1 at South Ferry; R at Whitehall St.-South Ferry; 4, 5 at Bowling Green
Almost four-hundred years ago, Dutch colonists established New Amsterdam near what is now known as Battery Park—a name bestowed to the area for its history as a gun battery site and fort. Today, millions of tourists visit Battery Park every year to board the ferry to Ellis Island or take in unbeatable views of the city’s harbor. On any given weekend, hoards of street vendors sell knock-off handbags and Big Apple paraphernalia on the park’s walkways, tourists mug with street performers, and fishermen find clandestine spots to cast a line. City natives rely on the park to showcase pop stars, orchestras, or African dancers as part of year-round cultural programming, like the River to River Festival. To honor its past, the park has plans for a bizarre, aquatic-themed carousel as part of a major revitalization effort that began in the late nineties. The promenade has already been revamped and beautifully landscaped. Since 9/11, a damaged sculpture from the World Trade Center called The Sphere is on display towards the street-side of the park. When the Harbor Cruise ferry isn’t blocking the view, stand between the mammoth East Coast Memorial pillars and look out into the harbor for a patriotic vista of Lady Liberty.Admiral Dewey Promenade
In addition to spectacular views of the Statue of Liberty, this revamped waterfront promenade includes 37 panels of public artwork by Wopo Holup set into the railing.
Robert F. Wagner Jr. Park
The small, clandestine park just north of Battery Park, is a cleaner, grassier, less-touristy place to view the harbor and the Statue of Liberty.
There's hardly ever a soul on the spine-like benches in this very zen grove of Blue Atlas Cedars, dedicated in 1976 to Israel's holy city.
Fort George Memorial
Dedicated in 1817, this small, concrete slab honors one of the bastions that protected the young city’s harbors and is the oldest memorial in the park. The slab has been grown over and rediscovered twice and the fun is in trying to find it.
The remaining walls of a fort built in 1811 that has gone through incarnations as a concert hall, an emigrant processing center and an aquarium.
Statue of Liberty Ferry
Ferry passages and audio tours of the Ellis Island Immigration Museum and the Statue of Liberty are offered throughout the year.
Battery Park Harbor Cruise
A narrated passage that explores lower Manhattan from the Hudson and East Rivers; $27, $6 children ages 4-12, $23 seniors. For schedule information, visit circlelinedowntown.com