Explore South Street Seaport

The section of Manhattan coastline known as South Street Seaport has been a venerable hub of trade, commerce, and culture for over a century. It’s consistently one of the most popular attractions in NYC. Much like the Financial District with its array of impressive new condos, the port seems to be in a constant state of flux and improvement. The South Street Seaport of today is more vibrant than ever before. Permanent attractions such as its museum and historic ships are now matched by inviting retail options, fantastic restaurants, and engaging events ranging from performances and concerts to art exhibitions and kids’ programs.

The Museum & Ships
The South Street Seaport Museum has been a popular attraction for over 40 years now, and for good reason. Laid out in a series of locations spread throughout the historic district, it provides a more all-encompassing experience than most museums. It’s also a great place to learn about the shipping and trade history of NYC, and how South Street Seaport played a significant role in forming the city as it stands today. One of the best sections of the museum is undoubtedly the ships. Six historic ships are docked at the museum, including the famous and stunning “floating lighthouse” ship, Ambrose. Tours are offered on many of the schooners, and the Pioneer ship offers breathtaking sailing trips for as long as the weather allows.

The Shopping
The newest and perhaps most exciting addition to South Street Seaport retail options is Seaport Studios, a large, two-level structure that features a revolving cadre of designers and artists who curate their select spaces for limited runs. The pop-up nature of Seaport Studios means every visit here results in a highly unique experience. Beyond the constantly changing, eclectic atmosphere of the Studios, other Seaport shopping outlets include Brother Vellies, which sells beautiful handmade footwear from Africa; custom leather outfitter Christian Benner Custom; pet boutique The Salty Paw; and inspired clothing retailers Superdry, Rialto Jean Project, ModaBox, and Gilded Age. Also be sure to visit South Street Local Artists for truly one-of-a-kind gifts created by New York-based artists and designers.

The Food
Culinary options in and around South Street Seaport are eclectic and varied. There’s Ambrose Beer & Lobster, a lively beer hall offering a large selection of local craft brews, bespoke cocktails, and freshly prepared seafood dishes. Or bar/restaurant Fresh Salt, which offers an array of tasty sandwiches and burgers as well as a phenomenal happy hour.   Mere steps from the water sits Industry Kitchen, a modern American eatery with great food and a vibrant and rustic cafeteria-style aesthetic.   On the cozier side of things, Barbalu and Il Brigante are wonderful little Italian restaurants that serve delicious pasta dishes in rustic atmospheres.

The Events
The South Street Seaport is also busy with an array of creative events that run through the fall. On November 23rd, an intriguing new art exhibition opening at 117 Beekman Street and entitled “Inside/Out” will examine “the intricate geometries that link technology, culture and society.” In Seaport Studios, book publisher Harper Collins hosts popular weekly author interviews and Q&A sessions. Families, meanwhile, can enjoy a myriad of weekly kid-friendly art events in the historic district, even as the weather gets cooler.

For more information on South Street Seaport events as well as dining, shopping, and other offerings, visit SouthStreetSeaport.com.

Image Courtesy of: ©iStock.com/Sean Pavone