New York City is well-known all around the world, and even people who have never visited the city in their lives can easily list off some of the big landmarks and tourist attractions like Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, and the Empire State Building.
The city is known for its shopping districts, amazing restaurants, many museums, impressive monuments, countless attractions, and towering skyscrapers, but what about the best kept secrets of New York City? What about the little-known gems that most tourists don’t even know about?
Well, if you're looking to head off the beaten path on your next trip to NYC, one of the city's true hidden gems is the Honorable William Wall. Also known as the 'Willy Wall', the Honorable William Wall is the incredible floating clubhouse used by the Manhattan Yacht Club.
The History of the Honorable William Wall
The Manhattan Yacht Club got started back in 1987 and really helped to revitalize the sailing scene around New York Harbor. In 2012, the club decided to share its wonderful clubhouse, the Willy Wall, with the general public, encouraging more and more people to take an interest in recreational sailing and enjoy the splendid views and amazing experiences only available at this exclusive location.
All About the Willy Wall
The Willy Wall is essentially a floating steel barge out in New York Harbor, just a short distance north of Ellis Island. It offers extraordinary views over the skyscrapers and skyline of NYC itself, as well as being a wonderful place to watch the sailing races, which run each week during sailing season.
The Honorable William Wall is open throughout the season, which runs from May through to October, and the sailing races themselves take place on the evenings of Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, as well as on Saturday afternoons. Voted as one of the best things to do in New York City and one of the top hidden gems of the area, the Willy Wall definitely needs to become a must-do part of your next NYC trip.
Visiting the Honorable William Wall
Visiting the Willy Wall can be a great way to spend some time in New York City. Here are some of the excellent advantages of visiting the clubhouse:
- Enjoy Amazing Views - Due to its prime location in the New York Harbor, the Willy Wall clubhouse enjoys astonishing views over the city skyline and the surrounding harbor area. There’s no other easy way to see such incredible views of NYC, so you’ll definitely want to bring your camera along and take a few snaps to share with your friends and family back home.
- Watch the Races - On a weekly basis, several times per week, sailing races are held in the New York Harbor waters by the Manhattan Yacht Club. The Willy Wall is the best place to watch these races, as you’ll get incredible views and be spectating alongside a lively, friendly crowd, able to chat to other yachting enthusiasts throughout the day and learn a little more about the club and its races.
- Get Away from the Hustle and Bustle - New York City is an incredible city to visit, but it’s also well-known for being ‘The City That Never Sleeps’. It’s a noisy and busy location with non-stop traffic and people all around, so it can be nice to just get away from it all for a little while and enjoy some peace and quiet out on the water.
- Enjoy Tasty Refreshments - A great range of drinks are served at the Honorable William Wall, including cocktails, beers, and a super selection of wines. You won't find any snacks or food on board the Willy Wall, but you are encouraged to bring your own if you like.
- Suitable for All Ages - The Willy Wall is suitable for guests of all ages and can be a great place to spend some time with younger children or as a family. Please note, all guests, regardless of their age, will need to buy a ticket.
How to Visit the Willy Wall
If you’d like to see the Willy Wall for yourself and understand just why this place has been ranked as one of New York CIty’s best hidden gems, read on for some key information:
- Getting to the Willy Wall - Getting to the Willy Wall from NYC or elsewhere around the local area is very easy, and it's all thanks to the Admiral’s Launch. This boat essentially acts as a taxi or shuttle, conveniently taking guests over to the Willy Wall from the Warren Street Pier in Jersey City. If you're visiting the Willy Wall from Manhattan, your Willy Wall ticket will also provide free transport via the Liberty Landing Ferry over to Jersey City, making it very easy to get to the clubhouse.
- Leaving the Willy Wall - When you’re ready to leave the Willy Wall, you simply have to ride the Admirals Launch back over to Jersey City once more. The Admiral’s Launch makes regular departures from the Willy Wall every half hour, so you’ll never have to wait around too long to get back to dry land.
- Hosting Private Events at the Willy Wall - Planning a special event in NYC? Whether it's a wedding reception, a birthday party, a corporate outing, or something different, the Willy Wall can be a wonderful place to make your special occasion even more special. The clubhouse is fully ready to host all kinds of events, and all you need to do to start the process is fill out a simple inquiry form and get in touch with the team.
- Buying Tickets for the Willy Wall - All guests heading out to the Willy Wall will need to purchase a ticket. Tickets can be easily bought online, where you can see the whole calendar and availability in advance and plan out the date of your trip. Tickets are all very fairly priced and you can find a date and time to suit your schedule, with tickets also including transport via the Admiral’s Launch water shuttle and the Liberty Landing Ferry for those coming from Manhattan. website