The 2013 Public Access Season has concluded
The 2013 public access season on Governors Island has ended. Governors Island will re-open to the public Memorial Day Weekend, 2014.
Explore Castle Williams
Castle Williams, the centerpiece of the system of fortifications designed to guard New York City just prior to the War of 1812, has long been off-limits to the public. After an extensive rehabilitation project, the National Park Service is pleased to open the Castle's interior and roof to the public for the first time in the fort's 200-year history.
The below reflects our minimum offerings on weekends at Castle Williams. As staff is available, we may extend hours at the Castle, offer additional tours, or offer other programs at the Castle. Please check our Facebook page or call 646-241-2670 for more information.
Castle Williams is open from 10:00 AM until 4:30 PM on Saturdays, Sundays, and holiday Mondays during the public access season. As these operating hours are shorter than the island's operating hours, please plan accordingly. We recommend visitors make their visit to Castle Williams early in the day, when crowds are thinner.
Castle Williams is a fascinating structure with a long and winding history. Because of its age and design, occupancy in the Castle must be carefully managed. If the Castle has reached capacity, visitors may be asked to form an orderly queue outside the gate.
Access to the interior and roof of the Castle is by guided tour only, which requires a separate ticket. Tour tickets are available inside the Castle at the ticketing desk. Tickets will be available for a given tour one hour before the tour begins--for example, tickets for the 2:30 PM tour will become available at 1:30 PM. Space on these tours is extremely limited. Please note that generally tickets are in greatest demand in the afternoon, so we strongly recommend visitors plan to take a morning tour for the greatest availability of tickets.
Tours occur at least every half-hour beginning at 10:30 AM until 4:00 PM and are approximately 25 minutes in length. Visitors are advised that the tours involve climbing several flights of stairs, and to please plan accordingly. At the end of the tour, visitors will be escorted to the courtyard of the Castle, and are free to peruse the exhibits located there.
We are looking forward to seeing you at Castle Williams!
Did You Know?
The first, last, and only shots fired in anger from Governors Island were directed at British naval ships as they invaded New York Harbor in the summer of 1776.