Located in the Civic Center section of Lower Manhattan, New York City, the African Burial Ground National Monument is the oldest and largest known excavated burial ground in all of North America for both free and enslaved Africans.
The burial ground was first discovered in 1991 when construction began on a federal office tower that would rise to a 34-story height. During the planning of the building, archaeological research was undertaken on the site and excavation found intact human skeletal remains located 30 feet below the city’s street level. This discovery unearthed the "Negroes Buriel Ground" which is a six-acre burial ground that contained more than 15,000 intact skeletal remains of enslaved and free Africans. These people lived and worked in colonial New York during the 1600s and 1700s and the discovery of the burial ground put a spotlight on the forgotten history of enslaved Africans in New York City.
After the discovery, the building project was redesigned to preserve part of the archaeological site and it was designated a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior in 1992. Since it's discovery the African Burial Ground National Monument has become a very important memorial and educational area that is visited by thousands of people each year.
The African Burial Ground National Monument has an indoor visitor center, indoor exhibitions and an outdoor memorial. Due to the location of the monument in the middle of New York City it is very uncommon for RV lovers to visit the area and there are no campgrounds located close by. The African Burial Ground National Monument is open all year round and is free to visit.
Getting to and from the African Burial Ground National Monument can be difficult depending on the time of day that you decide to visit due to the New York City traffic. You can access the monument from the north, east, south and west thanks to the location of the monument in lower Manhattan near the New York Supreme Court.
Most visitors to the monument will either be coming from New Jersey or from Brooklyn in the east. The monument is very easy to find as it is in a very prominent location.
Parking in and around the monument can be quite difficult, especially if you have an RV. Your best bet is to park your RV at a location where street parking is available and then take public transport or private ride-share or a taxi into lower Manhattan as there is no guarantee that you will be able to park an RV near the vicinity of the monument.
Due to the location of the monument, there are plenty of different public transport options that you can take. location. The most common way for people to visit is by taking the subway from outside of Manhattan and to then walk from the City Hall Station up to the monument.
While there are no RV campgrounds in Manhattan, if you are looking for a place to stay the night you can head across the Hudson River to New Jersey, specifically Jersey City. Within Jersey City there is an RV park next to Liberty Harbor Marina that is only a 15 minute from Manhattan. The campground features permanent and overnight sites and is a great place for those with RV's who are looking to be as close to New York City as possible.
Some of the facilities at this urban camping experience include water and electric hookups, 50 sites, full restrooms that have hot showers and a restaurant/bar located within the RV campground. Please note that there is no dump station within the RV campground.
If you do plan to stay at this park you should consider booking a reservation as the sites regularly fill up. This is because there are no other RV parks located this close to New York City so they are in demand.
If you are looking for some outdoor recreation after you visit the African Burial Ground National Monument, head down south and check out Battery Park. Here you will find a 25 acre public park that features many great recreational activities, including bird watching, biking, running, picnicking, yoga, ping-pong, rollerblading, tennis and painting. The park is open all year round and is always a hub of activity due to its Lower Manhattan location.
One of the best ways to experience a bird's eye view of Manhattan is to make the trek up to the One World Observatory. Located a few blocks to the west of the African Burial Ground National Monument, One World Observatory offers you the chance to see some incredible views from the the 100-102 floor of the new World Trade Center. The elevator to the observatory climbs 102 stories in 47 seconds and once at the top you can see the city and below your feet thanks to a 14-foot wide circular glass disc. For more information on the observatory check out their website.
Located only a few blocks away from the African Burial Ground National Monument is the 9/11 Memorial on the original World Trade Center site. Since the tragic events of September 11 the site has been transformed into a memorial honoring the victims who lost their lives. The site is now a major attraction for those wanting to pay respect and learn more about the incident and what happened. Along with featuring an outdoor memorial there is also a museum at the site that you can explore on your own or on a guided tour by staff. For more information on the tours check out the 9/11 Memorial website.
The outdoor memorial at the African Burial Ground National Monument was first opened in 2007 and features an impressive 25-foot granite monument. The monument features a map of the Atlantic area within the "Circle of Diaspora", which is a reference to the Middle Passage by which slaves were transported from Africa to North America. The stone in the monument is built of stone from South Africa and from North America in order to symbolize the two worlds coming together. The Outdoor Memorial is the most visited part of the African Burial Ground National Monument and is open all year round.
Along with the Visitor Center there is also a resource library that is available by appointment for those who are interested in learning more about African history in New York City. For more information on the resource library and to schedule and appointment you can call the Visitor Center in advance.
The African Burial Ground National Monument Visitor Center is one of the most popular ways for visitors to learn more about the history of the area. The Visitor Center was first opened in 2010 and features a 20-minute park movie, exhibitions, and a bookstore/giftshop. The exhibits at the visitor center examine topics that include archaeology, colonial enslavement, and civic engagement. There are also some great amenities at the center, including bathrooms and water fountains. Please note that visitors will have to go through airport-style security that may include the removal of shoes and the showing of photo identification. The African Burial Ground National Monument Visitor Center is open throughout the year.