This weekend I spent an amazing afternoon exploring one of NYC’s most iconic spaces: Battery Park!
At the southernmost tip of Manhattan sits an oasis of green grass, historical monuments, and incredible views of New York Harbor. You could spend an entire day wandering around and seeing all the park has to offer, but even a quick walk is a great break from the hustle and bustle of lower Manhattan. It was very cold out but it didn’t bother me or the many others out exploring one of the cities best parks! Here is just some of what you will find in Battery Park.
Battery Park is full of history! It is the home of Castle Clinton, a former military installation, now the location of Statue of Liberty tickets. Visit this circular brick building if you want to connect with the many different lives of Battery Park. There is a small museum where you can see how Castle Clinton served many purposes to New York over the generations- it was even an aquarium! Castle Clinton is now a National Park site and is perfect for the history fans. One of my favorite statues in the park is just outside: a larger-than-life sculpture called “The Immigrants” which depicts the myriad of emotions and felt by immigrants as they arrived in a new land, which for many years was right here in Battery Park. Check out some of the other breathtaking monuments the park has to offer.
Statues and Monuments
Throughout the park you will find over a dozen monuments, some of my personal favorites in all of NYC in fact! There are some patriotic war memorials including the New York Korean War Memorial and the Norwegian Veterans Memorial. The most famous is the incredibley moving East Coast Memorial. It honors the 4,601 missing American serviceman who died in combat in the Atlantic Ocean during WWII. It is symbolically aligned with the Statue of Liberty and features a majestic bronze eagle and 19-foot granite slabs with the name, rank, state, and organization of the deceased. The American Merchant Mariners’ Monument, located on a breakwater in the harbor, recreates a real-life photo of Merchant Mariners in a sinking vessel after a German u-boat attack. Three sailors try desperately to pull up another that has fallen overboard. Depending on tide levels in the harbor, sometimes all you can see of the fallen man is just a hand rising out of the water. It is a dramatic and effective work of art, definitely a must see! Also find a gorgeous statue of Giovanni da Verrazzano and a plaque dedicated to Emma Lazarus. While you are monument-hopping in the park don’t forget to walk along the harbor edge and see the amazing views!
New York Harbor
Battery Park runs along the iconic New York Harbor. While it was a bit windy while I was there, the breath-taking views make it more than worth a visit no matter when you choose to visit. If you don’t have time for a visit to the Statue of Liberty this trip, a photo with the island in the background is a necessity. During my visit I saw lots of people posing with their families and couples taking engagement photos, so a bench along the harbor is the perfect place to people watch. You can see lots of boats crossing the harbor on their way to Jersey City or Governors Island and of course you can’t forget about the Statue Cruises boats on their way to Liberty and Ellis Island! Battery Park offers lots of activities for people of all ages, but one attraction in particular is perfect for the children in your life.
The Seaglass Carousel
Designed to replicate life under water, the Seaglass Carousel is a fun ride for you and your family. When redesigning the park, officials wanted to add light and came up with a creative idea: a colorful carousel celebrating aquatic life, harkening back to the aquarium days of Castle Clinton. It features thirty larger-than-life custom made fiberglass fish. Fun fact: it does not have the traditional center pole of many carousels; rather utilizing four turntables under the floorboards! This is a perfect photo op that kids of all ages-even the teens- seem to truly enjoy. The Seaglass Carousel can be the cherry on top of a perfect NYC outing, but before you go, I recommend taking a second to enjoy the lawns of Battery Park.
Even though it was chilly, I still saw many people enjoying the green space Battery Park offers. NYC can be so hectic. Grassy lawns are scarce downtown, and this park is an essential oasis for tourists and locals (and their dogs) alike! There are often blue chairs available to sit and relax. I decided to catch up on some reading and watch the line for the Statue of Liberty unfurl throughout the park. I hope you enjoy your visit to this legendary NYC park, you are sure to have a great time no matter how you choose to spend your afternoon!
Find of more information about all Battery Park has to offer here: https://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/battery-park/highlights/page/1