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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
  • This island to walk a short time away from the bustle of Manhattan. Day and night, of beautiful views (and pictures) can be enjoyed calmly next to a beautiful line of side cherry Manhattan. Some work currently which slightly disturb the harmony of the island but it shouldn't last.
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  • We spent two hours on Roosevelt Island after taking the aerial tram. There are some good restaurants here. The main attraction is the view of Manhattan from the banks of the east river. There is a nic...  more »
  • What a little gem sitting in the middle of NYC! You're still in the city, but totally away from the city, giving you a feeling of being on vacation while being on vacation, There was a lot of construc...  more »
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.