new york national monuments
Adventure Environment

New York National Monuments: What Are They?

By on June 8, 2017

National Monuments

In light of current politics, there has been a lot of discussion around National Monuments.  What is a National Monument?  It is a piece of land, or historic site, that has been given protection by Congress or a President (see: Antiquities Act).   This might include a wilderness area, ruins, or even buildings.  One of the most well-known examples is the Grand Canyon.  There are, at this time, 129 National Monuments, the majority of which are managed by one of the following federal agencies:

  • National Park Service (NPS)
  • Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
  • United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)
  • United States Forest Service (USFS)

While all 129 Monuments have their own story, beauty, and rich history, I’m going to share the SIX that are found in the state of New York.  I wanted to share these because I think a lot of people are actually unaware of National Monuments and what they represent.


New York National Monuments


#1: Statue of Liberty

statue of libertysource: Chris Parker\\flickr

Perhaps one of the most well known tourist spots in the world, the Statue of Liberty is a must for visitors to NYC.  The statue itself was constructed in France around 1886 and shipped overseas.  It was to celebrate the relationship between France and the United States during the American Revolution.  The Statue of Liberty became a National Monument in 1924 and has been maintained by the NPS since 1933.


#2: Governors Island

governors islandsource: New York Times

Governors Island is another monument you can visit during your stay in NYC.  It is a 172 acre island off the New York harbor established in 2001.  It’s the perfect escape from the chaos of the city without needing to rent car or take a train.  There are always activities going on such as live music and festivals.  They run a lot of special events, including Civil War Weekend for history enthusiasts.  Tickets for the ferry to the island are only $2.


#3: Stonewall

stonewall innsource: NPS

Another National Monument is located in New York City.  Stonewall is located in Greenwich Village, a neighborhood in lower Manhattan.  At over 7 acres, it is located at the site of Stonewall Riots in 1969.  This National Monument represents LGBT rights and was only established as a National Monument in 2016.  The protected area includes the Stonewall Inn and nearby Christopher Street Park.


#4: African Burial Ground

african burial groundsource: NPS

This National Monument is a a bit newer, beginning less than 30 years ago in 1991.  The African Burial Ground only became a National Monument in 2006.During a construction project, the workers started discovering skeletal remains.  The remains included more than 400 bodies, dated to the 17th and 18th centuries.  Are you surprised to hear that this burial ground is actually located in lower Manhattan?



#5: Castle Clinton

castle clintonsource: NPS

Castle Clinton can be found without even leaving New York City: located at the southern tip of Manhattan.  It was built from 1808-1811 as a fort to keep out a British invasion.  It was also the first place immigrants would come through (before Ellis Island) from 1855 to 1890.  Now, restored in 1975 as a National Monument, it is open to the public for people from all over the world to visit and learn it’s history.  Noted immigrants that came through include Harry Houdini and Joseph Pulitzer.


#6: Fort Stanwix

fort stanwixsource: Slabcity Gang//flickr

Fort Stanwix was built from 1758 to 1762 near what is now Rome, New York, just east of Syracruse.  Back then, the Oneida Carry was part of the trade route from the Atlantic to the Great Lakes.  In Rome, cargo would be portaged and thus Fort Stanwix was built for protection.  It was, however, abandoned in 1768.  What you can find today at this site is a reconstructed fort built by the NPS, where you can get guided tours of the fort and learn about the history.


What’s your favorite National Monument?

Please share your comments NOW if you have opinions about preserving the National Monuments currently under review.  Comments must be submitted by July 10, 2017.

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  1. Reply


    June 8, 2017

    I still have never been to NYC and it’s #1 on my travel bucketlist! Thanks for sharing this 🙂

    xo Raina

    • Reply


      June 8, 2017

      It used to be on the top of my bucket list, too. Now I live here – what do you want to visit the most?

  2. Reply

    Kim Vo

    June 8, 2017

    Great post! In 5th grade, we took a field trip to the Statue of Liberty but I haven’t been back since then, nor have I seen these other monuments! Will have to keep these in my mind for when I visit NY!

    Kim / Simply Lovebirds

    • Reply


      June 8, 2017

      Actually I am going to the Statue of Liberty for the first time next weekend!

  3. Reply

    Adam Nutting (@HikingTheTrail)

    June 8, 2017

    Awesome post. I have not been to any of these but I will have to add them to my list of things to see when I am in NYC next.

    • Reply


      June 8, 2017

      Good choice – I have so much to see here still too.

  4. Reply


    June 8, 2017

    Great post! Thanks for sharing with us something from NYC that I wouldn’t have thought of visiting, like Stonewall! =o)

    • Reply


      June 8, 2017

      I bet most visitors to the city don’t visit any of these!

  5. Reply


    June 9, 2017

    This is such a great list of national monuments! They all seem like interesting places to visit, and I definitely want to visit them all especially the Statue of Liberty! 🙂

    • Reply


      June 10, 2017

      I hope you can get to them all!

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New York, NY

I am Rachel, an early 30's Midwestern girl residing in NYC with my husband and dog. I have learned to appreciate the city but am also a huge adventure girl. Follow along with my outdoor adventures as well as my city adventures and fitness journey. I'm an advocate of empowering other petite women not to be limited by our size!


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