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7 Things To Do in Midtown and Lower Manhattan

May 10, 2024 By CityPASS

Exploring New York City is an adventure that unfolds one dazzling street at a time, with Midtown and Lower Manhattan offering a kaleidoscope of experiences that encapsulate the city's dynamic essence. Whether you're a culture enthusiast, a history buff, or someone who simply loves to soak up the energy of urban life, these neighborhoods promise unforgettable encounters. In this guide, we'll navigate through the top things to do in Midtown and Lower Manhattan, ensuring you grasp the full spectrum of experiences these iconic areas have to offer.

What Is Considered Midtown and Lower Manhattan?

Midtown Manhattan, a bustling hub of activity, is the beating heart of New York City. Stretching from 34th to 59th Streets, this area is home to some of the city's most famous landmarks, including the Empire State Building, Times Square, MoMA, and Rockefeller Center. It's a melting pot of culture, business, and entertainment, making it an essential visit for anyone wanting to experience the city's vibrant core.

Lower Manhattan, on the other hand, is known for its rich historical roots and financial powerhouse, Wall Street. Extending from the southern tip of the island up to 14th Street, it includes neighborhoods such as the Financial District, Battery Park, and the historic area of Greenwich Village. This part of the city offers a contrast to the hustle and bustle of Midtown, with its poignant memorials, stunning waterfront views, and cobblestone streets whispering tales of the past.

How Can You Get Around the City Like a Local?

Public transportation, including the subway and buses, is efficient, cost-effective, and provides a genuine New York experience. Purchasing a MetroCard will help you explore every corner of the city.

Walking is another way to truly connect with the city's pulse. Both Midtown and Lower Manhattan are walkable neighborhoods, offering plenty of sights within a reasonable distance. It's an opportunity to discover hidden gems and appreciate the architectural beauty up close.

For a more scenic route, consider biking. With the expansion of bike lanes and the availability of bike-sharing programs like Citi Bike, cycling has become a popular and eco-friendly way to see the city.

Rideshare apps and taxis are readily available for longer distances or when time is of the essence. However, embracing the city's public transportation and its streets on foot or bike not only makes for a more immersive experience but also an environmentally friendly way to explore.

Top 7 Things To Do in Midtown and Lower Manhattan

From serene walks through historic districts to breathtaking views from towering heights, here are the top seven things to do in these two famous parts of Manhattan.

1. Take a Walk Down the Financial District

The Financial District's towering skyscrapers and bustling streets offer more than a glimpse into the world of finance. Walking through its streets, you're surrounded by history and innovation. The New York Stock Exchange and Federal Hall, where George Washington took the oath of office, stand as testaments to the nation's rich history. This area's narrow lanes and towering buildings create a captivating contrast, offering a serene yet powerful experience that's distinctly New York.

2. Board a Circle Line Cruise

A Circle Line Cruise is an essential New York City experience, providing a unique vantage point of the city's skyline from the surrounding waters. Departing from Midtown, these cruises offer various itineraries that include highlights like the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the bridges of Brooklyn and Manhattan. It's a perfect way to see the city from a new perspective, combining sightseeing with the tranquility of being on the water.

3. Admire the Stunning Views of the Brooklyn Bridge at Night

The Brooklyn Bridge, an iconic piece of New York City's skyline, is a marvel to behold at night. The bridge's majestic arches, illuminated against the night sky, create a mesmerizing view. A stroll across its expanse offers panoramic views of Manhattan and Brooklyn, with the city lights reflecting off the East River.

4. Visit Battery Park and Get on a Ferry to Ellis Island

Battery Park, a green oasis at the southern tip of Manhattan, serves as the gateway to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Boarding a ferry here not only offers stunning views of New York Harbor but also leads you to Ellis Island, a symbol of America's rich immigrant history. Exploring the Ellis Island Immigration Museum provides a profound understanding of the hopes and dreams of the millions who passed through its halls.

5. Explore the 9/11 Memorial and Museum

The 9/11 Memorial and Museum stand as solemn reminders of the tragic events of September 11, 2001. The memorial's twin reflecting pools and the surrounding grove of trees create a space of reflection and remembrance. The museum delves deeper into the stories of loss, resilience, and hope that emerged from the tragedy, offering a moving tribute to the victims and survivors.

6. Discover the Intrepid Museum

The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, located at Pier 86, offers an intriguing look into American military and maritime history. Housed on the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid, the museum boasts a collection of aircraft, submarines, and the Space Shuttle Enterprise. It's a hands-on experience that appeals to history enthusiasts and families alike, offering insights into the technological advancements and human stories behind these impressive machines.

7. Don't Miss the Iconic Empire State Building

No visit to Midtown Manhattan would be complete without a trip to the Empire State Building. This Art Deco masterpiece not only defines the city's skyline but also offers unparalleled views from its observation decks. Day or night, the 360-degree vistas provide a breathtaking perspective of New York City's sprawling expanse, making it a quintessential New York experience.

Experience Manhattan Like Never Before With CityPASS® Tickets

With New York CityPASS® tickets, you gain access to a curated selection of attractions that showcase the best of what New York City has to offer, from the bustling streets of Midtown to the serene landscapes of its urban oasis.

Embark on your journey through Manhattan with CityPASS® tickets. Experience the best of New York City's Midtown and Lower Manhattan, and see the city in a way you never thought possible.

New York City Lodging

To get the most out of your stay in New York City, we recommend finding lodging near New York City's top attractions. Use this map to find the right lodging for you:

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