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If you are in New York for business, there is a good chance you are downtown in the Financial District (sometimes shortened to FiDi). Having to work here until 5:00 pm does not mean you need to miss out in enjoying what this part of New York City has to offer.
Ride the Staten Island Ferry
The last ferry to the Statue of Liberty leaves at 5:00 pm, but this doesn’t mean you have to miss seeing her up close. The Staten Island ferry leaves from the bottom tip of Manhattan throughout the day and night (24/7) and runs right past Liberty Island. You will also get amazing views of downtown Manhattan. The best part? It’s totally free. The trip to Staten Island takes about 30 minutes. When you arrive, you need to disembark, but you can get straight back on the next ferry to Manhattan.
Visit the Wall Street Bull
Of course, you can’t miss a stop off at the famous Wall Street bull. This is outside and a popular photo stop at all times of the day. Stop by after – or before – the Staten Island ferry.
Enjoy Museums Open Late
The Met and MOMA aren’t downtown, but there are three great museums here that you can visit.
- The National Museum of the American Indian. Most days this museum closes at 5:00 pm, but it’s open until 8:00 pm on Thursdays. This museum, housed in the beautiful old Customs House, is a really interesting museum with well-presented displays and exhibitions on Native American culture. The museum is free because it’s part of the Smithsonian.
- The 911 Memorial and Museum. This is an important part of New York’s history and the memorial and museum are incredibly moving. The 911 Memorial is open daily until 9:00pm and the museum is open until 8:00 pm (last entry 6:00 pm) Sunday-Thursday and until 9:00 pm (last entry 7:00pm) Friday and Saturday. To visit the museum is $24, or you can buy combination tickets: Museum + Museum tour is $44 or Museum + Memorial Tour is $39.
- South Street Seaport Museum. This is a small but interesting museum about New York City as a port city. It is open to 7:00 pm Tuesday-Sunday (closed Mondays; $12). The organization that runs it also offers sailboat trips on a schooner in the summer Wednesday-Friday at 6:30 pm or 7:00 pm (the time varies throughout the season; $32). This is a really fun way to see and experience New York City.
Stroll through the South Street Seaport Area
The south street seaport area is more than just the museum. There are lots of restaurants and bars here. In the warmer months, having a glass of wine and delicious food at Industry Kitchen with views of the East River is a personal favorite. For another restaurant with a view, I also love Battery Gardens, hidden at the eastern end of Battery Park, with incredible views of New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty. Battery Park is also a nice place for an evening or late afternoon stroll. And for a bar with great views, it’s hard to past the Living Room Bar and Terrace at the W Downtown hotel.
Experience views at the One World Observatory
The One World Observatory at the top of the World Trade is open until 9:00 pm (except between December 21 and January 3 when it closes at 8:00pm). The views from here are incredible – in one direction is the New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty while in the other direction is the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building. Going after 5:00 pm is actually my favorite time because you get to see the view in daylight and at nighttime when the city shimmers with lights. An added bonus? The lines are usually shorter after 5:00 pm because many tourists are heading to dinner.
Go Shopping at the Oculus
If you want to go shopping, the Westfield mall is open until 9:00 pm. This is inside the Oculus and is worth visiting for the architecture alone, even if you don’t want to shop.
New York City is the ‘city that never sleeps’, so you will have no trouble enjoying what the city has to offer even if you are busy working until 5:00 pm.
Visiting New York City and looking for after work adventures?
- Head 10 minutes outside the city with Hoboken After Five
- Explore Manhattan in New York After Five
- Check out the biggest borough in NYC in Queens After Five
- Tips for your First Work Trip
- Is TSA Precheck worth it?