Explore national parks in and around New York City. With green spaces, historic monuments, and centuries of stories to tell, there is always something new to discover in the city that never sleeps.Less
Located on the 12-acre Liberty Island in New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty is an icon of NYC and a universal symbol of freedom and democracy. A gift of international friendship from France to the U.S. in 1886 as a way to celebrate 100 years of American independence, the Statue has become one of the most recognizable figures worldwide. Take a ferry to Liberty Island from Battery Park in New York or Liberty State Park in New Jersey and tour the grounds of Liberty Island and the Statue.
Ellis Island opened in 1892 as a federal immigration station and 12 million immigrants passed through these now quiet halls on their journey to the U.S. Part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument site, Ellis Island is now a museum dedicated to the history of immigration and the island’s important role during the mass migration of the late 19th and early 20th century. Tour the site to learn about the iconic landmark and the stories of those who walked these halls.
From the late 17th and early 18th centuries, upwards of 15,000 free and enslaved Africans were buried in a cemetery in what is now Lower Manhattan, outside the boundaries of the settlement of New Amsterdam (New York). Rediscovered by construction workers in 1991, the park now marks the site of the oldest and largest known excavated burial ground in North America for both free and enslaved Africans and honors the free and enslaved Africans who lived and worked in colonial New York.
Visit the Harlem home of Alexander Hamilton, who lived in this Federal-style country home in upper Manhattan for the last two years of his life. From his humble beginnings as an orphan in the Caribbean to acting as the first Secretary of the Treasury, Hamilton’s legendary story is preserved at this park. Tour the site, including historically furnished rooms that give you a glimpse into what Hamilton’s life looked like at home, and learn Hamilton’s unique story from rangers.
• Preserving the site of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising, this park tells the story of a significant turning point in the struggle for LGBTQ+ rights. Following what appeared to be a routine raid on June 28, 1969, crowds held their ground in demanding for civil rights, refusing to disperse. Police retreated and barricaded themselves within the Stonewall Inn as the community joined the resistance. Within two years of the event, LGBTQ+ rights groups had formed in almost every major city.
Nestled on Long Island’s north shore is Sagamore Hill National Historic Site, where Theodore Roosevelt lived from 1885 until his death in 1919. Tour the 23-room Victorian home that also served as the Summer White House from 1902 to 1908, hosting many visits from foreign dignitaries. Glimpse into Roosevelt’s inner sanctum – his books, paintings, rugs, and animals, then head outside for a picnic. Make sure to get there early to book your guided tour – it’s the only way to get in the historic home.
An hour east of NYC, immerse yourself in the rhythmic waves, high dunes, ancient maritime forests, and historic landmarks of Fire Island National Seashore. Enjoy sightseeing and wildlife-spotting on nature trails at many sites across Fire Island or on the grounds of William Floyd Estate. If you’re visiting in the warmer months, take a canoe or boat out in the Great South Bay or along Fire Island’s salt marshes. Be sure to plan ahead and check schedules – things can be limited in cooler seasons.
Federal Hall National Memorial, located along Wall Street in Manhattan, has a long and varied history that is almost as old as NYC itself! It was here that George Washington took the oath of office as the first U.S. President, and where the first Congress, Supreme Court, and Executive Branch offices were located. Take a guided tour to learn more about the history of the site, including its time as a Customs House and part of the U.S. Sub-Treasury.
Extending through NYC and New Jersey, recreational opportunities abound at Gateway National Recreation Area –swimming, fishing, biking, boating, and more! With 27,000 acres of green spaces, beaches, historic structures, and cultural landscapes to explore, there’s something for everyone. Just a bus, train, car, or ferry ride away from the city, you can visit NYC’s first municipal airport, tour the nation’s oldest operating lighthouse in Sandy Hook, or just enjoy a day at the beach.