Castle Clinton National Monument
Castle Clinton (aka Fort Clinton) is composed of thick, sandstone circular outer walls and a gateway leading into a colonnaded courtyard, where you’ll find the ferry ticket booths. Admission is free, and guided tours are available. Many tours of Lower Manhattan or Liberty and Ellis islands also feature Castle Clinton. And you can catch sight of the fort from the water on a variety of harbor cruises.
Things to Know Before You Go
Castle Clinton is an interesting stop for history enthusiasts.
The fort is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.
On-site facilities include restrooms, a gift store, and an ATM.
How to Get There
Overlooking Battery Park’s waterfront, Castle Clinton is easy to get to via public transit. The nearest subway stations are Bowling Green (4 and 5 lines) and South Ferry/Whitehall (1, R, and W lines). Alternatively, catch the M1, M6, or M15 bus to Battery Park. Parking is limited, though you’ll find a few garages at nearby Pearl Street and New York Plaza.
When to Get There
Castle Clinton is open daily from 7:45am till 5pm. It tends to be busy from late morning till midafternoon, as people arrive to purchase ferry tickets—especially on weekends and in summer. For fewer crowds, get there right after the fort opens.
Tracing Castle Clinton’s History
Castle Clinton has enjoyed many incarnations through the years. Built as an island fort, it was later used as a theater, and then an immigration landing center; between 1855 and the center’s closure in 1890, more than eight million people passed through its doors. Castle Clinton’s unlikeliest incarnation was in 1896—when it opened as an aquarium. Visit the site’s exhibition room to learn more.
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