10 Reasons To Visit Governors Island
Photo Credit: @childrennaturenetwork

Photo Credit: @childrennaturenetwork

10 Reasons To Visit Governors Island

New York , United States
Jasmine Osby
Jasmine Osby Dec 22, 2022

It seems like every time you blink, there’s something fresh and exciting in New York City. As if there wasn’t enough reason to visit the Big Apple, Governors Island is becoming more popular among millennial travelers. A 172-acre island just a short ferry ride away from Manhattan, this urban wonderland has fun and magic year-round. 

Governors Island is home to a plethora of monuments, natural wonders, man-made thrills, and cultural innovations. The award-winning park is full of public art and intricate fixtures that are unique to the island. The park is open daily from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and it only costs $4 to ride the ferry across to the island during the week. The ferry is free on weekends and you’ll find docks at Manhattan’s South Street Seaport, Pier 6 at Brooklyn Bridge Park, and Atlantic Basin/Red Hook.

The island is a fascinating place with ever-changing spaces that make visitors feel free and alive. It’s no wonder it is growing in popularity. Here are a few reasons for you to visit Governors Island on your next NYC trip.

1. The American Manifest

 

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Governors Island is now home to artist Charles Gaines’ first public art installation, The American Manifest. An emotionally layered installment, Gaines’ work depicts the charged connections occurring throughout US history along the New York City and Cincinnati Rivers. The American Manifest showcases the dual role northern states played in maintaining and ending slavery. Gaines’ art can be seen throughout the park uncovering the roots of a story that built the foundation of present-day American society.

2. Eat Tapas at Gitano

 

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A Tulum-inspired, beach club oasis, Gitano Island is a new restaurant bringing lots of hungry travelers to Governors Island. The Mexican restaurant has amazing decor that teleports guests from NYC to Tulum shores. Decked out with fountains, sand, and tropical plants, Gitano Island is an experience you must have. Folks who have dined at the restaurant highly recommend its bison meatballs, churros, and grilled shrimp. 

3. Hiking & Tree Hugging

 

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Governors Island is full of man-made hills designed to give visitors the perfect view of NYC. This makes it an ideal spot for city-bound hikers looking for a place to stretch their legs. The island is also full of different species of trees so nature lovers can breathe easily in this urban oasis. 

4. Relax At QCNY Spa

 

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A hidden getaway, QCNY Spa is the perfect way to unwind after a busy day in Manhattan. If the adventures in Governors Island aren’t enough to encourage a visit, this spa definitely will do the trick. Wellness is neverending at QCNY Spa. We love their panoramic spa pools and windows overlooking the skyline. They offer sunset and Italian aperitivos so you can sit poolside and dine on a light snack before dinner time. This is a beautiful gem on Governors Island so be sure to stop in for some pampering and relaxation. 

5. Be Surrounded By Public Art

 

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This urban oasis is a hub for public art. Work from a variety of artists can be seen throughout the park. Blended into the natural landscape, glimpses of man-made creativity peak through. Created with the intent of being a space for transformative art experiences, Governors Island aims to have installments that engage with the landscape and the harbor while presenting new experiences. Some of the current art exhibits that live there are Church, Not For Nutten, and The American Manifest. 

6. Bring The Kids For Fun On The Slides

 

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Governors Island is home to the longest slide in New York City. Located on the southern half of the island, Slide Hill is where family fun reigns supreme. There are three shorter slides and one family-sized one for two people to slide down at once. For the true adventurers, brave the 57-foot long, three-story high slide.

7. Urban Farm Tour

 

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From May to October each year, the island’s Urban Farm is open to the public. Visitors can come and learn about organic composting, caring for bees, and gardening. The tour takes place on the first Saturday of every month and is a joint partnership between the Bee Con­ser­van­cy, Earth Mat­ter NY, and GrowNYC. 

8. Reach The Top Of The Community Climbing Boulder

 

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A new feature on Governors Island, the Community Climbing Boulder was installed in the spring of 2022. The large boulder has many different climbing routes with varying difficulty. Both kids and adults can take a stab at making the climb and it’s a great place for photo ops. 

9. Check Out Some National Monuments

 

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The island has a few national monuments worth checking out if you’re a history buff. Fort Jay is one of the most well-preserved examples of a star-shaped fort design. You won’t find many of these in the US. Castle Williams is another national monument on Governors Island that was built sometime between 1807 and 1811. The castle was a part of the defense system of the inner harbor and was designed by the Chief Engi­neer of the US Army Corps of Engi­neers, Lt. Col. Jonathan Williams. Both monuments are open on Saturday and Sunday.

10. Lounge In Hammock Grove

 

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If you want to catch a phenomenal view of the Statue of Liberty, head over to Hammock Grove. This area of the park is full of red hammocks set up just for visitors to sky watch. This is a great place to just unwind and relax under the sun. Laying back surrounded by green foliage and blue skies makes this the urban jungle oasis New Yorkers need. 

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