Governor's Island, New York
A 172 acre island just minutes away from Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn. Lucky for visitors, the accessibility and proximity to major attractions makes this haven a must see. It boasts miles of car-free paths for walking and biking. The island is generally open during the summer months and offers spectacular views of the Statue of Liberty and the Lower Manhattan skyline.
Governor's Island was first scouted by Giovanni da Verrazzano in the 1500's had a military history in the early formation of New York. The space has recently gone through huge transformations and work is still in progress. The island is devoted to the preservation of the buildings standing and also to the introduction of contemporary art. It's almost half nature preserve and half sculpture park, a juxtaposition that really works in a city like New York.
If you have a day to spare, the island is a great escape from the hustle and bustle of New York City life. Rent a bike, rent a surrey, picnic and take in the sights.
Governor's Island is accessible by ferry at the Battery Maritime Building for Manhattan and Pier 6 for Brooklyn. Maps and ferry schedule are found here.
Coordinates: 40.6895° N, 74.0168° W
Cost & Admission
Admission to park is free.
Ferry costs vary for round trip:
Senor Citizen $1
Children Under 13 Free
IDNYC Holders Free
Season Pass $20
*No surcharge for bicycles though space is limited and each ferry is first-come, first serve.
Free Rides: All passengers on Saturdays and Sundays until 11:30am.
Tickets can be purchased at port of departure.
You are welcome to bring your own picnic or sample some of the vendors including Blue Marble Ice Cream, Brooklyn Soda Works, Butterstein's, El Paso Taco, Little Eva's, Wafles & Dinges, and more! Updated list of vendors found here.
Biking, strolling, admiring the art/sculptures, swing on hammocks, enjoy views of Statue of Liberty & Manhattan skyline. Activities can be found here.
For budget friendly travelers, pack a healthy picnic. I recommend trying the food because these are some of New York's finest casual offerings with no tipping and great views. My personal favorite activity is riding around in the surreys. No traffic and skyline views? It's really hard to beat. Bike free Monday-Friday from 10am to 12pm. Citi Bikes are also available with 30 min free rental.