Governors Island is a former military outpost—it played a role in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, and the Coast Guard used it until the mid-1990s. Today the 172-acre island has blossomed into a recreational oasis just off the Lower Manhattan shore. A free seven-minute ferry ride brings fun-seekers to an idyllic setting where they can cycle (with their own wheels or a rented pair from Bike and Roll), picnic with a great view or enjoy free programming including art exhibitions, concerts and sporting events. The Hills, a topographic installation on the island, comprises four mounds; each offers incredible views of Lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty. Meanwhile, much of the island's military architecture lives on as the Governors Island National Monument. Visit govisland.com for more information.