South Street Seaport
Fulton Street meets the East River at South Street Seaport, one of New York City’s oldest and most historic areas. A thriving port during the 19th century, the seaport went into a steep decline in the 20th century. In the early 1980s, the Rouse Company took over the place and filled it with commercial enterprises, restaurants, and shops.
The Seaport’s historic sites are scattered throughout the 12-block district. Many of the sites are free, but to get into the Seaport’s galleries and 19th-century sailing ships or to join a walking tour, you’ll need to purchase a ticket at the Seaport Museum’s Visitor Center (12 Fulton St., at South St. and Pier 16, 212/748-8600, www.seany.org, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Tues.–Sun. in summer, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Tues.–Sun. in winter, adults $10, students and seniors $8, children 5–12 $5).
Schermerhorn Row is the heart of the Seaport. Built in 1812, it’s made up of pretty, Federal-style buildings that once housed warehouses and accounting offices. Docked at Piers 15 and 16 are a half-dozen sailing ships, including the Pioneer, an 1885 schooner that cruises the harbor in summer, and the Peking, a 1911 four-masted ship now housing exhibits on maritime life and a fascinating documentary about the ship’s early journeys around Cape Horn.
© Avalon Travel and Sascha Zuger from Moon New York State, 5th Edition