The South Street Seaport area in New York City is a historic district located in the Manhattan Borough of New York City. It is located on the East River and is right next to the Financial District. It has some of the oldest architecture in the city with buildings dating back to the early 19th Century, which have been restored to their former glory days when the area was a major fish market. The centerpiece of the South Street Seaport area is the South Street Seaport Museum which was founded in 1967 by Peter and Norma Stanford. It was originally intended to recreate the sailing and fishing legacy of the area, and the site of New York City’s original port. The museum was named part of America’s National Maritime Museum by the US Congress in 1998.
Today, the museum has over 30,000 feet of space with numerous exhibits, a maritime library, a marine life conservation lab, and the biggest fleet of historic ships which are privately owned in the country, some of which are designated National Historic Landmarks and some which are on the National Register of Historic Places list. Some of the ships even take out visitors sailing on New York City rivers.
Thanks to the renovation efforts and the building of modern shopping areas next to the museum, the South Street Seaport has become a major tourist attraction. It has over 35 restaurants and eateries serving everything from pizza, Japanese, Cuban, Chinese, Crepes, Cajun cuisine, and ice cream. South Street Seaport is always bustling with activity. On any given day, you will find street performers of all kinds and tons of outdoor entertainment. There are always fun cultural events scheduled throughout the year, especially in the summer where you can enjoy many festivals, fundraising walks, celebrations, and sporting events. Otherwise, you’ll have a great time just walking around and enjoying the atmosphere and people-watching.
If you’re an avid shopper, you won’t find a shortage of shops and retail stores at the South Street Seaport. You can get stunning apparel from stores such as Express, Abercrombie & Fitch, Guess, and Ann Taylor; shoes from Foot Locker, Happy Feet, Aerosoles, or beauty products from Bath& Body Works or the Body Shop. Be sure to check out other great shops such as Victoria’s Secret or Coach.
A great day to visit South Street Seaport is on Sundays when the Fulton Stall Market is held. The market features dozens of local vendors selling fresh produce and organic products. You can also browse through art galleries and pick out handmade crafts and gifts. The market originally opened in 1822 and sold everything from meats, produce, and of course fish. The market is open every Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm. The South Street Seaport is a joy to visit and one of the top New York City attractions. You should make time to explore it during your trip and travel back in time to old New York when there was a flurry of activity in this old fishing port.