolutely magical, plus you’ll get to see Lady Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge all lit up.
21. Grab Dessert in Little Italy
Truthfully, I don’t think most New Yorker’s go to Little Italy to eat a big Italian dinner anymore.
If you want legit Italian head to any of the spots on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx!
Most of Little Italy is pretty touristy and generic, though I’ll never pass up a chance to grab some dessert while nearby.
Ferrara’s Bakery is my go-to for a delicious cannoli that’s guaranteed to have a crispy outer shell and creamy filling.
They also do a really solid espresso that pairs perfectly with the pastry.
If you’re craving gelato or affogato, make your way to Mo Gelato to indulge yourself. I can almost promise that you’ll walk away with more than one scoop of their creamy gelato.
22. Take a Bike Ride
Biking around will always be one of my favorite ways to explore NYC.
Citibike makes it easier than ever with their convenient stations that are scattered around the city.
You can buy a day pass for $12 or a 3 day pass for $24, so it’s a pretty affordable way to get around.
Plus, you’ll get in enough exercise to justify that extra scoop of gelato!
23. Drink at a Historic Bar
There are shocking a few drinking establishments that have survived in New York since the 1770s.
The oldest operating bar, Fraunces Tavern, is a must-visit.
It’s been around since 1719 and counts George Washington as a previous patron.
They even have a small museum that includes a visit to the room where Washington bid adieu to his officers at the end of the Revolution.
While you’re out doing some historic drinking, stop by McSoreley’s.
Established in 1854, it’s the oldest Irish pub in the city.
Don’t forget to check out Houdini’s handcuffs that are still connected to the bar!
24. Take a Tour
New York is an extremely walkable city, so it shouldn’t come as a total shocker that there are a ton of walking tours available.
If walking tours aren’t your thing, don’t panic yet.
There are plenty of bus tours and even boat tours also available.
Book a spot on one of these popular downtown tours!
25. Shop at Brookfield Place
Across the street from One World Trade you’ll find the shopping mecca Brookfield Place.
They have tons of high end shops like Louis Vuitton and Gucci, plus high street brands like Club Monaco and J. Crew.
The building is beautifully designed and maintained and even has ice skating during the holidays!
26. Hang Out in Chinatown
No visit to the city would be complete without a bit of time spent exploring Chinatown.
My favorite thing to do while I’m in the area is to treat myself to lunch and a reflexology appointment.
First, I make my way to Spicy Village for a feast of spicy chicken Hui Mei with a side of garlic bok choy.
Then I go to Grand Nature for a bit of reflexology, which is basically an amazing foot massage where they hit pressure points in your feet.
27. Hit Up Essex Street Market
Essex Street Market has super high ceilings, giant glass windows, and an overall industrial look.
They also serve up delicious food and an impressive variety of grocery items.
The market has a few sit down places, though most are food court style, where you order then find a spot to sit and enjoy.
I recommend grabbing the Spinach lasagna at Mille Nonne or the Moroccan beef stew sandwich at Zerza Moroccan Kitchen.
It's lightweight, made from recycled materials, and waterproof. This might just be the best backpack ever.
28. Visit the National Museum of the American Indian
Inside the historic Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House, you’ll find the National Museum of the American Indian’s New York branch (the main one is in D.C.).
They host an array of permanent and temporary exhibits, plus music and dance performances and films that showcase the diversity of the Native Americans’ history and influence in the country.
Admission is free, making this a simple decision to add to your itinerary.
29. See a Show at The Public Theater
Venturing off-Broadway is a great option for entertainment, especially when it’s at The Public Theater.
This might be the most well-known Off-Broadway theater in New York, thanks to its groundbreaking show Hamilton.
If you’ve been living under rock and haven’t checked it out yet, grab tickets to the Broadway run or catch it on Disney+.
Truthfully, any show you catch here is likely to be fabulous. I can’t remember ever seeing a show here that I didn’t enjoy.
Don’t forget to check out Joe’s Pub. They host cabaret nights, concerts, and other performances.
30. Visit the High Line
This is the perfect place to escape the intensity of downtown with a walk through nature.
The High Line is a path built on old train tracks that runs from Gansevoort Street up to 34th Street.
Along the path you’ll find over 500 types of plants and trees, plus multiple art installations.
31. Visit Carrie Bradshaw’s Apartment
Sex and the City fans can typically be spotted a mile away teetering in their stilettos as they try to keep up with the New York pace.
You’ll always spot the true die-hard fans taking Instagram photos in front of the exterior of the West Village apartment building that was used as Carrie’s apartment in the show.
Just head to 66 Perry Street, you’ll find Carrie Bradshaw’s humble abode.
Since the apartment is a residence, there’s a chain preventing Sex and the City fans from climbing onto the apartment’s steps to take photos, but you can always take a selfie standing on the sidewalk in front of the building.
32. Shop in SoHo
Make like Carrie and the girls and get in some serious New York shopping in SoHo, which is one of the hippest neighborhoods for shopping these days.
Head to Spring Street for several high-end boutiques and shops.
If you’re looking for something a bit more affordable, head to 260 Sample Sale’s website to see which designers they’re selling while you’re in town.
I’ve scored some major deals shopping this way!
33. Visit the Tenement Museum
At The Tenement Museum, take a step back in time through their immersive guided tours.
The museum features a collection of clothing, household accessories, photographs, and furniture.
All the objects displayed help tell the story of immigrant experience of those who lived in the neighborhood.
Local’s Tip: If you’re going on a hot day, be ready for no air conditioning.
This soft cashmere sweater is one of the coziest sweaters I've ever borrowed from a friend. This will quickly become a closet staple during those chilly afternoons and evenings.
34. Picnic in Washington Square Park
You’ll likely recognize the iconic giant arch that sits on the corner of the park. They built it to celebrate the centennial of Washington’s inauguration.
One of my favorite things to do when I worked downtown was to picnic in Washington Square Park.
I recommend grabbing a falafel sandwich and drink from Mamoun’s on MacDougal Street—it’s cash only, so hit up the ATM first!
You’ll catch a lot of NYU students hanging out here, since it’s super close to campus.
It’s a really wonderful place to indulge in some seriously entertaining people watching while you eat.
35. Wander Around The Whitney
The Whitney Museum will keep you entertained all day with over 25,000 works of American art from the 20th and 21st centuries.
Keep an eye out for special exhibitions. I was really impressed with the Andy Warhol one that I saw a few years ago.
The space is modern and sleek, offering some superb views of downtown from its outdoor decks.
They also have a delicious restaurant and two cafes, making it easy to spend a rainy day at The Whitney without ever having to venture outside.
36. Hang at Hudson River Park
On a sunny day, one of the best places to be is sitting by the water in Hudson River Park.
The park is pretty massive, running four miles from the bottom of the island up to West 59th Street in midtown.
The park offers free kayaking in the summer at pier 26, mini golf and sailing at pier 25, and even trapeze school at pier 40.
You can also grab cocktails on a docked boat at pier 25’s Grand Banks oyster bar.
37. Take Photos at the Ghostbusters Fire Station
Who doesn’t love taking a fun photo in front of something famous?
While you’re downtown, wander over to 14 North Moore Street to take the ultimate 80s throwback photo with the fire station from Ghostbusters.
The fire house was even used in the 2016 reboot, so you know anyone who’s seen at least one Ghostbusters film will get the reference.
Just remember the station is still operational, so get out of the way if you hear sirens!
38. Eat in the West Village
There are tons of delicious places to eat in downtown Manhattan, but I believe the West Village is the ultimate neighborhood for finding the best eats.
This super trendy neighborhood has some of my favorite spots for dinner including:
39. Visit the Museum at Eldridge Street
When you head to the Museum at Eldridge Street, you’ll find a grand synagogue with beautiful architecture and filled with history.
Built in 1887, it was one of the first synagogues erected in the United States.
The sanctuary is breathtaking with all the stained glass windows!
Here you’ll find artifacts from the building’s restoration, excerpts from their collection of oral histories, and interactive displays on Jewish practices, immigration history, and preservation.
40. Chill at the Museum of Ice Cream
This might be one of the most Instagrammable museums in all of New York.
Inside the Museum of Ice Cream you’ll find a pool filled with sprinkles, colorful ice cream themed rooms, interactive games, and even a giant pink slide to exit through.
Though my favorite part of the experience is the ice cream samples you get!
Book your tickets early, because this place sells out!
41. Visit the Irish Hunger Memorial
Okay, so I honestly didn’t know about this place until I saw the movie P.S. I Love You.
The Irish Hunger Memorial is just over a half acre of land that’s dedicated to raising awareness of the famine that took place in Ireland from 1845 to 1852.
Even though it sounds depressing, it’s actually a really beautiful garden filled with over 60 types of flora from Ireland, rocks from each country in Ireland, and a recreated 19th century cottage.
You’ll also see plaques listing poems, statistics, and quotes about the great famine.
42. See the Museum of Illusions
This museum features exhibits on optical illusions, photo illusions, holograms, rotating and tilting room illusions, and more.
It’s basically any social media mavens dream photoshoot location.
The best part is that The Museum of Illusions has super friendly staff who are happy to help take photos or give suggestions on cool poses.
43. Check out the Williamsburg Bridge
Everyone walks the Brooklyn Bridge, but how many people can say they’ve walked the Williamsburg one?
The bridge is just over a mile long, making it roughly a 30-minute walk for most people.
I think it’s fun to walk because it has more graffiti to check out compared to the Brooklyn Bridge.
Just stay out of the bike lane because a lot of the cyclists seem to think they’re the next Lance Armstrong and will run you over!
Fun Fact: The Williamsburg Bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world when it opened in 1903. It was also the first bridge to have all steel towers.
44. See the Museum of Chinese America
To check out some Chinese American history, head to the Museum of Chinese America.
This contemporary museum takes you through the experiences of the first Chinese immigrants in the U.S. and explains the struggles each generation of Chinese Americans has faced.
The museum is fairly small and can easily be seen in just over an hour.
Don’t forget to check out their gift shop. They have a fabulous selection of biographies available!
45. Take Photos in Front of the Friends Apartment
Even though Friends never actually filmed in New York, it’s known as being one of the most iconic shows set in the city.
Since they shot some exterior shots around the city, you’ll see Friends fans taking photos galore in the village.
The key spot that you’ll see tons of people taking selfies at is the iconic apartment that was used to represent the building Monica, Joey, Rachel, and Chandler lived in.
Just head to 90 Bedford Street (at the corner of Grove St).
46. Visit the International Center of Photography Museum
Anyone who loves photography needs to hit up the International Center of Photography Museum.
It’s filled with modern photography, touching exhibitions, and photo and video installations.
I saw a really interesting exhibition on hip-hop the last time I was there.
It’s cool that the museum focuses on both the images and the stories behind the shot.
47. See the FDNY Memorial Wall
While you’re downtown, stop by the FDNY Memorial Wall to pay your respects to the firefighters who lost their lives during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
This bronze wall can be found at 141 Greenwich St, about a 3-minute walk from the 9/11 memorial.
48. Chill at The New Museum of Contemporary Art
With its modern design, this is one Lower East Side building you’ll notice from blocks away!
The New Museum is Manhattan’s only dedicated contemporary art museum.
It’s got interesting exhibits featuring non-mainstream artists and a rooftop with a beautiful view of downtown.
I had a great time checking out all the edgy and experimental art here. I found a lot of the pieces to be thought provoking and highly original.
49. Shop at Obscura Antiques and Oddities
If you want to bring home a unique souvenir from your time in the city, head to Obscura Antiques and Oddities.
This high-end antique shop has some of the most original and funky furniture, paintings, and knick-knacks around.
They also have a lot of slightly creepy stuff like dice made from camel bones, skulls, and Ouija boards.
50. Visit Cherry Lane Theatre
Visiting the city’s oldest continually running Off-Broadway theater is a must for any fellow theater nerds.
Cherry Lane Theatre is a cute artsy theater that puts on some really solid productions.
The best part is that because it’s so small, there isn’t a bad seat in the house.
Comedians Mike Birbiglia, Colin Quinn and even Nick Kroll and John Mulaney have all debuted shows here. Some of which ended up transferring to Broadway.
51. Check Out New York Supreme Court
Who doesn’t love indulging in an episode or two of Law and Order every now and again?
While you’re in the city, experience the real thing by checking out the New York Supreme Court.
They offer guided tours by appointment Monday through Friday and should be made weeks in advance.
If you find the thrill of watching our legal system in action too good to pass up, sit in on a case at the Manhattan Criminal Court (Night Court). The public has full access to sit in between 5pm and 1am.
52. See the Blue Man Group
Back when I worked for a ticketing agency, I would occasionally have to describe this show to tourists.
I like to think that the plot of the show is that Blue Man are alien life-forms who communicate via facial expressions, music, and sounds.
Take a walk to the Astor Place Theatre to see if you can figure out the plot of this artsy long-running show.
Book your tickets today!
53. Explore the Children’s Museum of Arts
If you’re exploring the city with kids in tow, you’ll want to swing by the Children’s Museum of Arts.
They have tons of craft stations for kids, including a cool clay bar and stop motion animation studio.
The museum itself is pretty small, which works out well since children seem to have limited attention spans.
54. Check Out the Museum of the American Gangster
For a less kid friendly museum experience complete with a speakeasy, head to the Museum of the American Gangster.
For $20 you’ll get an hour and a half tour filled with stories of mobsters, prohibition, and the history of the building.
55. Grab a Drink at Stonewall Inn
While you’re downtown, grab a drink at the historic Stonewall Inn.
It’s the national landmark where Pride began in 1969.
I recommend stopping by at night for the full experience. They have performances, flip-cup games, and DJ nights.
Besides throwing some brilliant parties, they also operate “The Stonewall Inn Gives Back Initiative“.
This is a nonprofit run by the bar that provides help and support to the LGBTQ community.
56. Visit the Skyscraper Museum
Anyone who loves architecture will want to spend some time at the Skyscraper Museum.
The museum highlights the historic buildings that create Manhattan’s iconic skyline.
Through its exhibits and publications you’ll explore the design, technology and construction that goes into building real estate in NYC.
57. Check Out The Ukrainian Museum
At The Ukrainian Museum you’ll see thousands of items including lots of folk art and multiple rotating exhibitions.
When I went they had an Easter Egg exhibit that was fascinating.
They also have a wonderful gift shop with some beautiful jewelry and embroidery.
58. Listen to Some Jazz
Downtown NYC is like a mecca for jazz lovers.
It would be a crime for any music lover to leave the city without taking in some tunes.
Some of my favorite downtown music hotspots are:
59. Go Vintage Shopping
I love shopping in the village, especially when it’s for vintage clothes.
Downtown has a plethora of cool shops to hit up, these are some of my go-to places:
60. Check Out The Mmuseumm
Are you wondering how I could have possibly made such an epic typo?
Shockingly, it’s not a typo!
The Mmuseumm is a museum dedicated to collecting and exhibiting contemporary artifacts that represent the modern world.
It’s a quirky museum that even has a 24/7 viewing window so that you can enjoy their modern objects without having to go inside.
If you want to go inside, they have timed entries so book a ticket ahead of time.
61. Explore the Museum of American Finance
Want to see the only independent public museum dedicated to financial history?
Then head to the financial district to check out the Museum of American Finance.
You’ll learn all about how the stock market works, the history of U.S. currency, and see exhibits on topics like the impact of gold on society.
62. Catch a Show at Barrow Street Theatre
This is another popular Off-Broadway theater that puts on some fabulous shows.
Barrow Street Theatre recently had an interactive production of Sweeney Todd that was out of this world. They even had a ticket option that included meat pies!
There’s very limited seating here, so book early if you see an upcoming show that you want to catch!
63. Check Out the View at The Summit
You’ll absolutely by dying to take photos of the skyline, especially if you go at sunset.
The Summit features mirrored walls, flooring, and ceiling make the room extra stunning at night, since they reflect the city lights
My favorite part (besides how pretty it is), is that they’re home to Danny Meyer’s latest bar/cafe called APRÈS.
Grabbing a drink with this view is super romantic, and the perfect way to start off any night!
64. Shop Canal Street Market
This is one food market that everyone should swing by at least once.
Though the food is so delicious that you’ll surely want to swing by multiple times.
The best part is that Canal Street Market has more than just food, they also have shopping.
I love coming here to go jewelry shopping at Beehaus & Raum. They have really beautiful stuff!
Afterwards I always stop by Suki for some of the best spicy udon noodles in town.
65. Check Out The Sloomoo Institute
Okay, there have been a few strange names on this list and after this one I’m pretty sure my laptop thinks I’m drunk—who wouldn’t assume that after seeing someone type “Sloomoo”?
But that’s actually the name and spelling of this place!
The Sloomoo Institute is a sensory experience centered on slime. It’s the perfect place for a bit of family friendly fun.
There’s lots of Instagrammable moments and you even get to make some slime to take home with you.
66. Go Bar Hopping
Everyone should go bar hopping in downtown New York at least once.
There’s the perfect mix of high end cocktail bars, wine bars, drag bars, and some really epic dive bars.
I recommend hitting up one of each and chatting up all the surrounding locals. It’s the best recipe for a fun night, and it’ll give you a feel for the way locals experience their hometown.
These are some of my favorite downtown haunts:
Crafted with a blend of recycled virgin wool and cashmere, this will quickly become you're favorite sweater.
67. Catch a Show at Lucille Lortel Theatre
Okay, I know you’re thinking I’ve listed way too many Off-Broadway theaters, but honestly, what did you expect from a theater fanatic like me?
This is the last one on this list, I swear!
Lucille Lortel Theatre is an adorable little playhouse in the village that produces some quirky and fun shows.
I saw a highly original musical here called Ride the Cyclone that my friends and I still talk about to this day. It was all about some kids who died after riding a roller coaster called “The Cyclone.”
I know it sounds morbid, and it was a bit, but it was also hilarious and creative!
If you’re looking for something original to do, check this theater out to see what’s playing.
68. Take a Walk on The Edge
The Edge is NYC’s newest observation deck, and the only one offering a chance to walk up the exterior of the building.
Make the most most of your time and go near sunset so you get the beautiful sky plus the opportunity to watch as the city lights up under the night sky.
The Edge is open until midnight, so you’ll be able to enjoy this epic view almost all night long!
I hope this list has left you excited to venture downtown the next time you’re in NYC.
With this many ideas, you might even end up spending the entire day and night hanging out down there.
I know I certainly can’t wait to get back to the city so that I can have a proper night out downtown with friends.
Let me know in the comments below what you’re most looking forward to checking out!
Check out some of these popular downtown sights!
Leave a Comment