Top 9 Things to Do Near the World Trade Center for Tourists

What are the best things to do around this poignant NYC memorial?
By Casey Makovich

9/11 is one of the most important events in New York's recent history and visiting Ground Zero is a must-do. To help you plan your day, read our round-up of the best attractions in the area.

For tourists in New York City who want to learn more about the events of 9/11 and pay their respects, there are lots of ways to learn about the events leading up to 9/11, the day of, and the aftermath, all right near the World Trade Center.

Plus, there are plenty of non-9/11 related things to do as well. Check out everything from sailing and boating to sculptures and shopping near the World Trade Center.

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9/11 Memorial & Museum

9/11 Memorial and Museum

For an in-depth look at 9/11, visit the National September 11 Memorial Museum. More than 110,000 square feet of space is dedicated to artifacts, displays, and archives depicting the 9/11 attacks. At the museum, the most notable display is part of a retaining wall that survived from the World Trade Center, which is now located in Foundation Hall. At the 9/11 Memorial, you can read the names of everyone who perished due to the terrorist attacks.

9/11 Tribute Museum

At the 9/11 Tribute Museum, tourists can connect with the community of victims who suffered directly during the attacks on the World Trade Center. Read personal stories from everyone from recovery workers and first responders to people who lost loved ones. This is a place to watch videos, read letters, and simply learn more about the loss that occurred in the lower Manhattan community during 9/11. It is an ideal way to begin your personal tour of the area surrounding the World Trade Center. 

Getting in: 9/11 Tribute Museum tickets are included with The New York Pass.

One World Observatory

Man looks out at NYC

After spending time in remembrance of 9/11, it’s time to elevate your mood—quite literally. At the One World Observatory, located within the One World Trade Center, you'll get sky-high views of Manhattan. This is the tallest building in all of the Western Hemisphere, and tourists can see views from the observation deck. Ride the SkyPod elevator all the way to its zenith where you are greeted by three floors of exhibits, restaurants, and sightseeing opportunities of the entire NYC expanse.

Manhattan Waterfront Greenway (free)

Now it’s time to regain your land legs with a stroll along the famous NYC Greenway better known as the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway. This expansive city park features bicycle rentals for tourists, as well as green spaces for nature walks and picnic opportunities. Highlights at the park include the Grecian Temple, Little Red Lighthouse, and the Battery within view of Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. The Hudson River Park and Stuyvesant Cove are equally impressive for nature lovers.

Brookfield Place (free)

Brookfield Place

Located within the World Financial Center, Brookfield Place is a high-end shopping mall in the heart of Lower Manhattan. It's located near the 9/11 Tribute and 9/11 Museum & Memorial. In addition to window browsing, you can explore a number of amenities at Brookfield. There is seasonal ice skating at The Rink and workout sessions at Equinox. Brookfield Place is also home to dozens of fabulous dining opportunities.

Silverstein Family Park (free)

After all the tasty treats you've eaten at Brookfield, check out Silverstein Family Park. This urban refuge is located at the base of 7 World Trade Center. The artwork displayed here adds to the tranquility of the 5,000 square feet of open plaza, nestled within trees and greenery. It's the perfect place to rest your weary tourist feet after a long day.

St. Paul's Chapel (free)

Trinity Church

If you are looking to feel inspired, just add St. Paul’s Chapel, also known as Trinity Church, to your list of places to see in NYC near the World Trade Center. This chapel, built in 1766, was once used by George Washington for prayers. However, the real reason it is such a wondrous site is because of its location.

The chapel sits across the street from one of the World Trade Center towers. Yet on 9/11, the chapel received no damage, not even a cracked window. St. Paul’s served exhausted firefighters as a place of rest and refuge. Visitors are welcomed in this historic and awe-inspiring chapel today.

Red Cube

As you round out your tour near the World Trade Center, it’s time to take a selfie. What better place to do this than the Red Cube? Situated in Zuccotti Park, which is more of a plaza, the Red Cube is one of the most famous sculptures in Manhattan.

Built in 1968 by artist Isamu Noguchi, the cube sits positioned on a corner. More notably, it features a hole through the center that offers the perfect frame for any tourist’s photo. The surrounding park is regularly the host of food trucks, so it’s a great place to relax and enjoy the vibrant flavors of New York City.

Looking at NYC skyline

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Village Halloween Parade

It's coming up to Halloween, the spookiest time of the year. Feel free to start dusting off your moth-eaten Ghostface outfit from college. Or maybe go as something different this year. Variety is the spice of life. And while you're at it, how about doing something more exciting this year? We will be. There's only so many times we can lose the Halloween costume competition. If you're in NYC, there's one event in particular that should be top of your list: the Village Halloween Parade. So play our little quiz below to discover your best costume, and read on champ. Here's everything you need to know about the Village Halloween Parade. What is the Village Halloween Parade? Let's start there, ay? It's the event in Greenwich Village. Every year, over 50,000 costumed revelers take to the streets. Including dancers, puppets, and 35 bands. However, to join them on their spooky procession, you'll need a costume. And no, a bit of blood on your mouth ain't gonna cut it. Go big or go home. Sorry. In this, it's 46th year, the theme of the Village Halloween Parade is 'Wild Thing'. So err, make of that what you will. You've got some room to get creative. Their suggestions? 'Mudman, GreenMan and Scarecrow'. I don't know what at least two of them are. Where is the Village Halloween Parade? It runs up 6th Avenue from Spring Street to 16th Street in Manhattan. How much more precise do you need? When is the Village Halloween Parade? Doy, it's October 31st. You know, Halloween. As for times, you're looking at around 7pm til 10:30pm. How do I get involved? As I mentioned before, you'll need a slick costume. Thankfully, as it's free to march in the parade, you can put any entrance fee money toward making it the slickest costume imaginable. Or simply above average, if you prefer. However, if you wanna feel special and march on the themed section, you can pick up a ticket for $35 a skip the line. Otherwise, simply be at 6th Avenue and Canal Street at 6:30, in full attire. Then stagger out into the night, you little ghoul. If you're running late, you can still join up with your fellow shamblers at either East Broome, Sullivan or Canal Street east of 6th Avenue. I hate dressing up but want to watch other people dress up. Alright, buzzkill. You can still have your fun. Get to 6th Avenue early, and get a sweet spot to watch the procession. It might even get you in the mood to get involved next year. And that's everything you need to know about the Village Halloween Parade. Let us know if you're going, and what you're dressing up as, below. And after the festivities are over, why not go grab a burger? Better yet, take the day off and get in a spooky mood with a Catacombs by Candlelight tour beneath the city.
Dom Bewley
Aerial view of New York, Central Park

Discover the Best Parks in New York City

The best parks in New York – what not to miss! by Mia Russell New York, New York! The city that never sleeps may conjure images of a concrete jungle full of skyscrapers, but it’s also home to some beautiful parks and green urban spaces. Nestled along the Hudson River and tucked between towering buildings, the city’s parks offer a tranquil refuge from the continuous hustle and bustle of the city. There are over 1,700 parks spread around the five boroughs, each with its own character and charm. From the exquisitely landscaped, sprawling beauty of Central Park to the neat High Line on the Lower West Side, New York’s parks are cherished gems that provide a quiet oasis in the heart of the city. Whether you are looking for a place to walk your dog, do some exercise, enjoy a picnic, or simply take in the fresh air, these parks offer all that and much more. Head outdoors with this list of the best parks in New York City. Central Park, Manhattan One of New York’s most recognized attributes, Central Park is the lush green heart of Manhattan. Designed by the award-winning landscape architect team, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, the park spans 843 acres and is home to everything from a lake to an ice-skating rink. You could spend days in the park without seeing everything. Hike the winding trails amidst rocky streams in the 38-acre wilderness area known as the Ramble. Rent a rowboat from the picturesque Loeb Boathouse and spend a few hours paddling on the lake. If you prefer someone else to do the work, enjoy a gondola tour followed by lunch at the boathouse. Rent a bike and explore Central Park on two wheels! Use your pass to rent a bike from Central Park Full Day Bike Rental, along with a helmet, a bike basket/bag, a bike lock, and a map of the park. Spread a blanket at Sheep's Meadow and enjoy a picnic while watching the world go by and wander through Strawberry Fields in search of community theater troupes rehearsing Shakespeare. Explore the historic Belvedere Castle, visit the world-renowned Metropolitan Museum of Art, and go wild at the Central Park Zoo. The park also hosts major events like the New York City Marathon, Shakespeare in the Park, and outdoor SummerStage concerts where you can dance the night away under the New York sky. Riverside Park, Upper West Side For spectacular sweeping views down the Hudson River, Riverside Park in the Upper West Side is the park to be. Stretching for four miles along the Hudson River from 72nd to 158th Streets, this scenic waterfront park is home to stately trees and sloping lawns, and unrivaled views of the city skyline and the river. Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, of Central Park fame, Riverside Park has loads to do from meandering bicycle paths on the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway to tennis courts and a skate park. Children’s playgrounds are peppered throughout the park, as well as some of New York’s finest monuments like the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument and Grant’s Tomb. Grab a delicious picnic pack from Perfect Picnic with your pass and spend a few hours relaxing in Riverside Park, eating great food and soaking up the beautiful river views. Prospect Park, Brooklyn Another Olmsted and Vaux marvel, Prospect Park is the crown jewel of Brooklyn. Sprawling across 585 acres in Brooklyn, the park is flanked by some of Brooklyn's most historic neighborhoods with beautiful old brownstone houses that have been standing for over a century. A tranquil oasis in the heart of Brooklyn, the park is home to a 60-acre lake and beautiful landscapes with stately trees like the Nethermead and Long Meadow. Iconic landmarks such as the 1857 Litchfield Villa, the Grand Army Plaza, the Picnic House, and the magnificent Boathouse on the Lullwater. You’ll need a few hours to explore and enjoy all that the park has to offer. Take a pedal boat ride on the lake and wander around the Prospect Park Zoo. Stroll through the Brooklyn Botanical Garden. Use your pass to get free entry into the gardens! Go roller skating or ice skating at Lakeside and catch a summertime show at the Prospect Park Bandshell. If you haven’t had your fill of spectacular greenery, pop into the nearby New York Botanical Garden to see some incredible fauna and flora. Wander around the old-growth Thain Family Forest and admire the stunning designs of the herbaceous and mixed borders in the Jane Watson Irwin Perennial Garden. Get lost in the Arthur and Janet Ross Conifer Arboretum and smell the roses in the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden. Don’t forget to use your pass to get free entry into the New York Botanical Garden. Bryant Park, Midtown West Tucked behind the New York Public Library, Bryant Park is the beating cultural heart of Midtown Manhattan. Located on 42nd Street and surrounded by buildings, this 9.6-acre park is a well-cultivated retreat where New Yorkers gather at any time of day. Lovely lawns and tall, shady trees make this the perfect spot for escaping the office or taking a break from sightseeing for a breath of fresh air. Bryant Park is a mecca for arts and culture and hosts a dizzying array of engaging activities and events throughout the year. Join a free yoga, tai-chi, and dance class in the park, or enjoy a game of boules or Kubb (Scandinavian lawn bowling). Relax over a board game and take in a movie at the outdoor classic film festival on Monday nights in summer. Enjoy free wireless access around the park. Winter brings wonderful offerings to the park like the pop-up Bank of America Winter Village and an ice-skating rink. Don’t miss having a photo at the mythical Bryant Park Fountain with its curiously shaped icicles. Washington Square Park, Greenwich Village Washington Square Park is the symbolic heart of Greenwich Village. Marking the park’s north side entrance is the iconic white Washington Arch, honoring George Washington, and making the park one of New York city’s most recognizable public spaces. The park has long been a hotbed for counterculture and creativity from a gathering place for the Beatnik movement and the hippies, and today, avant-garde artists and students from NYU. There’s always something happening in the park from diehard chess enthusiasts battling it out in the corner to a dance group performing in front of the arch. Lounge on the grass and listen to musicians play their tunes; eat lunch on the steps of the fountain and watch street artists perform. Why not use your pass to visit Washington Square Park and explore the surrounding neighborhood on a Greenwich Village Walking Tour ? Enjoy a two-hour guided tour of the ‘birthplace of American Counter-Culture’ where you’ll visit Washington Square Park, discover film locations (Friends and Mozart in the Jungle), and learn about the area's famous residents like Edgar Allan Poe and John Wilkes Booth. The High Line, Chelsea From a disused railroad track to one of the top attractions in the city, the High Line in Chelsea is a much-loved treasure. Stretching from the Meatpacking District to the Hudson Rail Yards, the 1.5–mile long public park was built on an abandoned elevated railroad high above the streets below. This verdant floating garden passes through some of New York City's most historic neighborhoods in the Lower West Side of Manhattan. Enjoy a High Line, Chelsea & Meatpacking District Walking Tour with your pass! Begin at the trendy Chelsea Market where you can sample some of New York’s gourmet goodies. Head up to the High Line and meander along the pedestrian walkway, passing tranquil pools and modern sculptures. Take in the art installations and admire some of New York's most famous buildings, including the Empire State Building and Frank Gehry’s IAC Building. Explore the regentrified Meatpacking District, an industrial area that was transformed into one of New York’s most affluent neighborhoods. Learn about the legends of Death Avenue and the tales of the West Side Cowboys. If you have the time, use your pass to pop into the world-renowned Whitney Museum of American Art to see some amazing artworks. Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn Nestled beneath New York City's oldest suspension bridge, Brooklyn Bridge Park is an idyllic spot for escaping the crowds and soaking up some beautiful views over lower Manhattan. With the iconic New York skyline as a background, the park is a popular spot for enjoying outdoor activities like basketball, football, and volleyball. Use your pass to rent a bike from Brooklyn Bridge Bike Rental and explore the park and the beautiful bridge. Enjoy a leisurely ride along the scenic, waterfront greenway, and admire innovative artworks woven into the natural landscape of the park. Expansive green lawns are perfect for picnicking, and a water play area offers cool respite from the city heat in summer. Ride the beautifully restored 1920s Jane’s Carousel or rent a kayak and hit the Hudson. Hop on the seasonal ferry at Pier 4 to visit nearby Governors Island, which has its own share of green space to explore. The Hills at Governors Island, Governors Island Escape from the non-stop hum of New York with a short trip to the green oasis of Governors Island. A quick ferry ride from Brooklyn takes you to the shores of this peaceful isle where you’ll find lush green hills offering breathtaking city views. The once abandoned military base in New York Harbor was transformed into a magnificent park where city dwellers can escape to enjoy outdoor recreation. Designed to pay homage to the lush, hilly landscapes of pre-colonial Manhattan, the island features four man-made grassy knolls boasting panoramic views of the harbor. Use your pass to rent a bike from Surrey Bike Rental and explore the island. Pedal around the 172-acre isle and take in the spectacular sights. Check out the art installations dotted around the island including Day is Done, the Cabin sculpture, and Yankee Hangar. Delve into the island’s military past at Fort Jay and Castle Williams and get your hands dirty at the Island’s Urban Farm. Take in the breathtaking views of the New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Lower Manhattan skyline. When you’re done, head to Hammock Grove or Picnic Point for a laid-back picnic.
Go City Expert

10 Things About NYC Comic Con 2019

It wasn't too long ago that geeks were considered outcasts. Shunned by society for their supposed wizard robes, d20 dice and extensive knowledge of J.R.R Tolkein's novels. But today, geek is chic. Monstrosities like The Big Bang Theory, juggernaut franchises like the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the rise of gaming into the everyday have catapulted geeks into the stratosphere. And now the hub of geek, Comic Con, has become the go-to place to meet your heroes. If you fancy attending, or already have your ticket clenched in your sweaty fist, you need to know what to expect. So here are 10 things you need to know about NYC Comic Con 2019. When is it? NYC Comic Con runs from October 3 - 6, in the year of our lord Kevin Feige, 2019. And where do I go to get my fill? Well, my dear friend, NYC Comic Con 2019 takes place at the Javits Convention Center at 429 11th Avenue. Onward! Why should I go? If, like us, you're any kind of modern media consumer, you've surely dipped your toe in the comic-adjacent pool. There are countless comic-related films, TV shows, and video games around these days. Some might be pretty obvious, the aforementioned Marvel movies. You know, the ones that dominate the multiplex every year for the past decade. Others, like the Kingsman series or Amazon's TV series The Boys, are also adaptations of graphic novels. So the better question is, why wouldn't you go? Here's a snapshot of the best things on offer this year. Dr Who? Well for starters, all you Whovians will not want to miss the talk with Christopher Eccelston. For all non-Whovians, he was the first Doctor in the modern reimagining of Doctor Who. He'll obviously be talking about that, but also expect him to speak on his roles in Marvel's Thor: The Dark World, and TV's underappreciated The Leftovers. He might even discuss his role in 'the most early-2000's film imaginable', Gone in 60 Seconds. Don't hold your breath though. He probably doesn't want to remember it. 'Catch a Conversation' with Christopher Eccleston from 11am til 12pm on 3 October. He's a wizard, Hagrid! Right after, you get the chance to sit down with the cast and creatives behind stage behemoth Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. They'll be talking about how they brought the magic of the books and films to the stage. Fans will see never before seen photos and videos from behind the scenes. If you've not yet caught the show, or want to know more about it, check it out. Behind Harry Potter and the Cursed Child takes place between 1-2pm on 3 October. Mr J?! If you're a fan of DC's Harley Quinn, Comic Con 2019 has you covered. All-day on Friday 4 October, head to Hudson Yards Loft for an interactive exhibit about the past and present of one of DC's most enigmatic villains. Explore her first appearance in Detective Comics, through to her recent movie appearances, including some sneak peeks at the upcoming Birds of Prey. They've got props, costumes, and sketches for all to see, as you don't even need a ticket or pass to attend. So really, you have zero excuses. "How you doing, ya old pirate?" That's right, Lando Calrissian himself Billy Dee Williams will be at New York Comic Con this year. From 11am - 12pm on Friday, expect a full recounting of his time playing the galaxy's favourite rogue. That includes his return to the franchise in The Rise Of Skywalker, so any Star Wars fans chomping at the bit for new info before December dare not miss out. Now you've got a Hulk For all fans of video games and Marvel, NYC Comic Con 2019 has just what you need to scratch both itches. Come check out the Marvel Games Panel between 3 - 4pm on Friday to hear from the minds behind the upcoming Iron Man VR and Avengers games. You're sure to catch some never-before-seen gameplay of both. And we're also promised some unannounced exclusive reveals and surprises too. "Make it so." Jean Luc is back, baby. It's been nearly 20 years since we last saw Captain Picard on the big screen (and even longer since we saw him every week on TV). But he's back, thanks to the upcoming Star Trek: Picard CBS series. So of course, none other than the man himself Sir Patrick Stewart will be in attendance at NYC Comic Con 2019. Enjoy a sit down with the cast and creative crew behind the anticipated new show on Saturday 4 October between 1:45 and 2:30pm. Did I mention that Sir Patrick Stewart will be there? We are not worthy. You go, girls And round off the weekend with a look at how women have shaped the world of comics with the Women of Marvel panel on Sunday 5 October from 12:15 - 1:45pm. Hear from the best talent in the industry, as they talk about their creations, what it's like in the industry, and what the future may hold. Now you're primed and ready for NYC Comic Con 2019. Let us know if you're going, and what you're looking forward to while you're there. And while you're there, why not check out a Marvel and DC Superheroes walking tour, or get a refresher on who won big at this year's Emmys?
Dom Bewley

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