A few months back my family and I visited One World Trade Center. It was the first time that I had been down to ground zero since the early 2000’s. One World Trade Center stands high above the New York City skyline and can be seen throughout the city. It is not until you are right down at the base of the tower until you get a true feeling for how large the tower is.

The two waterfalls marking the foundations of the original Twin Towers are a beautiful tribute to those who lost their lives on 9/11. Around each, the names of those who lost their lives at the various sites around the North East. It is a wonderful tribute and well worth the trip to lower Manhattan for the experience.

On the day we visited we were lucky enough to purchase tickets to One World Trade Center’s observatory. Standard Admission begins at $32.00 and prices can quickly climb to over $90.00 depending on the type of ticket you purchase. Standard Adult tickets cost $34.00 and offer the same perks as any other ticket, but by paying more you get shorter wait times to get up to the observatory.

Upon checking in we were directed to one of multiple lines that would dictate our “start time.” Quickly we were informed that the “See Forever” film runs at certain times and that film is the first portion of your visit to the observatory.

Once we cleared security, we were ushered to our elevator. The elevators a quite large, but they managed to get upwards of 12 people in each one. The walls of the elevator are made of large video monitors and the elevator became quite warm very quickly. As you begin your 102 floor accent in under 60 seconds, a video presentation of the building of Manhattan is shown. The video shows the early days of Manhattan to the present day when the elevators open on the 102nd floor. From the elevator, you line up along a railing facing a black wall. The wall eventually transforms into a dynamic video screen showing the “SEE FOREVER” film. The film is accompanied by some very powerful music and features an ending that is truly stunning (I won’t ruin it).

After the film, you are free to roam the Observatory. iPads are offered to help you understand what exactly you are looking at, but I found they take away from the overall experience. The views of the city are incredible on a clear day. I have never been one to enjoy paying money to visit an observation deck, but this one is truly special and well worth the money.

Overall, I loved my visit to One World Trade Center and would happily visit the memorial and observatory again. The only part of the whole experience that was quite interesting was the name of the building itself. Originally, the building was named the “Freedom Tower” and throughout the entire visit that name was never used once. The building was habitually referred to as One World Trade Center. I have no idea why this is the case, but we found it interesting that the building was never referred to as the Freedom Tower while on the tour.

I hope you get the chance to visit 1WTC, it is definitely worth visiting provided the weather is clear.