By Amy Plitt, Conde Nast Traveler
As the 9/11 Museum prepares to open to the public, find out what else there is to do in Lower Manhattan, now a more popular destination than ever.
After more than a decade of planning, the 9/11 Museum is finally complete, and will open to the public on May 21. (The official dedication ceremony, with appearances by formers New York City mayors Michael Bloomberg and Rudy Giuliani, as well as President Obama, happened today, and the museum will be open for 9/11 families, survivors, and first responders for the next week.) The museum’s opening is just another sign of Lower Manhattan’s recovery following the attacks; now, according to reports, the neighborhood is second only to Times Square in terms of tourist visitors every year.
If you’re one of the millions of people who will undoubtedly make a trip to the Financial District to see the new museum, check out some of the neighborhoods other fascinating cultural institutions, historic sights, and artworks—plus, find out where to grab a bite after all that sightseeing.
Cultural destinations: The 9/11 Museum is the latest addition to a diverse group of museums in lower Manhattan. The Skyscraper Museum, founded in 1996 by historian Carol Willis, presents exhibits about supertall buildings, and its permanent collection includes a model of the original Twin Towers. Next door, The Museum of Jewish Heritage focuses on Jewish history, particularly as it pertains to the legacy of the Holocaust. As a link to the neighborhood’s financial roots, The Museum of American Finance touches on topics like the history of the Fed, Alexander Hamilton’s banking legacy, and various permutations of currency. The Smithsonian-affiliated National Museum of the American Indian, located in the former U.S. Customs House, showcases Native American art and artifacts, in addition to hosting related film screenings and cultural events.