During your visit to the Big Apple, you can check out the city from the water on Liberty Cruise NYC, which tours around New York Harbor and makes a stop at Governor’s Island.
The 172-acre Governor’s Island has a special place in the heart of New Yorkers. Initially, a strategic location for Revolutionary War battles, this iconic island proved very difficult for the British to take and was the location where several pivotal military exercises took place.
George Washington, among others, visited the island and it was an integral part of the colonial militia.
After the Revolutionary War, the island was transformed into a key headquarters for both the Coast Guard and the United States Army.
Although these facilities closed in 1996, the island still has many remnants of its historical past. History buffs will love wandering through the forts and historical battlefields of the island. It is easy to spend a day soaking in the island’s past battles, but you can just as easily enjoy the modern day eco-paradise that is today’s Governor’s Island.
Discover an oasis not far from the bustling city, and make sure you put this beloved island on your “must see” list next time you are in New York City.
Things To Do
In addition to seeing some of the iconic forts and battlefields on the island, visitors will love checking out some of the current events and happenings on this no-cars-allowed island.
If you want an adrenaline-pumping experience that gives you the best view of the city skyline, you have to try ziplining. The Flywire Zipline is a 300-foot long cable that gives you a birds-eye view of the island and nearby Manhattan. You will cruise along at speeds up to 21 miles per hour. Although this sport is not for the faint of heart, ziplining is a totally safe, family-friendly experience!
- Take A Leisurely Bike Ride
The island is completely car-free, so you can explore by bike to your heart’s content. Cruise along seven miles of bike path and enjoy the scenery, as well as get a great workout in. You can rent a bike anywhere on the island.
- Go Rock Climbing
If you have never been rock climbing, you really need to try it! The island’s Climbing Challenge caters to novices and experts alike and you will be in absolute control of your line the whole time, so you can go at the speed that is most comfortable for you! Stretch yourself physically and get vertical!
- Check Out The Art Island Outpost
The family-friendly Children’s Museum of the Art’s Art Island Outpost is free and allows your little ones to find their inner artist through a series of interactive artistic stations. The Art Island Outpost is outdoors, so you will enjoy the fresh air while your family creates masterpieces to cherish for years to come.
- Take A Walking Tour
Walking tours are free on the island! They are an awesome way to learn about the island’s history and its new commitment to environmental sustainability. If you are interested in history or the environment, these tours are something you will not want to miss. Full of information and fun, the walking tours are one of the most popular tourist activities on the island.
- Chill Out In A Hammock
If walking, biking, or climbing are not for you, why not catch some rest and relaxation in one of the island’s signature red hammocks? There are fifty to choose from, so you will have no trouble finding a spot to chill out and take in the skyline!
- Attend A Live Concert
Governor’s Island is one of the premier concert venues in New York City. During the summer you can catch any number of great shows. Check out a lineup of 2018’s concerts here.
Next time you find yourself vacationing in the Big Apple, remember to make a stop at this eco-friendly, interesting and historic island.
You will see a whole other part of the big city, learn some great history and have a unique experience to cherish for many years to come.