Explore four centuries of history in this tour of Lower Manhattan.
Start at Bowling Green, New York City’s oldest park. The closest subway stops are 4/5 at Bowling Green, 1 at South Ferry, R/W at Whitehall/South Ferry. Read the plaque designating the park’s fence a New York Landmark.
One block north is the iconic Charging Bull statue (and, for the immediate future, the Fearless Girl). Two blocks further north is Wall Street, center of American finance and the original boundary of New Amsterdam, the name of the 17th century Dutch settlement in what is now Lower Manhattan. East on Wall Street is Federal Hall, where George Washington was inaugurated and the first Congress met and put into practice the United States Constitution. Further east, at 75 Wall Street, is the site of where eleven West African captives were sold in 1626—the earliest slave auction in what was then New Amsterdam.
Trinity Church anchors the western side of Wall Street; walk through its grounds to see the burial site of early New Yorkers—including Alexander Hamilton.
Head south on Broadway, back to Bowling Green, and cross Battery Place to the original armory of New Amsterdam: The Battery, also known as Battery Park. Enjoy lawns, gardens – even an urban farm. On a hot day, the Bosque fountains are an entertaining way to cool down for all ages. You can get the ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island here, too. The Staten Island Ferry is also close by.
But we suggest you view the Statue just a few blocks north on Battery Place at the Museum of Jewish Heritage — A Living Memorial to the Holocaust. Visit the Museum’s exhibitions, covering Jewish history from pre-World War II through the present. Dine on Jewish cuisine in the Museum’s restaurant, LOX at Café Bergson, while gazing out at the Garden of Stones created by Andy Goldsworthy and the Statue of Liberty. Free audio guides are available and on Tuesdays, a free tour is offered at 3 PM. Admission is free with donations accepted on Wednesdays and Thursday from 4 PM – 8 PM.
After visiting the Museum, walk north a few blocks along the Esplanade, the river walk that shows off the power and beauty of the Hudson River. Turn right at Albany Street and walk east, across the West Side Highway, to view more recent history at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. The 9/11 Tribute Museum is nearby as well, at 92 Greenwich Street, around the corner from the FDNY Memorial Wall.