Did you know that only small part of New York City connects to the mainland United States?
Yep… It’s true!
The Bronx is the only connected part of New York City! The rest of the city is built on islands! You have the island of Manhattan, Long Island (home to Queens and Brooklyn), and Staten Island. On top of the main boroughs, you can find Ellis Island, Liberty Island, Rikers Island, Roosevelt Island, Pelham Islands, and many more! Who knew that New York City was a chain of islands like the Bahamas? We don’t really think of it that way… But maybe we should.
We’ve also spent tons of time in Manhattan, you can find more on that from our posts on Summer Vibes, Central Park, the Upper West Side, Gardens and Green Spaces, the West Village, the Lower East Side, The Financial District, the Observation Decks, and our neighborhood in Midtown East.
But, we’ve been here almost a full year, and we had never been to Governors Island. Only open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, this ferry-only accessible island is New York’s summer playground – literally.
It is 172 acres of gardens, lawns, rolling hills, recreation areas, playgrounds, and concessions. Whatever you decide to do, Governors Island is relaxing, rejuvenating, beautiful, picturesque, and loads of fun.You could:
- Spend the day lounging in a hammock overlooking a garden of lavender and butterflies, or
- Bring your friends out for a day-long championship of ultimate frisbee, or
- Take a date and picnic on a lawn overlooking Manhattan, or
- Geek out on American History by scouting out all of the historical plaques, buildings, and museums, or
- Slide down New York City’s longest slide (57 feet!), or
- Simply hang out at the Island Oyster Bar and while the day away with cocktails and oysters.
So, how did we spend our day?
We always want to see and do it all! Once we stepped off the ferry, we started walking the circumference of the island. It took around 40 minutes to walk the entire outer-perimeter. We took a ton of pictures and were excited to see the lawns, the views and vistas, the “glamping” site, the playgrounds and slides, the museums, the gardens, and the recreation fields. We had to go to the inside of the island to catch the hammocks, the gardens, the sheep, the hills, and the Liggett Terrace Food Court.
We stopped off at the food court to enjoy some jerk chicken, Jamaican sorrel, Threes Brewing, and a MELT ice cream sandwich. Then, we found a place in the hills to overlook a frisbee game, the Manhattan skyline, the Statue of Liberty, and to hunt for four-leaf clovers. (We found two!)
From there, we did a quick walkthrough of the historical landmarks, including Castle Williams, Fort Jay, Colonel’s Row, and Church/The May Room.
It’s amazing how quickly our four hours passed! There is much more to see and do than what we expected, yet, we still found a little time to lounge and relax in the summer sun.
While we waited on our ferry, we stopped by for a quick cocktail at the Island Oyster Bar, and made our way back to the city.
Who Should Go?
If you’ve been to New York a few times and are looking for a quick escape from the city, Governors Island is perfect. This is where New Yorkers go to get away from it all, and it’s only 10 minutes away! The views are amazing – this is as close as you can get to the Liberty Mutual commercials overlooking the Statue of Liberty. This is also a great view of downtown Manhattan, Brooklyn, and New Jersey. You’ll have wide-open green spaces that are free from trash, dog poop, and the usual “yuck” of New York City parks. It’s pristine. It’s big. It’s fun. It’s New York recreation at it’s finest.
Why Skip It?
This isn’t the top attraction in New York. If you’re new to the city, there are many other more important sites (see above and below).
If you don’t like boats, this isn’t going to be your cup of tea. There are no bridges to Governors Island.
If you’re not a fan of the outdoors, this also isn’t for you. I don’t know that there will be ANY indoor availabilities aside from the restrooms in 2021. You definitely go to Governors Island to enjoy time in the beautiful outdoors.
Be a Kid Again on Governors Island
Remember being young and being outside? There was nothing better than playing with your friends at a park. Governors Island provides that same fun — for adults and children alike! Bring your favorite lawn games, grab a hammock, get an ice cream, remember what it was like to be young in the summer. Governors Island is for fun, relaxation, recreation, and fresh air. Go enjoy it!
More Posts About New York
- What to Pack for Your First Trip to New York City
- Toasting the New York Yankees
- Toasting Summer Vibes on Pier 17 and the North River Lobster Boat
- Toasting New York City’s Upper West Side
- Toasting Beacon and the Hudson River Valley
- Toasting the Top 10 Best of Spring in NYC
- Toasting Brooklyn’s Western Waterfront
- Toasting Coney Island, Brooklyn
- Toasting Gardens and Green Spaces in New York City
- Toasting Spring 2021
- Pizzas, Parties and Poetry in Greenwich Village
- The American Museum of Natural History
- Christmas in Midtown, Manhattan
- Holiday Spirit in NYC
- The NYC Zoos
- Tea Tasting in Soho and the Lower East Side
- The New York Botanical Gardens
- Halloween in New York City
- Exploring Queens: Long Island City
- Exploring Downtown Manhattan: FiDi
- Exploring Brooklyn: Red Hook
- The Best Observation Decks in NYC
- Exploring Queens: Rockaway Beach
- Exploring Our Neighborhood: Midtown East
- Exploring Central Park
Should I Come to New York in 2021?
YESSSS!!!! If you live in the U.S.A., then go get your vaccine and come visit! As of April 1, quarantine and testing will no longer be mandated. Quarantining for a few days is still recommended, but we are reaching the end of the formal testing, paperwork, and quarantines for domestic travelers! Huzzah!
***UPDATE*** On April 1, 2021 New York will no longer be requiring quarantines for domestic travel. International travelers will still be required to quarantine. All travelers will need to fill out a NYS traveler form upon arrival.
***UPDATE*** On May 17th the MTA Subway System will resume 24/7 service!
***UPDATE*** On May 19th NYC restaurants will resume indoor service at 100% capacity
***UPDATE*** On September 14th Broadway will re-open at 100% capacity
You’ve waited patiently, and New York is still here! Start planning your trips!
As always, don’t forget to Toast The Moon to all of your international travels by visiting our store, and make sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and the ‘gram to catch all of our latest posts and adventures!
Noah and Majhon