The Real New York

Discover 11 special places just steps away from Conrad New York

National September 11 Memorial & Museum

More than 5 million visitors have paid their respects at these Michael Arad–designed pools, which mark the footprints of the towers. Unlike any other memorial in the world, names here are arranged by "meaningful adjacencies"—i.e. who victims were with, where they were, and who their families requested they be listed next to. Download the 9/11 Memorial Guide app (iTunes, Android, and Windows; free) to find names and learn more about the space. 212-266-5211; Albany Street and Greenwich Street; 911memorial.org

Greenwich Jewelers

Since 1976, the Gandia family has run this shop for ethically sourced jewelry—like vintage diamond rings by the Single Stone and recycled metal pieces by Melissa Joy Manning. 212-964-7592; 64 Trinity Place; greenwichjewelers.com

Poet's House

Overlooking the Hudson River, this national poetry library and literary center has more than 50,000 volumes. Stop for the manuscripts but stay for the poetry classes and other events, which range from a conversation with onetime U.S. poet laureate Robert Hass to a guided stroll over the Brooklyn Bridge with Pulitzer-winning poet Galway Kinnell. 212-431-7920; 10 River Terrace; poetshouse.org

Inatteso Pizzabar Casano

This neighborhood favorite is beloved for its brick oven pizza, but we prefer the pastas, which taste as though they were perfected by a real Italian nonna. 212-267-8000; 28 West Street; inattesopizzabar.com

Federal Reserve Bank

Located in the Financial District, this Renaissance-style building boasts the largest depository of gold in the world. To peek at the more than 7,000 tons of gold, visitors descend five stories into the vault during the bank's popular tours, Monday to Friday. Reservations required. 212-720-6130; 33 Liberty Street; newyorkfed.org

Battery Park Esplanade

A perfect respite from the bustle of downtown Manhattan. The pedestrian-friendly Battery Park Esplanade runs the length of Battery Park City, right along the Hudson River. Enter at Liberty Street and take in views of the New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the New Jersey shoreline as you head south. Parks and gardens line the route, along with sculptures and art installations. End your walk at Robert F. Wagner, Jr. Park (below). Battery Park City; bpcparks.org

The Mysterious Bookshop

You'll find everything from first-edition Agatha Christies to the latest Michael Chabon novel here. Area bibliophiles return to scoop up the newest British import, or to thumb through one of the nation's largest collections on Sherlock Holmes. 212-587-1011; 58 Warren Street; mysteriousbookshop.com

Financier Patisserie

Coffee is roasted daily at this downtown favorite, which serves colorful macaroons. The shop's signature almond cake, the financier, is given with each coffee purchase. 212-786-3220; 3-4 World Financial Center; financierpastries.com

Financier Patisserie

Coffee is roasted daily at this downtown favorite, which serves colorful macaroons. The shop's signature almond cake, the financier, is given with each coffee purchase. 212-786-3220; 3-4 World Financial Center; financierpastries.com

The Mysterious Bookshop

You'll find everything from first-edition Agatha Christies to the latest Michael Chabon novel here. Area bibliophiles return to scoop up the newest British import, or to thumb through one of the nation's largest collections on Sherlock Holmes. 212-587-1011; 58 Warren Street; mysteriousbookshop.com

Atrio Wine Bar | Restaurant

If you like your meals tailor-made, have executive chef Anthony Zamora whip you up a bento-box-style lunch in this space overlooking the Hudson River (try the roasted organic chicken with Parmesan polenta). Some of the organic herbs used in the kitchen are grown by Zamora himself on the hotel's roof. 212-945-0100; Reservations; 102 North End Avenue; conradnewyork.com

Shake Shack

Danny Meyer's Lower Manhattan outpost is almost as popular as the Madison Square Park original. Area residents avoid lines by getting their fix at 11 a.m., right when the doors open. It's worth it for locavores with a fast-food craving: The Shack-cago Dog is topped with NYC's own Rick's Picks Shack relish, the ShackMeister Ale is bottled by Brooklyn Brewery, and—chocoholics, take note—the Lower West Side frozen custard concrete features cocoa nibs from the Williamsburg-based Mast Brothers. 646-545-4600; 215 Murray Street; shakeshack.com

Silver Lining

Descend the basement steps of this TriBeCa townhouse and you'll enter another era—Prohibition. Mustached bartenders stir up perfect cocktails (we love the refreshing "Don"t Mind If I Do" julep) while a jazz trio takes the stage. 212-513-1234; 72 Murray Street; silverliningbar.com