Must-See Governors Island
by Alyssa Grossman, 05/29/2013
(From left) Governors Island photo by Marley White • Figment NYC photo by Clayton Cotterell
Governors Island has come a long way from its days as a military outpost and former Coast Guard base. The 172-acre island in New York's harbor that featured in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 began welcoming the public to its shores in 2004, and has since become one of the City's most popular summertime destinations for visitors and locals alike. The island is car-free and accessible only by ferry, free of charge from Manhattan's Battery Maritime Building and Brooklyn Bridge Park's Pier 6—making it an idyllic respite that feels more like a leafy New England college town than a part of New York City. Grab a seat on the outside deck and have your camera ready—the short trip over affords striking views of Lower Manhattan, the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges and the Statue of Liberty. Once you dock, your biggest challenge is choosing what to do first. Putt your way through a game of handcrafted mini golf, tag along on a ranger-led tour of historic Fort Jay and Castle Williams, rent a bike to explore the terrain on two wheels, or drop into open artist studios and immerse yourself in the island's art scene. And that's in addition to a packed schedule of music, art and sporting events taking place all summer long. Thankfully, you have an entire season to fit it all in. Governors Island is open, through September 29, Saturdays, Sundays and holiday Mondays from 10am to 7pm, with some special programming taking place during the week.