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Governors Island National Monument, New York City

4.6
#10 of 53 in Historic Sites in New York City
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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624 reviews
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4.7
TripAdvisor
  • We took the ferry over to Governors Island for their Summer Night Event. Nobody told the vendors that this was happening. Therefore, we couldn't rent bikes. There was nothing to do but have an expensi...  more »
  • I lived in NYC all my life but never ventured to this place until I had kids. First off the ferry ride over is a plus with kids and the views are unbelievable both on the boat and on the island. There...  more »
  • I've been here for events but never to just leisurely walk around. To be honest, it'll probably stay that way. It's a cool venue for music festivals and other large-audience activities, but other than...  more »
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  • This used to be a military island until 1996. Since then, it was sold to New York State, and it's being converted into a park. They are doing a wonderful job. There are 2 forts for history buffs and the tour guides really enjoy their job talking about the island's history. Unfortunately for now it's only open on the weekends during summer. Hopefully they will open it up every day.
  • Fantastic Island. I had no idea it existed. Well worth a visit. Kids loved the park and the views around the Island are breathtaking.
  • 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!!

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