Living in South Street Seaport: Things to Do and See in South Street Seaport, New York City

South Street Seaport—“Where New York Begins”

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South Street Seaport is the oldest neighborhood in New York City. This historic 12-block enclave at the eastern edge of Lower Manhattan began as a trading outpost of the Dutch West India Company in 1625. It functioned as the connecting port between the Old and the New World—a vibrant shipping and trade center, becoming one of the busiest seaports in the United States by the mid-19th century. Today, it’s one of New York’s hottest destinations for upscale dining, luxury retail, and world-class entertainment. It’s also an affluent residential neighborhood of 18th- and early 19th-century townhouses and converted warehouse lofts on the doorstep of the Financial District.

Where Is South Street Seaport located in NYC?

South Street Seaport is in lower Manhattan, between the Financial District to the west, north, and south, and the East River.

  • East to West Boundaries: East River to Pearl Street
  • North to South Boundaries: Dover Street to Maiden Lane and Pier 14
  • Subway: 2, 3, 5, A, C, E, J, N, R, W, Z Trains
  • Ticket out of the City: The FDR Drive, The Brooklyn Bridge, NYC Water Taxi, Pier 11 Ferry Terminal, and Downtown Manhattan Heliport

What to Do in South Street Seaport?

At the center of South Street Seaport’s dining scene is the Tin Building at Pier 17. The original home of the Fulton Street Fish Market from 1835 to 2005 (now located at Hunts Point in the Bronx) has been reimagined as a seafood market, food hall, and restaurant helmed by world-renowned chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. During the warmer months, South Street Seaport offers an array of outdoor entertainment, including the River to River Festival in late June, the Seaport Food & Film Festival through July, and the music-filled Brasil SummerFest in August, as well as Circle Line Sightseeing and dinner cruises year-round. There are also bi-weekly outdoor film screenings, free outdoor workout classes, and pop-up stores and restaurants, such as the Seaport Food Lab, which features eight chefs in one-week residencies.

The South Street Seaport Museum is the cultural center of the neighborhood, designated by Congress in 1998 as one of several museums that make up America’s National Maritime Museum. It is home to many galleries, a library, and Bowne & Co., Stationers, New York’s oldest operating business. The museum has five vessels docked permanently or semi-permanently, four of which are designated historic sites. Other sites of historical significance are the Titanic Memorial, a 60-foot-tall lighthouse at Fulton and Pearl streets, and the Museum of American Finance. The neighborhood’s charming cobblestone streets and piers have been the setting for many popular television shows and films such as Annie Hall, I am Legend, and Godzilla.

What to See in South Street Seaport?

As a designated historic district, South Street Seaport is replete with landmark buildings, comprising early 19th-century-townhouses and converted mercantile buildings. But there’s also a growing inventory of luxury developments along the recently renovated East River Waterfront Esplanade, a two-mile-long public space that encompasses the Pier 15 bi-level park with its large lawn, concession stands, continuous bike trail, and stunning waterfront and skyline views. New developments include the first all-glass residential tower, The Seaport Residences. Other luxury apartments on the market include Seaport Park, 200 Water Street, and 117 Beekman, an elegant boutique condominium building with one of the best roof decks in Lower Manhattan. Residents enjoy proximity to Wall Street and the Financial District by day and the finest dining and entertainment experience by night. For the ultimate moviegoing experience, iPic Theaters features wide seats and waitstaff bearing food and cocktails. Close by in the Financial District is the city’s most distinguished transportation hub and shopping complex, the Oculus, designed by Santiago Calavatra.

Where to Eat in South Street Seaport?

South Street Seaport offers numerous high-end dining experiences, like Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s The Fulton and culinary hot spots by other award-winning chefs, such as José Andrés. Long-established restaurants are also here: Delmonico’s and Fraunces Tavern, situated in what is said to be New York City's oldest building. The neighborhood has a lively bar scene frequented by residents and the after-work crowd. Just a few blocks west in the Financial District are Fowler and Wells and Augustine, both at the Beekman Hotel. Chef Jose Garces’ Spanish tapas restaurant Amada is at Brookfield Place, also home to Le District French marketplace and Michelin-starred restaurant L’Appart. Chef Daniel Boulud’s third Manhattan outpost is Epicerie Boulud in the Oculus.

What Schools are in South Street Seaport

South Street Seaport has both public and, though few in number, private schools, among them is the Pre-K to 8th-grade Blue School. Parents have several excellent schools to choose from in the Financial District: the most prestigious is the coeducational Leman Manhattan Preparatory School, New York City’s only boarding school, which caters to students from early childhood through 12th grade.

How Many People Live in South Street Seaport?

As of 2016, approximately 7,450 people live in South Street Seaport.

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