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Governors Island National Monument, New York City

(550+ reviews on the web)
Historic Site Landmark
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. A visit to Governors Island National Monument represents just the start of the adventure when you use our New York City travel itinerary planner to plot your vacation.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This was my first time visiting this beautiful place, let me tell you I was shot on how beautiful it is. My favorite thing to do was the slide I love it so much it is super fun another great hidden ar...  more »
  • Some friends were visiting me in NYC and we're looking for something new to do. I googled and found governor's island but had never been. Easy to get to on the 1 train but lots of friends for all the ...  more »
  • I've been wanting to go to Governors Island for awhile, it did not disappoint! We rented bikes, which are free for an hour in the morning at least on weekdays. There were food vendors. My daughter sai...  more »
Google
  • Nice quaint little park for a quick get away. Nothing very special about it other than the ferry ride and the food trucks definitely worth a go once a season. If you live in the outer boros there are places that are just as nice without the travel
  • Lovely place to get out of the city while remaining in the city. No cars, woo hoo! The best time to get here is EARLY!!! Try your best to be on the first ferry to the island because the hordes of hipsters and their families usually arrive on the later ferries. Mind you there are ferries from Manhattan & Brooklyn to this island. I packed lunch and water for my excursion to this island but you can purchase food from food truck vendors as well. You can ride bikes or walk around the island and once you found a good spot for you, settle in and relax and enjoy the sun and breeze.
  • It was an interesting place with history to visit...I've been a New Yorker my whole life and this is the first time I've been there!!
  • Quiet place good for relax and biking. Need more food truck, too long of line for existing food truck
  • Very cool place to visit!! We went on a Saturday. I've never been there before. LIRR to Penn Station. Then a cab because of construction (the subway wasn't running on the normal schedule). $22 for 4 people from Penn to the ferry. Not bad. Now the really nice part... The first three (3) ferries from Manhattan to Governor's Island are FREE. Yes. FREE. Amazing! (You're welcome to bring your own bicycle - or you can rent one on the island.) So we have a very pleasant 15-minute ferry ride over to the island. The views from the ferry are spectacular! Once you get to the island you have an absolute stunning view of lower Manhattan (including the Freedom Tower), the Statue of Liberty, Jersey City, & the Verrazano Bridge. Learning the history of the old forts was very interesting. There is an area filled with hammocks. Great for a 20-minute nap. :) Free cell phone charging stations. Bathrooms were a little... "Rustic"... But they serve the purpose. ;-) For lunch... Food trucks! Yup! Food trucks! Everything from Waffles & Dinges, to cheesesteaks and burgers, to Asian, and more. One vendor was cutting open fresh (green) coconuts so you could drink the coconut water. It was delicious! This place is definitely worth visiting! The history is fascinating. The role that it played during the Civil War... Really interesting! And admission is free! Wow!