Governors Island, a scenic New York City getaway

New York City is known as the city that never sleeps. Such an active lifestyle inspires its residents and visitors to new achievements. But sometimes, we all want to put things on hold and just relax. Governors Island is located 5 minutes from midtown Manhattan. Every year it becomes a more popular place for New Yorkers to rest. The island is located very close to the bustling metropolis. Skyscrapers are clearly visible from the island. Yet there is still an atmosphere of tranquility here. The only drawback of this place is that it is closed to visitors in winter. However, in the warm season, there is entertainment for every taste. Learn more at

Governors Island History Facts

Few people know that the Dutchman Wouter van Twiller bought Governors Island from Native Americans in 1637 for two axes, a necklace and some nails. For a long time, this place was called Nutten Island. People used to come here to fish. The island was named this way for a reason. In those years, more than 10 varieties of nuts grew there.

In 1664, the British won the battle for the metropolis. New Amsterdam then became known as New York. Thus, Nutten Island came under the control of the governors. That’s how it got its familiar name. During the American Revolution, General Israel Putnam landed his army on the island. He began building earthworks. Fort Jay was later built on the same site. It was named in honor of the former governor of the metropolis, John Jay. On the other side of the island, Castle Williams was built. It was a circular fortress with thick walls and casemates. In total, up to 26 guns of various calibers could be placed there.

During the Civil War, this fortress and Fort Jay were prisons for confederates and deserters. But there were quite good conditions for prisoners. Usually, people sentenced to less than a year in prison were held in the prison on the island. Also, in the 19th century, the command of the Atlantic Division of the army was located on Governors Island. A separate town was even built there for the commanders and their families.

For a long time, Governors Island was a military facility. The place was under the jurisdiction of the military until 1965. It was not until the end of the 20th century that the island became a tourist attraction.

Why visit Governors Island?

Cars are not allowed on Governors Island. This place is known for its picturesque and cozy bike paths. It will take you about two hours to explore the entire island by two-wheeled transport. It is not only a very pleasant and interesting pastime, but also healthy. A bike ride is a great substitute for a gym workout. You can come to Governors Island with your own bike or rent one. This offer is available daily from 10:00 am to 12:00 am.

The city’s bee apiary and kayaking can also surprise visitors to Governors Island. From here you can admire the amazing views of the big city. By the way, all this is absolutely free.

Every season, New York City’s creative schools, together with local authorities, organize various entertainment events (concerts, festivals, exhibitions and fairs) on Governors Island. You can find a full list of events for spring and summer on the island’s official website.

New Yorkers and tourists can get to the island by ferry. It runs daily from May 1 to the end of October. The ferry from Manhattan departs once an hour on weekdays and once every 30 minutes on weekends. The ride costs $4. If you want more time on Governors Island, stay overnight. The island has a residential complex with cozy tents for visitors. In the evening, the atmosphere is unforgettable. It’s the perfect complement to a romantic date.

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