Governors Island National Monument, New York City

Home to centuries-old fortifications and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Governors Island National Monument today provides a great deal of New York's military history as well as a green space close to the city. The island a little more than 730 m (2,395 ft) from the end of Manhattan and 365 m (1,200 ft) from Brooklyn, yet its 70 ha (172 acres) of parkland, public spaces, and facilities lend an air distinctly separate from the nearby hustle and bustle. Explore the island and its two large fortifications--the star-shaped Fort Jay and circular Castle Williams--which date from the American Revolution and turn of the 19th century, respectively. A guided tour of the island offered by the park service gives you an overview of the area's history in an approximately 2.4 km (1.5 mi) loop. Be sure to check the service's online schedule to see when tours and monument access are available. Governors Island National Monument is just one of the many highlights you can arrange to see using our international travel planner, New York City Edition.
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Governors Island National Monument Reviews
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  • About a 10-minute ferry ride. It is best to explore the big island is not. What views you can see while you are riding on the ferry, New York seems to be good.
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  • Larger than i expected, lots of families during this day, it's a nice quick ferry ride from Manhattan  more »
  • One of the most fun little day trips you could take. Bring lunch and a picnic blanket and eat out on the lawn or take a tour of the National Fort that is on the island or look at some of the museums o...  more »
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  • Took the ferry to get there (you can't swim there, so plan on staying dry and waiting a bit). This former Coast Guard base has been converted into a city park with lots of green space and fantastic views of New York harbour. We went for the Jazz Age Lawn Party, and couldn't have had a better time. Food trucks were there, and bringing your own picnic was encouraged...not to mention the thrill of getting dressed for the occasion. There are also parts of the island that have grills and picnic tables for general use. Highly recommend getting out there for a day
  • Went here for one of there art fairs and it was so amazing i actually ended up coming back the next day because also that weekend was the WW1 centennial and this place really did have it all. Wad astounded by how well done it was and how informative everyone and every thing was. Really easy to get to, only had to wait a little for the ferry but that is expected as there is only 1 ferry that travels to the island. Highly recommend to anyone who lives around the area and wants to go out and spend a day at ease and rest across anywhere on this gorgeous island.
  • Love governor's island. It dosent even feel like you're in the city but somewhere far and very peaceful. Great place to escape the city life even if its for a few hours. Everything from the farm, the hills and the views are just so calming and relaxing. Just walking around or taking food and having a picnic in their picnic areas are just enjoyable. I go every chance i get
  • Governors Island is such a great location for getting outdoors on a beautiful weekend. There are huge open lawns, an old Coast Guard base you can walk through, and two old forts on the island. One of my favorite places is the new lookout hills the city has built on the Southern end of the island. The hills offer a beautiful view of the Statue of Liberty. Important note: The island is only open during part of the year. Google Governors Island to find out if the island is open to the public on the days you want to go.
  • This is a special place to visit. Governors Island is in New York City Harbor and has no cars so you can walk by the water and it's very quiet. This season for the first time you could visit during the week when it's less crowded. The National Park part of the island includes two historic forts. The ferries run from Manhattan and on weekends also from Brooklyn.
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