8. Visit a museum in a Beaux-Arts fire station

New York Fire Museum in Soho

The beautiful Beaux-Arts fire station built in 1904 on Spring Street, which once housed Engine Company No. 30, is now home to the New York City Fire Museum. With over 10,000 objects, the museum holds one of the world’s largest collections of fire-related artifacts. The museum traces the history of firefighting in New York, from the colonial days of Dutch New Amsterdam to the present and telling the story of its evolution from a volunteer fire brigade to a paid municipal department. You can see firefighting tools from the 1700s to the present, including highlights such as horse-drawn carriages, pumps, uniforms, and elaborately decorated fire shields.

There’s also a special memorial exhibit dedicated to the FDNY heroes who lost their lives during 9/11. One of the most remarkable things to see is a Nikon camera from the FDNY photo team that was lost and later recovered with its memory card intact. The photos, which were taken after the first plane hit the World Trade Center, have been framed and hung up in this section of the museum.