Seeing my BFF Chelsie is always a top priority when I’m in the States, regardless of which state she’s in (though thankfully she’s always on the East Coast). She recently moved to Seneca Falls, NY with her husband and informed me she was not visiting me this time, I had to come to Seneca Falls because I would love it.
I figured she just didn’t want to drive to see me and since Seneca Falls is part of the Finger Lakes region of New York, it was just a really pretty area.
The Finger Lakes is a beautiful region but the real beauty in Seneca Falls is its historic past.
Seneca Falls is where the women’s rights movement began and that history continues to be respected in the town, making it a must-visit for both history buffs and feminists.
Chelsie is not quite the history-loving feminist I am but she is a fantastic best friend and spent the entire day exploring with me. The Women’s Rights National Historic Park actually consists of several different locations and we focused on two – the Women’s Rights Museum and the Wesleyan Chapel next door. We spent HOURS inside the Women’s Rights Museum – major props to Chelsie for not complaining when I insisted on reading EVERYTHING inside the museum.
We visited the Wesleyan Chapel first. It’s located next door to the museum and is where the original Women’s Rights Convention was held. Today it’s used as a church but parts of the original structure still remain and are being preserved. It was pretty incredible to stand inside such an immensely important historical building.
After spending a few minutes there, we headed next door to my new favorite museum. My inner feminist started fangirling as soon as we walked in the door and Chelsie will be the first to tell you that I made sure to look at every single exhibit in the museum. I even made her watch the 30 minute introduction video that was so outdated we laughed several times. (It was still surprisingly informative though!)
The museum walks you through the entire history of women’s rights, from the first thoughts of equality to today’s gender stereotypes. There’s a special emphasis put on the beginning – it did begin in Seneca Falls, after all – and women like Elizabeth Cady Stanton who began the entire thing. Though I’ve joined today’s fight for equality, I had no idea about the beginning and took in as much information as possible. (Did you know the Women’s Rights Movement ran parallel to the Civil Right’s Movement?)
What I loved most was how they wove history into present day. One of my favorite exhibits showed today’s gender stereotypes and another showed the pay gap in several different professions.
The museum in general, from the enthusiasm in the staff through all the information provided, really blew me away. (Chelsie won’t admit it but I think she liked it too.)
After Chelsie finally dragged me out of the museum, we stopped for lunch and meandered through town until we found ourselves in front of the Trinity Church (absolutely beautiful from the outside) and then followed along the Ludovico Sculpture Trail. The first few statues are historically relevant and a few others are just interesting pieces of art but after a few minutes of following the statue trail, it becomes more of a random walk through the woods than an artistic discovery.
When I recommend visiting historic Seneca Falls to friends, I recommend skipping the sculpture trail to spend more time enjoying the town’s real treasure – the Women’s Rights National Park
I’m already planning to return the next time I’m in the States and can’t wait to check out some of the other historical sites in Seneca Falls, like Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s house.
Have you ever been to Seneca Falls, NY? If so, tell me about your visit! If you haven’t, would you go?
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