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Features, NYC Guides

The 10 best things to do on Governors Island

By Nicole Mondrus, Mon, July 8, 2019

governors island, things to do, nyc

Governors Island is one of New Yorkers’ favorite places to visit come the warm weather. Less than a 15-minute ferry ride from downtown, the Island is both a national park and one of the few places in NYC where you won’t find any cars, making it the perfect place to get away without really leaving. Pack your sunglasses and a picnic blanket, because we’ve rounded up the 10 best things to do on Governors Island, from kayaking and running a 10K to lounging in a hammock and taking yoga in a lavender field.

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Design, Getting Away

collective retreats, outlook shelter, governors island, getaways, camping, glamping

A well-rounded urban camping experience is a new summer option on Governors Island. Campers can choose an activity-packed agenda complete with private boats, dining, kids’ activities and wellness programs, and a chance to sleep under the stars surrounded by New York skyline views and 1,500 thread count sheets, private en-suite bathrooms and decks, electricity, and WiFi within. For modern design lovers, the island’s cozy Summit and Journey tents from Collective Retreats will be joined by new Outlook shelters. These modular hotel rooms resemble tiny modern cabins with 225 square feet–plus 175 square feet of deck space–of  indoor architecture that “seamlessly compliments outdoor grandeur with fully sheltered structures.”

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Events, Restaurants

Via Flickr

The annual competition celebrating New York City street vendors will end this fall after 15 years. The last Vendy Awards ever will be held on Governors Island on September 21, providing one last chance to enjoy one of the city’s greatest food events. The competition, organized by the Street Vendor Project at the Urban Justice Center, launched with just four vendors in 2005. It has since grown to feature vendors from across the city, serving nearly two thousand hungry foodies annually, and becoming a career launch pad for vendors.

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Getting Away

Governors island, glamping, camping

Image courtesy of Collective Retreats.

A new option for summer fun without leaving the city begins today: Urban camping on Governors Island kicks off its summer season, courtesy of Collective Governors Island. The activity-packed retreat experience includes private boats, new menus, kids’ activities, wellness programs and more, plus a chance to sleep under the stars with stunning views of the Statue of Liberty and New York skyline while enjoying plush beds with 1,500 thread count sheets, private en-suite bathrooms and decks, electricity and wi-fi.

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Events

Governor's Island

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Beginning in May, Governors Island will open to the public with a new season of programming and exploration. Just a quick ferry ride from Lower Manhattan, the Island is a perfect getaway, offering car-free recreational activities, lush green space, fantastic waterfront views, local food vendors, and 70 free events spanning visual arts, performance, culture, and science. This year, Governors Island will be open daily from May 1 to October 31, with extended late-night hours every Friday and Saturday between Memorial and Labor Day.

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Events, holidays

Photo via Governors Island

It’s officially October, which means it’s time to start planning your fall agenda. And while there are plenty of great places for pumpkin picking and foliage peeking outside the city, there are still some ways to enjoy autumnal activities without leaving NYC. On Governors Island, you’ll find one of New York City’s only pumpkin patches, complete with a backdrop of fall foliage, live music, a beer garden, and pumpkin painting with the Children’s Museum of the Arts. And on Saturday the 27th, the Island will host free trick-or-treating.

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Policy

City kicks off Governors Island rezoning process

By Devin Gannon, Mon, August 27, 2018

governors island

Photo of Governors Island via simplethrill on Flickr

The city has launched the public review process for rezoning Governors Island, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Friday. A notice announcing the first public hearing for the plan was posted by the city, a critical part of the environmental review process (h/t Crain’s). The rezoning would create 4.5 million square feet of commercial, academic and cultural development, part of an endeavor to turn the 172-acre island into a 24/7 community.

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City Living, Events

Governors Island is now open late all weekend

By Dana Schulz, Fri, July 6, 2018

Island Oyster, via Trust for Governors Island

In April, the Trust for Governors Island announced extended Friday hours for the 2018 season, allowing visitors to explore the island until 10pm. And now, thanks to a sponsorship from Grey Goose, they’ll also remain open late on Saturdays, all the way to 11pm. “Late Saturdays” begin tomorrow and run through September 1st, with all ferries free after 6pm. As Governors Island says, “Visitors can now enjoy stunning sunsets overlooking New York Harbor, take leisurely bike rides around the Hills and visit Island Oyster for a Grey Goose Fair Winds Fizz specialty cocktail.”

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City Living, Events

timothy schenck, governors island, nyc parks

Photo by Timothy Schenck

Get ready to party on Governors Island this summer. The Trust for Governors Island on Tuesday announced extended hours for the 2018 season from 6 pm to 10 pm, allowing visitors to explore the park, drink cocktails and enjoy beautiful sunsets every Friday beginning May 25. During “Late Friday” nights, guests will be able to traverse the entire Island, including the promenade and Nolan Park and Colonels Row homes in the park’s historic district.

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Transportation

governor's island, gondolas, transportation

Image courtesy of The Trust for Governor’s Island.

Among a growing chorus of futuristic transportation suggestions meant to meet the city’s exploding need to get from point A to point B, Crain’s reports that the city’s Economic Development Corp. is studying a gondola that would operate from lower Manhattan to Governors Island. Though the idea has been proposed before, anticipation of a planned redevelopment project on the 172-acre island has fostered a new urgency.

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