We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Free to visit, and so much to see!”

Governors Island National Monument
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
Governors Island Walking Tour
Ranked #70 of 1,149 things to do in New York City
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
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
Reviewed August 28, 2013

We went for the Volkswagen Traffic Jam, where you can see lots of old Volkswagen's which they bring over to the Island. Very nice island, a great view to Manhattan, and lots of little shops and activities to experience. They have a composting place where you can learn about composting, and bring your organic waste for composting. There's a big "art project" made out of plastic bottles as well, quite well done and beautiful from the inside. You can also rent bicycles there, and cycle around, or just bring your own. Lots of old houses with big verandas, and some rocking chairs to sit in. Interesting activities like a math / puzzle place, as well as a really old (I think 1897 or so) carousel, where you actually have to pedal yourself to make it run. Very nice, would recommend!

Thank sunshine_seeker15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (688)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
  • More languages
All reviews
"food trucks"
in 73 reviews
"free ferry"
in 52 reviews
"ferry ride"
in 62 reviews
"lower manhattan"
in 59 reviews
"castle williams"
in 18 reviews
"round trip"
in 29 reviews
"coast guard"
in 14 reviews
"art shows"
in 9 reviews
"rent a bike"
in 26 reviews
"mini golf course"
in 8 reviews
"civil war"
in 10 reviews
"special events"
in 10 reviews
"new york"
in 65 reviews
"southern tip of manhattan"
in 6 reviews
"picnic lunch"
in 7 reviews
"open to the public"
in 10 reviews
"manhattan skyline"
in 25 reviews

426 - 430 of 688 reviews

Reviewed August 27, 2013

Went to the River to River Festival. It's a festival of activities that last about two weeks between East River Parks and Hudson River Parks. Next year it will be shorter as they are taking down pier 17 to build a new Pier. The Island created an event called Come Out And Play. They had all kinds of games to play.
We took the free ferry to Governors Island from the ferry station near Battery Park. Its free Saturday and Sunday . A 15 minute ride.The Island has lots of things to see and do. Playgrounds , museum, fields to play ball etc.. Plus a merry go round. I did not get a chance to see all the island. I will have to visit again. I met some friends for a pot luck pic nic. You can bring food, bikes, roller skates or rent bikes there. There were some food stands in case you forget to bring food. That night there was a French Bal on the Island to celebrate Bastille Day.
If you get a chance to go do not miss the Island and bring the whole family. A great place to have an old fashioned pot luck pic nic.

Thank slukaduka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 22, 2013

We went to an antique French fair there and it was stunning. Also walked the old Coast Guard parade grounds turned into a kid's park with everything from a treehouse to a soda bottle shelter. On Sunday, all of New York was there! There are lines for the free boats out and back, but it is worth it. Take a picnic or buy some things from local restaurants with kiosks (French ones at that fair). I think they are really improving the island more and more each time I visit.

Thank Katherine B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 20, 2013

We only went to Governor's Island to take advantage of the free ferry from Brooklyn Park Pier 6 to Battery Park, but it didn't work out so well. The island was pretty and a really neat experience. It seems so odd too because there are buildings that aren't being used and they are very pretty. It almost seemed like it could be a place the government would use for CIA covert operations or interrogations. Very interesting to see.

The only problem for us is that there was a Jazz Festival on the island that we didn't know about and our quick trip from Brooklyn to Battery Park took almost 3 hours. There were thousands of people trying to get on the ferry to go back to Manhattan and we stayed in line for 2 hours trying to get on a ferry. It almost ruined our day.

Other than that though, it was neat to say we got to go because it is only open on the weekends during certain parts of the year.

Thank wilbur24795
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
See more reviews
Reviewed August 19, 2013

This was a really nice side trip during our trip to NYC. The area in Lower Manhattan is interesting and very old - this is before you even get to the ferry to Governor's Island. The ferry over is fun and free. You really feel that you are away from NYC although you are only minutes away by ferry. There are lots of nice places to walk with stunning views of Brooklyn and Manhattan. Plus, the fortress is interesting and on the Saturday that we were there there were lots of things going on - music and arts and crafts etc. We even had a delay because of a storm and then a huge downpour which ended with a rainbow just as we docked at the other side on our return trip!

1  Thank Ken L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Governors Island National Monument also viewed


Been to Governors Island National Monument? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing