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Roosevelt Island, New York City

(4.5/5 based on 500+ reviews on the web)
Take the short aerial tram ride to Roosevelt Island, a thin strip of the city with an entirely different feel. Wedged between Manhattan Island and Long Island, the area was at one point in the 20th century populated predominantly by hospitals, earning it the name Welfare Island, until the name was changed to honor Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1971. From here you can appreciate fantastic views of Manhattan in a surprisingly peaceful setting. The small island only measures about 3.2 km (2 mi) long and a maximum of 240 m (800 ft) across at its widest, providing a delightfully quiet contrast to the city that never sleeps. As you wander the streets, soak in the stories of the former smallpox hospital, lunatic asylum, and other quirky bits of New York history. To visit Roosevelt Island on your trip to New York City, use our New York City trip builder.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • With a cable car leads to this small island, little visited by tourists and hosts mostly sumptuous private residences. Almost anything interesting. Not recommended.
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  • An island in the East River that a great unknown is accessed with the Tram is even though has an interesting history and is one of the best views of NYC, there are a couple of parks, the ruins of a hospital of infectious and a psychiatric. As it is unknown, there are no masses which you can find in Central Park, for example
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  • On the island you really enjoy the view, relax but however there is not much to do (not activities) but otherwise great!
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Google
  • ​This long and thin island's main draw is panoramic views of New York City's iconic skyline. Notable buildings on view include the UN Headquarters and Empire State. The best time to visit for photos is from morning until noon, when the sun illuminates the skyline nicely. You can easily spend an entire day walking the entire coast of the island, stopping by the FDR Four Freedoms Park and the charming Main Street, which has a small square and a beautiful church.
  • I rollerbladed this whole island (not technically as Four Freedoms park wasn't opened at that time) and it took about an hour (I stopped several times). There's a little lighthouse in the northern tip of the island. Love their view of the city and Queens. You can also get here by walking over from Queens.
  • A part of Manhattan, yet so quiet and peaceful. Definitely a must visit.
  • Coolest place in NYC to visit. Definitely.
  • If you want to get away from the city in a new way, take the tram to Roosevelt Island. The 4 Freedoms Park at the southern tip, the glorious cherry trees that bloom in the spring along the western shore, and just the small town feel make this a close place to get away.