The Travel Professor
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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Touring the Big Apples' Lower Manhattan

When you’re in the lower Manhattan (LM) take the time to visit Fraunces Tavern and Battery Park. Both are very historic places that seem to have fallen off of most tourists’ maps and handheld devices. I not sure if there’s an app for these two places. Maybe that’s why!

Fraunces Tavern Museum is a survivor of the early days of New York City. It was built in 1719 as an elegant residence for the merchant Stephan Delancey and his family. In 1762, the home was purchased by tavern-keeper Samuel Fraunces, who turned it into one of the most popular taverns of the day. Though it is best known as the site where Washington gave his farewell address to the officers of the Continental Army, in 1783, the tavern also played a significant role in pre-Revolutionary activities. After the war, when New York was the nation’s first capital, the tavern was rented to the new government to house the offices of the Departments of War, Treasury and Foreign Affairs.

Today it is a restaurant and museum that recreates the early days of the Republic.

After taking in National September 11 Memorial and lunching at Fraunces I am heading over to Battery Park. All of the locales are within easy walking of one another.

For more than 200 years, Battery Park has been an invaluable part of New York City’s history. In 1855, Castle Garden, situated inside the Park, became the world’s first immigrant depot. Decades before Ellis Island was built or the Statue of Liberty gazed down at incoming boats, millions of newcomers arrived at Battery Park from Europe and elsewhere.

Although its role has changed, people from around the world still visit Battery Park for a view of the city's past. Ferries dock at its shore to pick up visitors to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, and all summer long concerts play on its grounds.

You’ll discover a beautiful waterfront and flower gardens that makes Battery Park a lovely place to wander. For those who'd like a longer stroll, the park’s location at the southern tip of Manhattan makes it a classic starting point for walking tours through the city.

I have only touched on a few of the attractions of Lower Manhattan. There are plenty more to experience and enjoy. For additional information contact your travel professional or visit the city’s official tourism office at