Governors Island
Governors Island
4.5
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2-3 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
94 reviews
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handyspanner
London, UK472 contributions
Sep 2022
Have been coming to NYC on a regular basis for a few years now and this is our first trip here and what a time we had.

$4 ferry trip from Wall St Pier 11, you get a 20 minute river trip to the island via Red Hook (which is another must go place) on your way to the island. Some great views on the way too.

The buildings are a little tired and the infrastructure is in need of a little care and attention, however, on a day like we had(bright sunshine and clear blue skies) you could not pick a better place to see all the key views of a New York trip. We walked all the way around, however, you can hire bikes either the Citi bikes or from a private company. There are many places to stop and just take in the vista in your own tranquil space.

As I say, it’s a shame the place appears to not have had any money put into it and it is a little run down, but it’s a great day out.

We finished off with a couple of rum pina colada's and a dish of nachos, which were greatly consumed after a few hours walking around .
Written September 16, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Itinerant_Foodies
Greensboro, NC621 contributions
Nov 2021 • Couples
With nice weather this is a wonderful place to visit . We rented a bicycle driven cart that seated both of us and pedaled around the entire island. This method of transportation allowed us to see the whole island at a reasonable pace so we’d highly recommend it. We climbed up the hills and had great views of the island and the surrounding area. Views from the island are great as well but the additional height of the hills makes quite a difference. We didn’t have time to tour the forts but hope to return soon to do so. The ferry ride is very short so this is a relatively easy destination if you’re already near the terminal.
Written November 10, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

TravelingAmos
New Jersey577 contributions
Sep 2020
We've been coming here for at least ten years now, though we don't live in NYC. The first time we came we envied all those who brought their own bikes. Now we bring our bikes with us. We have not gotten to the point of packing a picnic lunch, but there are some good food vendors on the island.

For those who don't know, the island can only be reached by ferry from downtown Manhattan or from Brooklyn. It is car-free and therefore very bike-friendly. There's a nice picnic area with great views of both the Statue of Liberty and the Verrazano Bridge on the southern part of the island. There is not a whole lot to due other than relax, but it would be a welcome respite on a busy tour of the city. Make sure to book your ferry tickets in advance. I believe that it's free on weekdays and early on weekends.
Written September 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

JoL
17 contributions
Aug 2022
An 8 minute ferry ride takes you to this island with wide open green spaces and clean air (no cars and no smokers). You feel you're so far away from the city!

TRY THIS ONCE: Take the earliest 7am ferry and ride a Citibike (or bring your own bike on the ferry) around the island. So peaceful as if the island is reserved just for you and a few other bikers and glampers.

TIPS:
1. Don't miss the views from Outlook Hill (the best!) and Picnic Point.
2. Be prepared to walk or better ride a bike.
3. Governors Island Trust ferry (but not the NYC ferry) is free on weekends before 12nn
4. Don't go on a very hot summer day. Very limited air conditioned indoor spots.
Written September 1, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Grover R
Pensacola, FL17,681 contributions
Mar 2019
I had been to New York several times but never had seen or thought about Governor's Island. Our trip this time was to visit the island and see the Harbor School. The ferry trip was great to get out on the water and see the city from this view. When then toured the Island and its old fort as well as the school. It has some interesting history. Overall, I am so glad I took the time to visit. It was made for pictures of the city.
Written January 14, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

evelyn
Rochester, NY17 contributions
Jul 2019 • Family
This is a hidden gem! Take a $3 ferry from battery park and spend all day exploring this beautiful island. The views of the lower Manhattan skyline are phenomenal. You can rent a bike, or walk around. They even have free hammocks! If you want to spend the night, you can try camping or glamping. There are food trucks for lunch and ice cream. There is really so much to do at such a beautiful park. Not many people know about this underrated island, so it isn’t very crowded, even during busy times of the year like Memorial Day weekend and the Fourth of July weekend. I would 1000/10 recommend this and I will definitely visit again this summer.
Written April 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Brooke E
Australia36 contributions
Oct 2019
This island came recommended to us by a local and we were not disappointed. It was the week leading up to Halloween when we visited. The crowds were minimal which was a nice change for NYC.We had an amazing view of the statue of liberty. In fact, the views throughout were fantastic and allowed us to look back over towards Manhattan from a different perspective. Walking around the island was easy but there was bikes and trikes you can hire if require. There is lots to look at and read regarding the military history of the island too which we both enjoyed and a great selection of food trucks. I would highly recommend visiting the island as a day out.
Written January 12, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jobojoanne
New York116 contributions
Aug 2020
I've lived in NYC since 1991 and can't believe I waited nearly 30 years to visit this awesome place. A must see. Perfect for social distancing during pandemic, but I look forward to returning when everything is open. Perfect for everyone - adults, kids, seniors, etc.
Written August 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Tinker B
1 contribution
Dec 2021
The saddest, most non-existent winter village ever. An ice skating rink about the size of my NYC apartment. Really no food choices except a food truck with burgers and hotdogs. My coffee latte and chocolate snack was very good, but I did not need travel, with my ice skates, family and friends to Governors Island's pathetic winter village.
We had fun not because of, but inspire of.
You can definitely skip this tourist trap.
Written December 27, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kensi B
New York City, NY87 contributions
Jun 2022
There's a lot of good here. Definitely worth a day. The best is the spectacular views of downtown NYC, Statue of Liberty, World Trade Center, the East River, the boats, etc. There are some really nice expansive green lawns for picnicking. Some nice lunch and drink spots. A great outdoor bar. It's nice to wander around and look at all the former mansions and military staff apartments. There are some decent hiking trails and a good amount of (clean!) bathrooms.

The island is an odd mixture of catering to the wealthy - there is an area for glamping with an overpriced restaurant and bar, and a new pricey spa with pools - and dirty construction areas (presumably building something? hopefully?) and rundown military barracks with broken windows. And there always seems to be some sort of event happening with blaring music and lots of drunk 20-somethings.

I hope they continue to improve the island and not turn it into just a playground for the rich. It would be awesome to see apartments here eventually though I'm sure only the uber-wealthy could afford them.
Written June 6, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Governors Island (New York City) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about Governors Island

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