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“Governor's Island is a nice outing”

Governors Island National Monument
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NYC Private Luxury Yacht Rental
Ranked #61 of 1,078 things to do in New York City
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: This former Dutch governor's estate, former military fort and former Coast Guard command post now enjoys its old age as a historic monument where you can take the occasional tour.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Greenwich, CT
Level Contributor
119 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Governor's Island is a nice outing”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 8, 2013

Granted, the island still needs work, but how can you beat a free ferry ride that gives you a great view of downtown NYC?

We went to Governor's Island with our 13-year-old son and he/we enjoyed the outing. (We would have enjoyed it even more had it not been 90+ degrees and really humid.) We all liked Fort Jay because you get a real sense of what it meant to protect New York harbor back in Revolutionary times. It was also cool to see Castle Williams, though we did not opt for the tour.

We were a little disappointed that the FIgments mini golf was closed. So then we went over to the farm/composting center which we found interesting and my son enjoyed taking their resident goat for a walk on a leash. After that we went to the Children's museum outpost and the guide there turned on an animated film for us made by kids. Then we went over to the building that housed a small, but quite interesting exhibit on NYC during WWII.

I think if you rime your visit when something special is going on, it would be even more fun, but we still enjoyed it - even just for the value of being a lovely historic park.

Visited July 2013
Thank CTTraveler99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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581 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Hebrew first
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English first
New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Too many closures”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 7, 2013

Disappointed in my visit. Over half the Island was closed. No water fountains so visitors must spend $2 for a bottle of water or soda. Park Rangers poorly trained could not answer my questions about Castle Williams, etc. Gorgeous view of Lower Manhattan. Most historic buildings , such as theater, were closed again. Streets in very poor condition; can easily fall. Strolling is not fun as bikes, scooters, golf carts, constantly are in my way. I'll wait until construction is completed for my next visit.

Visited July 2013
1 Thank MyronNewYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nashville, Tennessee
Level Contributor
30 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Governor's Island - NYC”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 4, 2013

Finally, I had a chance to visit Governor's Island - as it is open in the summer. I hadn't researched at all - and only knew about art on the lawns.... The Manhattan Ferry operates every 30 minutes and is free and there is no fee for visiting the island. You can bring your own/rented bikes - or you can rent bikes, strollers, etc on the island. I would recommend renting a bike once there as the island is larger than it seems and another portion is being renovated which will only increase the area. The Island is home to Fort Jay and Castle Williams. Great for photography and also views to Lower Manhattan, World Trade Center, Statue of Liberty. The area/park is extremely family inviting. There is a park for kids to participate with and many educational areas throughout. Allow 2-3 hours.

Visited June 2013
3 Thank TreyPod
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
31 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Oasis in NYC”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 24, 2013

I cannot compliment Governor's Island enough. I went for the first time two years ago and it was love at first sight. In fact this year, I decided to volunteer there. First, the free ferry (from Manhattan or Brooklyn) is lovely little ride over. You can bring your bike (stroller). Second, most things on the island are free. Bring a picnic for you and your family/friends. Walk around and enjoy the outdoor sculptures brought to you by FIGMENT. There's a lovely treehouse and mini-golf right now. And you can rent a single or tandem bicycle for a cost, but very reasonable. Check out their calendar for different events- i.e. Jazz fest, family day, evening concerts, etc. There are hammocks and picnic tables abound. Come see this place while it's still relatively unknown (and uncrowded.) Couple of things to know: no potable water, and the only "real" bathrooms are next to the Manhattan ferry dock. Otherwise there are porta potties around the island.

Visited June 2013
5 Thank MondialeNyc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
13 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Govenor's Island”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 17, 2013

Free ferry to the island. Tour of the fort by the National Park sService was good. Great pictures of the Statue of Liberty since that attraction not available until July 4.

Visited June 2013
Thank OzandLilly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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