Thursday, June 27, 2019

Beyond the Statue of Liberty: 5 Historical Sites Near NYC

If you're looking for something different to do in the New York City area, we've got a list of several great destinations for you. These historic attractions aren't the well-known sites that every tourist hits, however. Some are off the beaten path, but they're all worth your time.

Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum

The land where the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum sits is part of Pelham Bay Park, New York City's largest park. Thomas Pell acquired this property from the Lenape people in 1654. The historic home that now graces the grounds was completed around 1842. It's the last remaining grand 19th-century country house overlooking Pelham Bay.

Besides touring the mansion, you can stroll through the magnificent terraced garden or attend one of the museum's special events. Photographers can even book photo sessions to capture a picturesque setting.

General Grant National Memorial

Image via Flickr by shinya
You can pay your respects to two-term President Ulysses S. Grant, who also served as commanding general of the U.S. Army. His and his wife's bodies rest in the General Grant National Memorial, the largest mausoleum in North America. Here you can learn more about the bloody history of the Civil War that tore American families apart, as well as Grant's efforts that ultimately led to the preservation of the Union.

Visit this national park, and you can address the often-asked riddle, "Who is buried in Grant's tomb?" But just in case you don't get to go, no one is buried there. Grant and his wife are entombed in an above-ground mausoleum.

Hicksville Gregory Museum

If you dig the earth, you'll love the Hicksville Gregory Museum, home to the Long Island Earth Science Center. You can tour the museum and take in exhibits on minerals, fossils, local history, and more. Group tours are available as well.

You'll also find the Heitz Place Courthouse in Hicksville. This historic building is one of the last (if not the last) remaining judicial buildings in Nassau County from the time when the county was still part of Queens. The renovated courthouse now houses the museum's collections.

Book a hotel stay in Hicksville and spend some time exploring this link to New York's past.

Prospect Park

Prospect Park is often called Brooklyn's Backyard because of its oasis of green space in the middle of an urban landscape. The park was built in the mid-19th century and hosts more than 10 million people on its lush 585 acres each year.

You don't have to be a Brooklynite to enjoy all the park has to offer. Take part in horseback riding, birdwatching, fishing, running, team sports, and even yoga. And that's just the beginning of what you can do at this relaxing and beautiful destination.

Historic Richmond Town

For an authentic step back into America's past, plan a visit to Staten Island's Historic Richmond Town. The onsite museum houses more than 130,000 artifacts, photographs, and archival collections that date all the way back to the 17th century.

Guided specialty tours of the grounds are offered three days a week, including "Eating America," which focuses on early American food preparation, and "Light, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness," where you can experience a taste of life before electricity.

Forget about the standard New York City tourist traps. The treasures on this list will provide you with plenty to see and do around the Big Apple.

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