What to do with a day at One World Observatory

The world changed forever on September 11, 2001. Since that day, New York City has worked to honor and commemorate the tragic events, and today, visitors can experience One World Observatory: the top of the new building built on the site of the fallen towers, One World Trade. If you are interested in going up to the observatory and taking in the rest of the site of the 9/11 Memorial, then read on. The below can help guide you on your visit and ensure that you see all of the best the site has to offer.

Visit the Observatory

If you’re planning to visit the observatory, head there first. You have to buy tickets to visit. Reserve a date and time, then show up when your ticket is scheduled. You will climb 102 flights to the top of the building in 47 seconds (that’s fast!) While you’re riding, you’ll get to see a huge range of landscape around the city: from the parks to the skyscrapers to the rivers, and way beyond. At the top visit the shop, have a bite to eat or a drink, look out at the city, and learn all about how the building came to be.

Tour Through the National September 11 Memorial & Museum

Aerial view over the September 11th memorial

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Another destination built on the site where Twin Towers fell is the September 11 Memorial & Museum. Visit the Memorial to see the two stunning fountains in the footprints of the towers. On the fountains, the names of all of the victims are engraved. Pay honor to them, and look at the stunning architecture of the fountains, which were designed by architect Michael Arad.

After you look at the fountains, go through the museum, which outlines the history and events that happened that day. The Museum is surrounded by the remnants of the original World Trade Center, so you can see the foundation and parts of the buildings that stood and fell that day. When you go through the museum, you can learn about the victims, read about the timeline of events, take in information about the first responders who helped rescue people and sacrifice their lives, and the political implications of the event. The museum is heavy and harrowing, so be prepared to learn a lot–but also feel very emotional.

Shop at Oculus Shopping Mall

Oculus Mall

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For a complete change of pace and to get your mind off of the tragedy of 9/11, you can shop at the relatively new Oculus Shopping Mall that was built on the site. The mall is an architectural feat – bright white, stunning, and visible from a distance. Inside the Oculus Mall (by Westfield), you can find a whole host of stores to visit. Some of the most popular include the Apple Store, Freedom Wine Cellar, Pandora, and Samsonite. If you want a bite to it, you’re in luck. The mall has great dining options, too. Head to Shake Shack for a classic NYC burger, French Fry, and milkshake experience. Or, if you want something fancier, go to Eataly. This Italian grocery and dining outpost has tons of Italian delicacies to buy and eat at home. Alternatively, you can choose to eat at one of the in-store restaurants, which are themed around all of the delicacies that Italy has become known for (pasta, fish, meat, and more).

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