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Guide to All the National Parks in NYC & How to Find Them

In Brooklyn, Guides, See & Do by Megan IndoeLeave a Comment

All the National Parks in NYC and how to find them! It’s no secret that New York City is filled with historic monuments and buildings, there are 11 official national parks in New York City from monuments, historic sites, and memorials that you can visit during your trip to the city.

Our guide to all these New York national parks in the city covers a brief overview of each historic site and landmark, how to visit, and if there’s a fee for visiting or any special planning required.

11 National Parks in New York City

Castle Clinton National Monument

 

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Castle Clinton, located in Battery Park at the southern tip of Manhattan, is a true monument to New York’s rich history of immigration. Completed in 1811, Castle Clinton was the first American immigration station. It is a circular stone fort that has lived many lives since its erection as an immigration port.

There is no fee to visit Castle Clinton, and the site is open seven days a week (excluding Thanksgiving and Christmas Day) from 7:45am until 5:00pm.

If you’re planning to visit this New York National Park, be advised that there is virtually no parking around Battery Park, however, the park is accessible via public transit by taking the 1 train to South Ferry, the N train to White Hall Street, or the 4 or 5 train to Bowling Green. Once you exit the subway station, you’re just a short walk away from the park and the monument.

Want to make a day of it? Castle Clinton is also the Manhattan departure site for the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island-bound ferries. So you can plan for a full day of learning about the history of New York immigration in National Parks in NYC!

Read Next: Enchanting Castles in New York

Federal Hall National Memorial

Federal-Hall-National-Monument-national-park-in-new-yorkIf you’re an American History buff, the Federal Hall National Memorial is a New York National Park you won’t want to miss. Federal Hall is the site of New York’s first city hall and the location of George Washington’s swearing into office.

Although the original structure is no longer standing, the present Greek revival construction is a beautiful architectural site that holds reminders of pivotal moments in American history.

Federal Hall is located on Wall Street in lower Manhattan and is accessible by several train lines to either the Wall Street station, Rector Street station, Broad Street station, or the Fulton Street station.

There is no fee to visit the memorial, and it is open Monday – Friday (excluding Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day) from 9:00am – 5:00pm. However, even when the interior is closed you can still visit the exterior of the beautiful building.

While you’re in lower Manhattan, you can also check out the Stock Exchange, the 9/11 Memorial, or head down to Battery Park, where other National Parks in New York City are located!

Gateway National Recreation Area

 

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If you’re looking to get out of the hustle and bustle of the city for a day, without trekking too far, pay a visit to the Gateway National Recreation Area! With 27,000 acres of outdoor space, covering parts of New Jersey and New York City, it’s the perfect spot for some fresh air.

Visit parks and beaches, without sacrificing the breathtaking view of the Manhattan skyline! The massive recreation area is perfect for swimming, sports, bird-watching, picnics, and any other fun in the sun activity you can think of.

This New York National Park is open year-round, with daily hours differing depending on which section you’re visiting.

You can check out the National Park Service website for site-specific hours here. There is no fee to enter the Gateway National Recreation Area, however, there is paid beach parking at Jacob Riis Park in Queens (one of our picks for best beaches in Brooklyn), NY, and Sandy Hook, NJ.

You can also pay $30 a night or $210 a week for a tent campsite if you’re looking to prolong your outdoor adventure. It’s important to note that pets are only allowed in designated areas of the recreation area. To make sure your pup will be welcomed where you plan to visit, check the NPS website.

The Gateway National Recreation Area covers a huge amount of land, and different entry points are accessible by car, public transportation, and ferry.

Lower East Side Tenement Museum National Historic Site

 

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The Lower East Side Tenement Museum National Historic Site is a landmark and testament to New York’s long history of immigration. Located at 97 Orchard Street on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, this tenement building was built in 1863 and was home to some 7,000 immigrants over the course of 72 years.

Tours of this National Park in NYC are offered daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, with the exception of Thursdays when tours begin at 6:30 pm.

You can find more information on tour times and availability here. If you want more information about the tenement building and its rich history, you can visit the Museum Shop and Visitor Center, located just up the street at 103 Orchard Street, open daily (except on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day) from 10:00 am to 6:30 pm, with the exception of Thursdays when the closing time is 8:30 pm.

General admission to the Tenement Museum National Historic Site is $25, with discounted $20 tickets available to seniors and students.

General Grant National Memorial

 

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Located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, the largest mausoleum in North America is the resting place of Ulysses S. Grant, Commander of the Union Army, and his wife, Julia D. Grant.

Visit the New York National Park that serves as a memorial to a truly heroic American leader who served the Union tirelessly during the American Civil War.

Tickets or reservations are not required to visit the memorial, and admission is free. The mausoleum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. There is also a Visitor Center that is open Wednesday through Sunday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, where you can receive more information on President Grant and his legacy. For more specific information on visiting hours and closures, you can visit the NPS website.

The entrance to the mausoleum is near the intersection of Riverside Drive and West 122nd Street. The Memorial is accessible by public transportation by taking the 1 train to the 116th Street-Columbia University station.

Governors Island National Monument

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Just a few hundred yards south of Manhattan and across the Buttermilk Channel from Brooklyn is the historical Governors Island National Monument. Originally a military post, with two forts built between 1796 and 1811, Governors Island served as an integral military site and now as one of the National Parks in New York City.

You can follow guided tours of Castle Williams and Fort Jay, the island’s two fortifications, as well as the surrounding National Historic Landmark District.

There are also many special events held on this island throughout the year, which you can learn more about by checking out the event calendar.

Public access to the island is from March to the end of October. You can visit outdoor areas of the island Monday – Friday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, Weekends from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm, and you can visit Castle Williams and Fort Jay Monday – Friday from 10:00 am – 4:30 pm, and weekends from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

The 172-acre island is a short ferry ride from Manhattan or Red Hook in Brooklyn, and there are four different ferry routes to choose from. There is no fee to access the island, however, there is a $3 fee to ride the ferry.

For more detailed information on ferry times and departure locations, you can visit this page.

Once you’re here on Governor’s Island you will also be rewarded with some of the best views of Lower Manhattan, New York Harbor, and the Statue of Liberty. There is also a glamping site in the property that you can stay at with incredible views of the WTC and Lady Liberty. Read our full guide to learn more about all the best things to do at Governor’s Island.

Statue of Liberty National Monument

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The Statue of Liberty National Monument, located on Liberty Island, is an iconic symbol of democracy and has served as a beacon of freedom since its dedication in 1886.

Possibly the most famous New York National Park, the neoclassical copper sculpture stands 305 feet tall on its island in New York Harbor. The Statue of Liberty is a deeply American figure, and breathtaking sight to see.

You can access Liberty Island, as well as the nearby historic immigration port Ellis Island, by taking a short ferry ride from Battery Park in lower Manhattan or from Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey. Visit our guide for more information on how to visit the Statue of Liberty.

You can choose ticket options that allow you to visit the Liberty Island and Ellis Island grounds for $9 for children ages 4-12, $19.25 for ages 13-61, and $14 for seniors ages 62 and up.

For no additional fee, you can choose tickets that grant you access to the interior of the pedestal of the statue and the Pedestal Museum. Access to the statue’s crown will cost you $3 more per ticket, but note that this option isn’t available to kiddos under 4 years old.

All tickets include the ferry ride to the islands, as well as audio and ranger-led tours.

Stonewall National Monument

 

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The Stonewall National Monument, located in Greenwich Village in Manhattan, is the historical site of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising. The New York National Park sits right across the street from the Stonewall Inn, which served as a refuge for many LGBTQ+ New Yorkers in the 1960s. The Stonewall Inn still functions as a bar, and is also recognized as a National Historic Landmark.

To reach the Stonewall National Monument in Christopher Park, take the 1 train to the Christopher Street-Sheridan Square Station. The park itself is located on Christopher Street, and there is limited street parking in the area. The park is open daily from 9:00 am to dusk and there is no fee to visit Christopher Park or to see the Stonewall National Monument.

Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site

 

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You can visit the boyhood home of the first U.S. president to be born in New York City. Teddy Roosevelt lived out his pre-presidential life at 28 E. 20th Street, which is now a designated National Historic Site. Theodore Roosevelt served as the extremely influential 26th President of the United States.

The site’s Visitor Center is open Wednesday-Sunday (except for Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day) from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Tours of rooms in the home that reflect the era of President Roosevelt’s childhood are only available by guided tour. These tours have a limit of 18 people per tour, and spots are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

However, you can reserve tickets in person for a tour that same day at a specific time. Admission to the house is free.

Parking is difficult to find around this National Park in NYC, and so public transportation is recommended.

Hamilton Grange National Memorial

 

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“We’ll get a little place in Harlem and we’ll figure it out,” for Hamilton fans! Once you’ve seen Hamilton on Broadway, you can head uptown to visit Alexander Hamilton’s home in Harlem, now a New York National Park.

Hamilton Grange is home to a Visitor Center which provides visitors with information on the $10 Founding Father’s legacy and includes a bookstore, a permanent exhibit, and a theatre which shows a film on the founding father’s life.

You can also tour historically-furnished rooms, or wander around the beautiful and historic grounds of the estate.

Hamilton Grange National Memorial is open year-round on Wednesday-Sunday (except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day). The Visitor Center is open from 9:00am to 5:00pm. The grounds of the home are open from 6:00 am to 1:00 am, however, the interior can be toured during tour open house times, or during timed guided tours.

More information on tour times is available here. There is no fee to visit the Hamilton Grange National Memorial.

The site is located at 414 West 141st Street in Harlem. There is limited parking in the area, so driving is not recommended. It is accessible by taking the 1 train to the West 137th Street station, or by taking the A, B, C, or D train to the West 145th Street station.

African Burial Ground National Monument

 

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One of the most important National Parks in New York is the African Burial Ground National Monument. Serving as a reminder of the contributions of free and enslaved Africans to the cultural and spiritual construction of lower Manhattan in the 17th and 18th centuries.

This monument offers visitors an interactive Visitor Center, gorgeous and impactful artwork, and an outdoor memorial to the African Burial Ground. The indoor Visitor Center is open Tuesday-Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, and the outdoor memorial is open from April to November, Tuesday-Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Both indoor and outdoor attractions are closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. There is no fee to visit the African Burial Ground National Monument.

While you’re in the area, you can also embark on a self-guided walking tour of the African American-Freedom Trail in lower Manhattan.


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NEW YORK NATIONAL PARKS

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