Located on the southernmost tip of Manhattan Island and known for being the entrance to where New York City began, Castle Clinton National Monument is a must see for RV lovers and history buffs. Construction on Castle Clinton (also known previously as Fort Clinton and Castle Garden) began in 1808 and was finished in 1811 and was originally built to prevent a British invasion. Since then it has been used for a multitude of different activities and services, including as an entertainment center, immigration center and aquarium. It has been restored by the National Park Service and nowadays, the site houses the ticket office for the Statue of Liberty.
If you are looking to learn more about the history of Castle Clinton then you must visit it in person. At the site of the castle there is a museum available for you to peruse and guided tours of the castle are often held by National Park staff throughout the year. Since it is the ticket office for the Statue of Liberty you will also be able to easily catch the ferry over to the iconic structure. The location of Castle Clinton within Battery Park also means that you are in close proximity to other interesting historical sites, including the African Burial Ground National Monument.
Due to the location of Castle Clinton in Manhattan there are no RV camping options. Despite this, you can park your RV across the Hudson in New Jersey as there is an urban camping ground available within Jersey City. This campground is open all year round.
Getting to and from Castle Clinton National Monument can be challenging depending on the time of day and year that you decide to visit due to the New York City traffic. Since Castle Clinton National Monument is located on the southernmost tip of Manhattan in Battery Park you can only access the monument from the north via car or by ferry.
Most visitors to the monument will either be coming from Brooklyn in the east or from New Jersey. The monument is very easy to find as it is in a very prominent location right near the edge of the park.
Parking in and around Castle Clinton National Monument can be quite difficult, especially if you are traveling in an RV. Your best bet is to park your RV at a location where street parking is available and then take public transport, private ride-share or a taxi closer to Battery Park 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 you will have a rather large choice of different public transport options that you can take. The most common way for people to visit the monument is by taking the subway from outside of Manhattan and to walk from the City Hall Station up to the monument.
Unfortunately there are no RV campgrounds in Manhattan, but if you are looking for a place to stay the night you can head across the Hudson River to New Jersey, specifically Jersey City. At Jersey City there is an RV park located next to Liberty Harbor Marina that is only 15 minutes from Manhattan. The campground is a great place for those with RV's who are looking to be as close to New York City as possible.
This urban campground has a total of 50 sites and some of the amenities include include water and electric hookups, full restrooms that have hot showers and a restaurant/bar located within the RV campground. Please note that there is no dump station to be found here.
If you do plan to stay at this park we recommend that you consider booking a reservation as the sites regularly fill up due to the location of the RV park to the tourist attractions within New York City.
The best way to explore Castle Clinton is to join park rangers on a guided tour. Held throughout the year Monday through Sunday, no reservation is needed and the tours depart at 10AM, 12:00 PM, 2:00 PM and 3:30 PM. The tour will inform you about the history of Castle Clinton and how the National Park Service has restored Castle Clinton to near original condition. For more information on the guided tours you can contact the monument office.
Along with taking a guided tour there is also a fantastic film available for you to watch during your visit to Castle Clinton National Monument. The film goes for 20 minutes and details the interesting history of Castle Clinton, including how it has served as a fort, entertainment center, immigration depot, and even as an aquarium. The film is shown on repeat to visitors so no matter what time of the year you visit you should be able to view it.
The historical tour of Castle Clinton National Monument would not be complete without a quick trip to the museum. The museum is located within the fort, is modest in size and features three different interesting models of how the structure used to look and how it connected to the land around it. Like Castle Clinton, the museum is open seven days a week throughout the year. For more information on the museum contact the monument office.
Located only a few blocks away, the African Burial Ground National Monument is a must visit once you have seen the Castle Clinton National Monument. The Visitor Center at the monument was first opened in 2010 and features a 20-minute park movie, exhibitions, and a bookstore/giftshop. The exhibits at the visitor center are very interesting and examine topics that include archaeology, colonial enslavement, and civic engagement. The African Burial Ground National Monument Visitor Center is open throughout the year.
Another significant landmark that is close by to Castle Clinton National Monument is the 9/11 Memorial. Since the devastating events of September 11 the site has been reborn 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 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.
One of the most iconic structures in the world is located just off the home of Castle Clinton National Monument at Battery Park. The ferry that takes you to the statue leaves from near the monument and the fort is now also the ticket office for the ferry. The Statue of Liberty is free to visit but you will have to pay for a ferry ticket. It is open every day of the year besides Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.