At the southernmost tip of Manhattan Island, the Financial District is the oldest part of the city. It is also the home of the New York Stock Exchange, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and all the investment and securities institution that make Wall Street an international byword. Since the lion's share of business for Financial District meeting venues is catering to these exacting corporate clients, planners will find many seasoned professionals to work with.
Getting to and from the Financial District takes approximately 45 minutes via taxi or car from the New York metropolitan area's three major airports-LaGuardia Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport and Newark Liberty International Airport. Once in the area, visitors can hail a cab, jump on the subway or catch a bus.
Financial District event venues can accommodate and will impress groups of all sizes. The New York Stock Exchange at 11 Wall Street has four event venues: the main dining room, the Lounge & Card Room, the trading floor inside the building and a section of Broad Street that has built-in grandstands. The nearby World Financial Center has over 20,000 square feet of event space.
Cultural attractions that double as Financial District venues include the New York City Police Museum, the Museum of American Finance, the National Museum of the American Indian, George Gustav Heye Center and the Fraunces Tavern Museum. The Museum of Jewish Heritage has a 375-seat-theater, a 5,000-square-foot events hall and breathtaking views of the Statue of Liberty on an outdoor terrace with adjacent indoor space. The Skyscraper Museum has a mirrored gallery ideal for receptions of up to 175.
Hotel venues in the Financial District include the W Hotel, which opened August 2010; the Marriott New York Downtown (with 12,000 square feet of function space); the Andaz Wall Street (5 meeting rooms); the Millennium Hilton (2,500 square feet of space); and the Ritz-Carlton New York, Battery Park (13,419 square feet of space).
South Street Seaport, a cultural marketplace along Lower Manhattan's waterfront, offers attractions, shops, restaurants, concerts, street performers, boating, bike rentals and a farmers market. Other restaurants include Battery Gardens, Cipriani Wall Street Restaurant and Bobby Van's Steakhouse.
Much tourist interest is centered on the devastating terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Groups are encouraged to observe and reflect, and then to convene in a neighborhood that emerged from 2001 with a renewed commitment to honoring the past while looking to the future.