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Located in downtown Manhattan, the South Street Seaport is one of the most iconic historical landmarks in New York City. From being a major trading port with China and Europe to being the home of the renowned Fulton Fish Market, this seaport has an incredible history.

While this place would be a perfect destination for history buffs, it has many other things travelers of different interests can experience. From a fantastic museum to amazing restaurants and breathtaking river & bridge views, there is more to New York’s South Street Seaport than visitors may realize. Here is what to do in one of the city’s most famous destinations.

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How To Get To South Street Seaport

Covering four acres, the South Street Seaport is located in Lower Manhattan, east of the Financial District, along the East River just South of the Brooklyn Bridge. Depending on where one is traveling from, there are various ways to get to this iconic historical landmark.

Subway

The subway is the best way to get around South Street Seaport, as it is convenient and the most affordable. The distance between Manhattan and South Street Seaport is about nine kilometers and takes around 23 minutes.

A subway trip is $2.75, a flat rate no matter the distance.

There are many subway stations one can use, depending on where they are staying. Wall Street, Fulton Street, and Rector or Cortlandt Street are the closest stations.

Taxi/Uber

This is another convenient option, especially if travelers are looking for privacy. Depending on where one is coming from, getting to the seaport in an Uber or a taxi is not very affordable, unless sharing the coat with someone.

But an advantage of hopping in a taxi or an Uber is that travelers can always request the driver to make stops whenever they want to.

Things You Can Do At New York’s South Street Port

Explore South Street’s Main Pier

Pier 17 is the main pier and the center of this iconic historic area. Here, travelers will find a building that almost covers the whole area of the pier.

There are numerous incredible restaurants within the building, including Master Dips, The Greens, Malibu Farm, The Fulton, and more! These restaurants are located on different floors in the building and offer unique dining experiences to visitors.

Some come with outdoor seating, while others provide an indoor option. The outdoor and indoor seating are available depending on the season.

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Pier 17’s rooftop area is brimming with fantastic dining spots and several viewpoints. One Table is available for rent, and the earlier travelers get there the better. Those planning to visit this place in winter can always rent a dining tent.

Several concerts, which no one would want to miss, are held in summer, May through September. There are no conditions set to get to the rooftop and enjoy breathtaking views.

One doesn't have to book a table or even attend a concert as a pass to the observation area. The rooftop is open for exploration to anyone, as long as one comes during the visiting hours.

Pier 17’s northern part boasts an incredible spot for taking in spectacular views of the East River as well as the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges. There are numerous seating areas where one can relax as they enjoy the view of scenic surroundings.

Explore Pier 16 And Pier 15

Overlooking Pier 17 and the East River, Pier 16 is one long dock hosting two of the main ships at South Street Seaport, the 1908 Lightship Ambrose and the 1885 Wavertree.

Pier 15 is South Street Seaport's last main pier. At this pier, travelers will find the Watermark restaurant and an incredible roof deck offering breathtaking views of the area.

This spot is a quiet and peaceful place, making a fantastic spot to relax after spending some time exploring much of the Seaport.

Travelers planning an autumn visit to New York's South Street Seaport can catch the Oktoberfest held at the outdoor first-floor deck.

Learn Some History At The South Street Seaport Museum

Founded in 1967, South Street Seaport Museum is where travelers will learn the fascinating history of this beautiful neighborhood, which is one of the best spots to visit for a first trip to NYC.

There are several exhibits offered at the museum, including Seaport Discovery: Exploring Our Waters with Eric Carle, an interactive and exciting exhibit that kids will definitely enjoy.

The museum also offers tours via the two main ships at the Seaport; Ambrose and Wavertree. Don't miss some of the fun painting parties and yoga sessions held on the Wavertree.

Go Shopping At Fulton Market

Located right in the middle of the neighborhood, at 91 South Street, the Fulton Stall Market is a non-profit indoor/outdoor market.

Once home to the Fulton Fish Market, this market has gone through several modifications over the years. The market offers almost everything, from fresh farm produce to baked goods to arts and crafts.

  • Indoor market hours: 11: 30 am – 5:00 pm, from Mondays to Saturdays, year-round
  • Outdoor market hours: 11:30 am – 5:00 pm Saturdays, May through Thanksgiving

Visit The Titanic Memorial Park

Located at the entrance of the Seaport, at the meeting point of Fulton and Pearl Streets, Titanic Memorial Park is a must-see. The park houses the Titanic Memorial Lighthouse, one of the South Street Seaport Museum's collections, representing all the people lost when the RMS Titanic sank.

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The tower was first placed on Pier 16 when it was donated to the museum in 1968. It later went through a partial restoration and was positioned in its current location in 1976. Visiting the lighthouse connects vacationers to the history of the memorial.

New York’s South Street Seaport is definitely worth visiting, as there are a lot of fun and educative things to do.