By Seth Fera-Schanes
If you have never been to Governors Island, you should set aside three hours on a weekend this summer to go for a visit.
Located in New York Harbor, Governors Island is about a 10 minute ferry ride from downtown Manhattan. If you are a Brooklynite you also have a ferry service and it probably takes about the same amount of time. From the moment you leave the ferry slip you are treated with sweeping views of the harbor, east river bridges, the Statue of Liberty and of course the dense skyscrapers that make up the Financial District in lower Manhattan.
I have put together your agenda for this outing (you can thank me later):
1. Get to Governors Island early. I would recommend taking the 10am ferry. As I have mentioned in previous articles, most New Yorker’s are not getting up early on the weekend. The early start time will ensure you have many of the facilities on the island to yourself. Trust me on this one. Starting around 1pm you will notice the crowds fill in around you.
2. Once you get off the ferry, walk over to the bike rental place and rent a cruiser. The price is $15 for 2 hours and then an extra $5 for 2 additional hours. You will keep the bike for 3 hours and it is totally worth the price.
3. Explore. You can ride the perimeter of the island in about 15 minutes and along the way there are great photo opportunities. There are also also churches, artist studios and a castle you should definitely check out. The great thing about this place is you can simply park your bike on the grass and then walk into a building and when you come back out your bike is still waiting right there for you; it’s straight out of a 1950’s movie.
4. Hammocks and extreme lounging. The newest addition to the island is a dedicated area with some very comfortable hammocks. The effort you made to get an early start on the day pays off here when you have a hammock all to yourself. Make sure to bring sunscreen because there isn’t much shade. However, relaxing under the sun on an island in the middle of New York harbor is one great experience.
*A special thank you to Allison O’Neill for this great trip recommendation