Governors Island is a 172-acre (70 ha) island in New York Harbor, within the New York City borough of Manhattan. It is located approximately 800 yards (732 m) south of Manhattan Island, and is separated from Brooklyn to the east by the 400-yard-wide (370 m) Buttermilk Channel. The National Park Service administers a small portion of the north of the island as the Governors Island National Monument, including two former military fortifications named Fort Jay and Castle Williams. The Trust for Governors Island operates the remaining 150 acres (61 ha), including 52 historic buildings, as a public park. About 103 acres (42 ha) of the land area is fill, added in the early 1900s to the south of the original island.Make your New York City itinerary with Inspirock to find out what to see and where to go.
The native Lenape originally referred to Governors Island as Paggank ("nut island"). The name was translated into the Dutch Noten Eylandt, then Anglicized into Nutten Island, before being renamed Governor's Island by the late 18th century. The island's use as a military installation dates to 1776, during the American Revolutionary War, when Continental Army troops raised defensive works on the island. From 1783 to 1966, the island was a United States Army post, serving mainly as a training ground for troops, though it also served as a strategic defense point during wartime. The island then served as a major United States Coast Guard installation until 1996. Following its decommissioning as a military base, there were several plans for redeveloping Governors Island; it was sold to the public for a nominal sum in 2003, and opened for public use in 2005.
Governors Island has become a popular seasonal destination open to the public between May and September, attracting more than 800,000 visitors per year as of 2018. In addition to the 43-acre (17 ha) public park, Governors Island includes free arts and cultural events, as well as recreational activities. The island can only be accessed by ferries from Brooklyn and Manhattan.
Tours To Governors Island
Secrets of Governors Island Walking Tour BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $44
Duration: 2 hours
Private Brunch & Mimosas Sail: Tour NYC top landmarks on a luxury sailing yacht BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $975
Duration: 2 hours
Governors Island Reviews
This is a hidden gem! Take a $3 ferry from battery park and spend all day exploring this beautiful island. The views of the lower Manhattan skyline are phenomenal. You can rent a bike, or walk... more »
….WHICH CATER FOR MORE THAN TWO TYPES OF TOURISTS…. At the start was the original island – an oval 750mx530 perfectly positioned abt 800m SOUTH of MANHATTAN’S southern tip to guard approaches to... more »
It is a shame that the city has let the island go to hell. I use to live there, what a shame New York.
Great place to visit! Amazing views. My 5 year old enjoyed the slides. More bathrooms are needed
Plan your trip to New York City
Get a personalized planA complete day-by-day itinerary
based on your preferences
Customize itRefine your plan. We'll find the
best routes and schedules
Book itChoose from the best hotels
and activities. Up to 50% off
Manage itEverything in one place.
Everyone on the same page.
Popular things to do in New York City
See all ›
See all ›
Parks in New York City
See all ›
Nearby attractions in New York City
Plans to Governors Island by other users
31 days in New York City BY A USER FROM TURKEY July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, popular sights Preferences: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 30 days in New York City BY A USER FROM INDIA June, popular sights Preferences: June Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 34 days in New York City & Western Australia BY A USER FROM INDIA May, popular sights Preferences: May Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 16 days in Williamsburg, New York City & Atlantic City BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular sights Preferences: August Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 19 days in New York City BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA June, popular sights Preferences: June Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 17 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, outdoors, popular sights Preferences: July, outdoors Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium