The South Street Seaport District, as well as its companion museum, is located in Manhattan, near the Financial District. The seaport along historic Pier 17 houses some of the oldest buildings and architecture in Manhattan as well as preserved ships that can be viewed and even rented. Additionally, a large collection of restored early 19th-century commercial buildings can be found here. Modern vessels also depart here offering tours of the city and transportation to Liberty & Ellis Island.
In 1967, the South Street Seaport Museum was opened to provide educational material and programs about the seaport’s history. In 1998, it was designated as part of “America’s National Maritime Museums” – a group of maritime museums dedicated to maritime preservation and education. The museum houses a maritime library, craft center, marine life conservation lab, and archaeology museum. As well, the Seaport houses the largest privately-owned fleet of historic ships in the US.
After suffering damage in Hurricane Sandy, the district and museum have reopened and actually found a resurgence of energy thanks to the restoration efforts. The seaport is now one of the city’s most famous shopping areas and the restored and expanded Pier 17 is home to a concert venue and top restaurants. The Seaport is a tourist’s dream, with renovated sailing ships, shopping malls, restaurants, bars and clubs, music venues, along with a view of the Brooklyn Bridge and access to the Titanic Memorial lighthouse at the entrance of the Seaport. There’s still plenty to do and see in this area, from the museum to shopping.