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New York's Historical Culture

Visit Tenement Museum, Heritage Area, New York City, & Other Cultural Hot Spots

American culture grew up here in New York, and a great place to sample it is at an Urban Cultural Park or Heritage Area. Find them in parks and historic neighborhoods from New York City to Sackets Harbor, Albany to Buffalo.

Learn the history and culture of New York in the Adirondack region at the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake. Get a taste of Brooklyn at Brooklyn’s History Museum. Discover the noble Iroquois Nation at the Iroquois Indian Museum in Howes Cave, or touch the lives of immigrants at New York’s lower east side Tenement Museum.

For history that lives and breathes, immerse yourself in a living history museum where reenactors carry on traditions from past centuries. Long Island’s rural heritage survives on 100 acres of historic homes and workshops at the Old Bethpage Village Restoration. The Genesee Country Village & Museum, recreating a village of 68 historic structures from 1797 to 1884, is the largest living history museum in the state. Ganondagan State Historic Site marks a thriving 17th century Seneca town that lets you explore a bark longhouse and hunting lodge with self-guided tours through 600 acres of trails. While Erie Canal Village recreates a 19th-century canal village along the original Erie Canal, complete with horse-drawn packet boat rides.

Waterways claim a big piece of New York’s cultural roots. The Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum and Hudson River Maritime Museum and South Street Seaport Museum are just a couple of many stops on your journey. Don’t miss Commodore Perry’s ship, the Niagara, at the Erie Maritime Museum; it’s one of the last two ships remaining from the War of 1812. You'll uncover a lot of history when you explore New York's Canal systems!

Like a good lighthouse? Follow the beacon to the 1874 Hudson-Athens Lighthouse that still guides vessels along the river. Visit the Horton Point Lighthouse and Nautical Museum, or enjoy multimedia exhibits at the Montauk Lighthouse Museum.

Like to walk? Set your own pace with a guided New York Walking Tour and stroll through centuries of NYC history, architecture, food and culture. You won’t believe where your feet can take you.

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