Next time you’re in New York City, come visit Governors Island – New York City’s “other” island!
There are tons of things to do on Governors Island and it becomes a lively place during the summers. Visitors can rent bikes, play miniature golf, enjoy performance and visual art, take tours, visit an organic farm, and have a picnic and more. It was a military base from 1776 to 1996 so there are also old forts, buildings, homes and churches to explore.
Governors Island offers a music series running from June 5 through August 15. Artists such as Josh Ritter, Corinne Bailey Rae, Dr. Dog and Caribou & Phantogram will be performing. Some shows are free so check their calendar to see if tickets are needed. Most of the shows are held on the beach and turn into parties with the incredible Manhattan skyline as a backdrop.
Bike rentals are available on the island. Visitors can choose from regular bikes, tandem bikes or quadcycles in a couple of sizes. On Fridays, bikes are free for one hour.
There is also a nice 2.2 mile promenade around the Island that visitors can walk or bike with amazing views of Manhattan.
FIGMENT is an interactive sculpture garden and miniature golf course. FIGMENT was created specifically for Governors Island as a way to engage the public in participatory art like rocking ladders, lawn furniture made from edible plants and grass, and large drums made from plastic industrial drums.
Visitors can go on guided hikes through the National Historic Landmark District. There are several to choose from including a 1.5 mile hike where visitors can learn the history of the Island and its evolution to what it is today. The guided hikes are free but may require tickets due to limited space.
Bring a picnic and visit Added Value Farm – Governors Island’s own organic farm. They have a farm stand where visitors can buy fresh, organic produce and there are plenty of beautiful spots on the island to enjoy a meal.
If you enjoy quality craftsmanship, The New New in building 6B in Nolan Park has an array of handmade items for sale inkling jewelry, textiles, ceramics and more.
Click here for a map of Governors Island (pdf).
Governors Island is located about half a mile off the tip of lower Manhattan. It’s accessible by a free ferry running from the Battery Maritime Building in Lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 6 in Brooklyn.
The Manhattan ferry runs Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The Brooklyn ferry runs on Saturdays and Sundays. Check the ferry schedule for times.
Governors Island is open June 5 through October 10 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. The hours on Friday are 10am to 5pm and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 7pm.