Everyone who visits New York City seems to know about Battery Park and the Staten Island Ferry, but what fewer people know until they get there is that a castle stands here, looking out over the water. Though it may not be as large as some of its European counterparts, it still stands testament to the conflicts surrounding the founding of the United States.
The fort was originally built to keep the British at bay during the War of 1812, though it never ended up seeing any military action. Over the years, the structure was used as an entertainment center, an immigration center, and an aquarium.
Today, the bow-shaped castle has been restored and even houses a few cannons, pointed out over the water as if still to protect the city from invasion. Inside, tourists can buy tickets to see the Statue of Liberty, as well as purchasing souvenirs from the gift shop. Even with the ticket office and gift shop, the site never feels too crowded by tourists and is definitely worth a visit for history-oriented travelers like me!