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Springtime on Governors Island

April 8, 2022 | 5 min Read

While it’s not a tropical island, it’s still an island right off of New York City. And as the nicer weather arrives, it’s an ideal time to plan a visit to see the fantastic skyline and experience a relaxing day trip just a hop skip and a jump away from the city on Governors Island. Read on to learn more about this island gem!

While it’s not a tropical island, it’s still an island right off of New York City. And as the nicer weather arrives, it’s an ideal time to plan a visit to see the fantastic skyline and experience a relaxing day trip just a hop skip and a jump away from the city on Governors Island. Read on to learn more about this island gem!

Governors Island History

Governors Island is a 172-acre parcel of land in New York Harbor that served as a US Army base until the 1960s when things began to cool down with the Cold War. Prior to that time, Governors Island was considered a top-secret location, and in order to keep it as such, it was often omitted from maps printed then. With the retreat of the military, the island fell into neglect and abandon.

In 2003, the federal government sold the island to the City of New York for a bargain price of $1 with the caveat that it be transformed into a recreational area.

A visit today is like stepping back in time. Many of the houses have been preserved along with Fort Jay barracks, schools, Castle Williams prison, a hospital, church and supermarkets— even a theatre still stands. The buildings dot the large island park and facilities, which include a 22-acre Nation­al Mon­u­ment man­aged by the Nation­al Park Service. It is a car-free island.

The Best Ways to Experience Governors Island

There are many fun activities for visitors to enjoy while on the island, including seasonal events.

The best way to explore the island is by bike. Bike rentals are available on the island for $ 15/2 hours (follow the blue signs after leaving the ferry) or you can bring your own bike with no extra fee on the ferry. The trails wind through the open spaces and the park offering scenic vistas of the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline.

Walking tours are also available for a guided and structured experience to get you started.

But the ideal way to experience Governors Island is with plenty of time and an aim to relax while taking in new sights. A few favorite stopping points include:

Colonels Row with its stately homes with large terraces, grand fireplaces and lofty rooms for hosting events.

Hammock Grove is ideal for lounging with a plethora of hammocks slung from the trees: the perfect way to relax!

While on the island, visit the art installation, Cabin.

The lavender fields are also a sight worth taking in

Food and Drink on Governors Island

Each season the island brings in unique and exciting food vendors. Food selections run the gamut from tacos to waffles and burgers to vegan-only options. Picnics are welcome on the island but alcohol is not permitted to be brought on.

How to Get to Governors Island

To get to Governors Island, you’ll need a ferry ride. Advance reservations are strongly encouraged, however, visitors no longer need to choose a return time when booking ferry tickets at govisland.org. You may leave the Island on any ferry you choose, no reservation required.

  • Ferries operated by the Trust for Governors Island run daily from the Battery Maritime Building, located at 10 South Street in Lower Manhattan.
  • NYC Ferry serves Governors Island daily on the South Brooklyn Route, with stops on the Lower East Side, Wall Street and along the Brooklyn waterfront. For schedules, pricing and more information, visit ferry.nyc.
  • Seasonal weekend Brooklyn ferry service operated by the Trust for Governors Island from Red Hook and Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park will return in Spring, 2022.

Tickets are $3. For schedules and reservations, visit the island’s official website. It’s good to note that Saturdays and Sundays before noon, rides are free.

Per federal law, masks continue to be required on public transport–this includes while waiting for, boarding, riding and disembarking all Governors Island ferries.

Cel­e­brate Earth Day on Gov­er­nors Island

This year, Gov­er­nors Island is open to the pub­lic on Earth Day for the first time in its history; and it is seeking volunteers to help continue the legacy of the island. To cel­e­brate, the Friends of Gov­er­nors Island, in part­ner­ship with the Trust for Gov­er­nors Island and the Stu­dent Con­ser­va­tion Asso­ci­a­tion, invite New York­ers and com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers to join us on Sat­ur­day April 23rd for an Island-wide day of ser­vice and stewardship.

  • 10 – 10:30am Reg­is­tra­tion on the Parade Ground
  • 10:30am – 1pm Vol­un­teer projects
  • 1:30pm Com­mu­ni­ty Earth Day Cel­e­bra­tion at the Parade Ground

All ages and abil­i­ty lev­els are encour­aged to par­tic­i­pate. Tools and mate­ri­als will be pro­vid­ed. Advanced reg­is­tra­tion is required.

About The Lombardy Hotel

The Lombardy Hotel’s timeless elegance is iconic to Midtown Manhattan. Our rooms are spacious, comfortable and thoughtfully designed to make you feel at home. We look forward to hosting you on your next visit to New York City.

*Due to Covid-19 our restaurant, cafe and gym will remain closed for a time.

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