Fall in Love with the Financial District: NYC’s Most Underrated Neighborhood

As our professional time is winding down in the Financial District, a coworker and I reminisced on all of the lovely perks of working in the Lower Manhattan neighborhood.  From exploring the parks, museums, and shopping opportunities, we wanted to make sure that we could experience each adventure that the underrated FiDi had to offer before our time was cut short.

The following are some of my favorite places to explore in the Financial District.

1. The Statue of Liberty, duh

Statue of Liberty seen from the Circle Line ferry, Manhattan, New York

Simply stated.  Take a boat ride and tour the Statue of Liberty to learn some history.  I find it interesting that native New Yorkers hardly ever take advantage of this backyard beauty.

2. Battery Park

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Maybe it’s the nerd in me, but I love the history that the Battery Park provides.  It gives an authentic feel while you’re waiting in line to get your ticket to see Lady Liberty.  Not to mention that there are a number of food stands around so that you can enjoy the park with your friends or family.  (Also, standing in line during the summer so close to the water gives the best tan.)

3. Ground Zero and the World Trade Center

A general view shows the south pool waterfall and the under construction One World Trade Center tower in New York

Ground Zero is amazing.  Seeing those large remembrance pools takes you back to the moment you found out about the Twin Towers.  It put me in complete awe, and I wanted to read every name listed on the marble walls.  It was inspiring and definitely unforgettable.

4. South Street Seaport

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Before construction began, the South Street Seaport was a cool date area.  Restaurants, shops on the boardwalk, cruise ships not far from the scene, it was perfect for low-key nightlife.  I took a number of lunches here, exploring the local restaurants, that I’ll admit, cost a little more than your average hamburger spot.  Still good, nonetheless.

5. Museums and Site Seeing

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Surprisingly, there are actually a few decent museums located in the Financial District.  There’s definitely the Native American museum not far from the ferry and the Police Museum still closed due to damages of Hurricane Sandy.  However, there are plenty of sites around Wall Street: Museum of American Finance, the New York Stock Exchange, and the Federal Reserve Bank.  There are plenty of tours to go around in order to get your historical education on, and make sure to get your picture with the Charging Bull.

6. Bar Scene

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The Financial District has a few pretty cool bars.  Of course, working on the lowest point of Manhattan also calls for a number of happy hours after work.  So, we had some first-hand experience.  From historical Fraunces Tavern to our home at the Growler and even making a name for ourselves from trivia night at Shorty’s, FiDi actually has some decent spots to grab a variety of beer.  Luckily, you don’t have to drive in New York.

7. The Skyscrapers

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I fell in love with the Financial District for the array of skyscrapers.  My first visit to New York was based around Times Square and the Theatre District, and I kept wondering where the infamous tall buildings were.  FiDi gives the big city feel that every tourist begs for.  Your neck actually hurts as you gaze into the clouds realizing it’s the wonderful New York City you always dreamed about.

The Financial District may be one of the most under-the-radar districts on the island of Manhattan, but it definitely should not be overlooked.  Fulfilling every need from educational to recreational, you could certainly get the New York experience rolling around the corridors of Wall Street.

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