nyc-etc: governors island

September 15th, 2014
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When I think about my very favorite places in New York, there are many differences among them – but a few important similarities. Mainly that they are all uniquely “New York”.

Yes, the High Line could be re-created in any city that has an elevated train track (and it was actually inspired by one in Paris that was built 16 years earlier).

And there are plenty of parks to rival Central Park.

But there’s no denying – when you are standing in those certain spots – that you are anywhere but New York.

Governors Island is one of those places.

Originally used as a military base – (read here for more on the history of the island), Governors Island was opened to the public in 2010. It is one of our family’s favorite places in New York, and we make at least one outing there every year.

You depart for the island from a stunning Beaux Arts terminal for a 7-minute ride across the East River.

governors island terminal

governors island terminal

governors island

And since we’re all about the journey as much as the destination, this is half the fun.

Once on the island there is truly something for everybody.

History and architecture, for starters.

governors island

governors island

governors island

Surrey and bike riding – the island is only 2 miles in circumference, making it perfect for a family ride (and you cannot beat the views).

governors island surreys

governors island view of manhattan

There’s mini golf, an awesome tree house and on-going kid-centric activities.

governors island tree house

governors island

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governors island

governors island

And one of the best features of the island – the cultural events.

We’ve experienced sculpture installations, a great exhibit on graphic design and another on maritime disasters.

governors island

governors island graphic design exhibit

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And one of our  most memorable outings – “Fete Paradiso” – an installation of vintage French carnival games and rides.

governors island fete paradiso

governors island fete paradiso

governors island fete paradiso

governors island fete paradiso

governors island fete paradiso

governors island fete paradiso

governors island fete paradiso

governors island fete paradiso

The ferry runs from May through September, so there are still a few more weeks to enjoy the island (and it’s probably way less crowded now). But in any case be sure to put Governors Island on your summer bucket list for next year!

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