Visit This New York Destination For A Historic Look At The Women's Rights Movement

At first glance, Seneca Falls looks like any other sleepy, small town in upstate New York. It has a church, a high school, storefronts, parks, and not much else. It's charming and quaint, and if you aren't aware of the events that happened here, it's not exactly a place you'd rush to visit. However, this unassuming town holds momentous historic significance. The first Women's Rights Convention — also called the Seneca Falls Convention – took place here in 1848. The American women's suffrage movement resulted from the convention, and it made a lasting impact that extended far beyond the town's borders.

Seneca Falls, New York is a great destination for history buffs. You can walk the halls of the Wesleyan Chapel, the building where the Women's Rights Convention took place, explore a number of museums and historic buildings, and, if you plan it correctly, attend a festival or Living History event. If you aren't familiar with the history, visiting is an immersive way to learn about it; if you love it and are especially intrigued by women's rights history, Seneca Falls is the ideal place to witness the very place it gained traction.

Walking where history unfolded

The main place we recommend visiting during your time in Seneca Falls is the National Women's Rights Historic Park. This national park is a collection of buildings that were either considered home by key figures in the women's rights movement, like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, or that served as an important meeting ground for the burgeoning women's rights movement in the 1800s. There's also a visitor center and a park with a waterwall honoring the Declaration of Sentiments, which is the document the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention produced.

You can wander through the sites on your own or you can embark on a guided tour where a ranger will share the fascinating history and answer any questions you may have. There's no need to make a reservation for this 45-minute tour, instead, you can simply show up with an open mind. If you're planning to go on a tour in the winter, make sure to check out the calendar before you head out. The park has limited options once the temperatures drop.

Honoring women who've made an impact

Once you've explored the National Women's Rights Historic Park, you can head over to the National Women's Hall of Fame, located in the Seneca Knitting Mill. The museum honors and shares the stories of women who've made a significant mark on American history. They feature more than 300 women from various backgrounds, be it ethnicity and race or profession. The museum is small, so you'll only need about an hour or two to get through it according to TripAdvisor. With that being said, it's also insightful and worth visiting. There's no ticket cost, but rather, donations are welcomed and suggested. Be sure to check what their hours are before you visit, as of fall 2023, they're open on Fridays and Saturdays.

Whether you're looking to expand your understanding of the women's rights movement, take your family on an educational weekend trip, or learn about something entirely new to you, Seneca Falls is a great, American historical site to visit.