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9 GOVERNORS ISLAND ACTIVITIES TO MAKE THE MOST OUT OF SUMMER IN NYC ~ WHAT TO DO IN GOVERNORS ISLAND

25 Jul, 2020 / por / 0 comentários

Have you ever heard of Governors Island? This small uninhabited island, which was once a military base, is located 5 minutes away from Manhattan (by ferry) and attracts thousands of people in the summer. Despite not being most tourists’ dream destination, it’s a wonderful place full of attractions and fun activities for everyone in the family. That’s why, if you’re looking for new and unique experiences in New York, I  recommend you drop by. Want to know more? Then read on and find out more about all Governors Island has in store.

Oh, before I forget…To learn more about my day to day life in NYC, check out my Instagram (@marthasachser), and follow my Youtube channel, which you can find HERE! 

 

BEFORE YOU GO – USEFUL INFORMATION

The island is open to the public daily from May 1 until the end of October. There is no set closing date, so it’s advised to keep an eye on their official website to get their updated schedule. The same applies to Memorial Day and other holidays that also vary on date.

In order to reach Governors Island, you’ll need to take the ferry at Battery Maritime Building, at 10 South Street. Don’t worry, the ride is fairly quick and costs US$ 3 round-trip. Ferry runs on weekends before 11:30 AM are free.

GOVERNORS ISLAND MAP – CREDIT: GOVERNORS ISLAND

 

RIDE A BIKE

Governors Island features many bicycle lanes, and that’s why the best way to explore the island is by riding a bike. There are several Citi Bike or Blazing Saddles bicycles available near Liggett Terrace for renting, but you can also bring your own bike with you on the ferry and save some money!

Here’s a tip: you can borrow a bike for free during the week, for an hour, from 10 AM to midday. That’s a great Blazing Saddles initiative, don’t you think? Learn more HERE or HERE!

Once the island isn’t thaaaat big, it’s possible to get to know most of it in a 2-hour bicycle ride. It’s a pleasant experience with a breathtaking view!

PEOPLE RIDING BIKES IN GOVERNORS ISLAND – CREDIT: GOVERNORS ISLAND

 

 

 

HAVE A PICNIC

Since Governors Island features many green lawns, picnicking is the perfect activity to make the most out of an afternoon on the island. There’s even a special spot for it: Picnic Point, which offers tables under the trees and an amazing view of the Statue of Liberty, Red Hook and New York Harbor. Besides that, there are also six grills available for reservations that must be arranged two weeks in advance. Learn more HERE!

Don’t forget that Picnic Point closes one hour before the last ferry sails and is located at the southern portion of the island. If you’d rather picnic someplace else, Colonel’s Row lawn is also a good option.

 

 

HAVE FUN AT THE ISLAND CULTURAL ATTRACTIONS AND EVENTS

Did you know that Governors Island’s schedule is always getting updated? You can check the official list of attractions HERE! Activities are usually set outdoors and include live performances and art exhibits, most of them are free!

Once the schedule is ever-changing, I recommend checking the website often in order to stay up to date on all the island has in store. Some events run for a limited amount of time, so don’t take your chances and risk missing out on the best of them.

 

 

VISIT HISTORICAL FORTS

Governors Island was once a military base, so it’s no surprise it still features some historical monuments, such as fortifications and estates that once housed U.S. Army officials.

Fort Jay, for example, is the most ancient and tallest fort in Governors Island. Built in 1794, it protected the city during war times along with Fort Wood, on Liberty Island, and Fort Gibson, on Ellis Island. In spite of its many repairs, the building still carries evidence of a time of great conflict.

Castle Williams, on the other hand, was built from 1807 through 1811 on the northwestern corner of the island. The fort features four areas and a total capacity of 104 cannons. Similarly to Fort Jay, Castle Williams is also a hit among Governors Island visitors.

VIEW TO FORT JAY – CREDIT: WIKIPEDIA

CASTLE WILLIAMS – CREDIT: GOVERNORS ISLAND

There’s also a third fort, South Battery, which was built before the War of 1812. It contained 13 barbette guns and barracks inside. Sometime in the 1930’s, it became an officer’s club. It’s another option, in case you’d like to dive deeper into the history of the island.

 

 

ATTEND THE JAZZ AGE LAWN PARTY

This amazing party takes place every year on the island and gathers hundreds of people to celebrate the roaring 20’s! The event always takes place at Colonel’s Row on two consecutive weekends in the summer. Dates are announced well in advance on the island’s official website.

Attendees usually wear themed clothing, enjoy live jazz and try classic cocktails. There are also dance lessons, concerts and other cool activities. Learn more HERE!

Tickets start at US$ 45 and may vary depending on the activities.

JAZZ AGE LAWN PARTY ON GOVERNORS ISLAND – CREDIT: TIME OUT

 

 

 

EXPLORE THE  EXTREME ADVENTURES

Believe it or not, Governors Island is also home to thrill-seekers! Children and adults alike usually have a blast at Adventures at Governors Island, a special corner of the island dedicated to ziplines, mazes, climbing challenges and mini golf.

Unfortunately, the attractions require tickets, but you may get a few discounts if you buy them in batches. To learn more about rates and promotions for each of the rides, check out their official website.

FLYWIRE ZIPLINE ON GOVERNORS ISLAND – CREDIT: ADVENTURES AT GOVERNORS ISLAND

 

 

 

TRY THE SLIDES AT SLIDE HILL

Sliding down Slide Hill may not be as extreme as trying out the zipline, but I can guarantee it is just as fun. The spot is a new attraction in the island and features four slides varying in length, including the longest one in the entire city and their main attraction.

You can even ride down with your whole family in one of the largest slides and then climb the hill in order to experience a fantastic view of the Statue of Liberty.

Besides the slides, Slide Hill also offers a playground for kids and teens aged 5-14.

SLIDE HILL ON GOVERNORS ISLAND – CREDIT: TIMOTHY SCHENCK

 

 

HAVE A DELICIOUS MEAL

If you’d rather skip the picnic, know that Governors Island also offers plenty of snack options. There’s ice cream for the hotter days, vegetarian and vegan snacks, tacos, desserts,  beverages and weekend brunches. It’s impossible to feel hungry on this island!

For those who enjoy drinking, it’s important to know that, although bringing alcohol to the island isn’t allowed, you’re free to buy and consume it at specific locations inside.

FOOD ON GOVERNORS ISLAND – CREDIT: GOVERNORS ISLAND

YOU MIGHT LIKE: WHAT TO DO IN NYC DURING THE SUMMER? HERE ARE 11 MUST-SEE TIPS!

 

 

TAKE A BREAK AT HAMMOCK GROVE

After riding a bike and making the most out of the island, I recommend setting aside some time to chill out in one of the 50 red hammocks at Hammock Grove. You’ll be able to relax while admiring the wonderful view of the Statue of Liberty and NYC’s skyline. That’s surely the icing on the cake, isn’t it?

 

Oh, before I forget…To learn more about my day to day life in NYC, check out my Instagram (@marthasachser), and follow my Youtube channel, which you can find HERE! 

Have you been to Governors Island? What’s your favorite thing about it? I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

ACCOMMODATIONS IN NYC:

Budget friendly hotels in Manhattan:HERE!

Budget friendly hotels in Queens ( very close to Manhattan): HERE!

Book hotels and packages on BookingHERE!

Book hotels and packages in Hotels.comHERE!

Best NYC HostelsHERE!

Get credit on your first AirBnB stay: HERE!

 

 

GET NYC ATTRACTIONS DISCOUNT PASSES:

CityPass (good for the basics): HERE!

Sightseeing Pass (my favorite): HERE or HERE!

Sightseeing FLEX Pass (second favorite): HERE!

Explorer Pass: HERE!

New York Pass: HERE!

Get more passes and tickets to most NYC attractions HERE!

 

 

 

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