Lower Manhattan, NY

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If You Go...

Ellis Island and Statue of Liberty. Take the ferry from Castle Clinton National Monument in Battery Park, 212-363-3200, 212-269-5755 (ferry information), www.ellisisland.org, www.nps.gov/stli/. Admission (for ferry): $8 adults, $3 ages 3 to 17. Admission to museums: Free.

World Trade Center/Top of the World. 2 World Trade Center, 212-323-2340, www.wtc-top.com Admission: $13.50 adults, $11 students ages 13 to 17. $6.75 ages 6 to 12. Day/night pass: $19.75 adults, $16.75 students and $10 ages 6 to 12.

New York Stock Exchange. 20 Broad St. (between Wall Street and Exchange Place), 212-656-5165, www.nyse.com. Tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis weekdays at 8:45 am (trading hours are 9:30 am to 4 pm). Admission: Free. Closed weekends.

South Street Seaport Museum. 12 Fulton St., 212-748-8600, www.southstseaport.org. Admission: $6 adults, $5 seniors, $4 students and $3 children. Closed Tuesdays through March 31.

Contact: NYC & Company, 800-NYC-VISIT, www.nycvisit.com.

Chelsea Piers

This massive, one-of-a-kind sports complex, located in former ship piers on the Hudson River, is a great place for the kids to blow off steam. You'll find bowling, batting cages, a golf-driving range, ice skating and roller skating. And don't worry about gear. You can rent anything you need on site.

Activities are priced a la carte. Or, you can pay $35 per person (sorry, no special rates for kids) for a silver passport for adults and children over 11 which includes $15 of tee time and rentals at the Golf Club, admission and rentals to the indoor and outdoor roller skating and ice rinks, five batting cage tokens (50 balls), free bowling shoe rental, and discount coupons to restaurants and retail shops at the pier.

Onsite parking costs $18 for up to four hours, $25 up to six hours. 23rd St. at the Hudson River (West Side Hwy), 212-336-6666, www.chelseapiers.com.

Favorite local spots:

  • Century 21 Department Store, 22 Cortlandt St., 212-227-9092. Save 25-75% on brand name and designer clothing (for adults and kids) as well as household items at this bargain-hunter's mecca, across from the World Trade Center. But don't believe the slogan on the door, "New York's Best Kept Secret." Get there early or be prepared to fight the crowds.
  • Lady Liberty Live, Pier 16 or Schermerhorn Row, right near the South Street Seaport Museum. Lady Liberty is one of the top-ranked street performers at South Street Seaport. You can't miss her--she dressed in green, holding the torch (and accepting tips, of course!)
  • Hudson River Park, Battery Park City. Its 5-mile-long promenade is perfect for picnicking, biking, roller-blading or skateboarding.

Local food: Hot dogs, pretzels and sugared nuts sold by street vendors.

Best souvenir: New York t-shirts and sweatshirts, foam Statue of Liberty headpieces and plastic Statue of Liberty sunglasses.

Annual Events:

  • Music at Castle Clinton, Battery Park, Thursday nights July to mid-August, The Alliance For Downtown New York, 212-835-2789, www.downtownny.com. Performances for this free outdoor music series start at 7 pm, with tickets distributed at 5 pm. The season kicks off with a concert on July 4 at 3:30 pm (no tickets required).
  • Hudson River Festival. Throughout Battery Park City (World Financial Center), June 19 to August 31, 2001, 212-528-2733, www.hudsonriverfestival.com. Music, dancing, theater, sports clinics, story hours, public art tours, nature walks, garden tours.

Traffic alert: Lower Manhattan is very congested. Leave your car at the hotel or a discount lot near the Lincoln Tunnel in midtown, and visit the sights on foot. They're all within easy walking distance. Beware of July 4th, when lower Manhattan is prime viewing spot for the fireworks display over New York Harbor. You can't get anywhere near the area without fighting claustrophobia-inducing crowds.


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