Castle Clinton National Monument

Overview

Located at the southern tip of the island of Manhattan, Castle Clinton represents not only the growth of New York City, but the growth of a nation. First intended to keep out a British invasion in 1812, the Castle has transformed over the years to welcome theater goers, immigrants, sightseers, and now, millions of visitors to New York Harbor.

Originally built to be a fort for the War of 1812 Castle Clinton has seen many changes over the years. After it was a fort it became an opera house from 1840-1855 and renamed Castle Garden. An immigration station operated here between 1855-1890. After Ellis Island opened in 1892 the building was transformed into the New York City Aquarium from 1896-1941.

Castle Clinton is also a place for education and entertainment, offering guided tours, an exhibit room displaying dioramas of Castle Clinton during three key periods in its history, the Eastern National Bookstore, and the annual 'Music at Castle Clinton' concert series.

Map

Activities

Seasonality / Weather

The best time of year to visit is the fall and spring, when temperatures are mild. Winters can be extremely cold with high snow drifts. With its high humidity, summers in New York tend to be warm and muggy. Please dress appropriately.

Directions

Driving: 

Castle Clinton is located in historic Battery Park. It is only directly accessible by foot, bicycle, or wheelchair. You cannot drive directly to the site. Local parking is nearly impossible to find and expensive. All public transportation options are located outside of Battery Park.

From New Jersey: Any bridge or tunnel to Manhattan. West Side Highway south to Battery Park.

From the East: Any bridge or tunnel to Manhattan. FDR Drive south to last exit (exit 1). Broad Street to Water Street. Left on Water Street to Battery Park.

Public Transport: 

Subway:
Take the #1 train to South Ferry/Whitehall.
Take the #4 or #5 train to Bowling Green.
Take the R or W train to Whitehall Street/South Ferry.

Bus:
Take the M1, M6, or M15 bus to Battery Park.