We often view travel as going abroad for a considerable period of time. Although this may be true, for me, travel takes on a different connotation. It’s the discovery and exploration of new places both domestic or international, and for this reason, my thoughts were set on New York’s Governors Island, a magical car-free oasis and a popular seasonal destination open to the public, seven days a week, between May and September. Despite its popularity, there are thousands of New Yorkers yet to visit this beautiful public park, located only eight hundred yards from Manhattan. Originally used as a fort in 1800; fifty years later it was utilized as a prison and later commissioned as a military base. With that said, curiosity and excitement took over and soon we boarded the ferry.
How to get there?
Brooklyn Bridge Pier 6
All aboard! Happy and thrilled, we were ready to enjoy the relatively short trip from Manhattan on a sunny spring day. This 172 acre island is easily accessed by ferries from Brooklyn and Manhattan for a round trip ticket that will cost around $2 (Children under 12 years and Seniors are free). One of the things that I enjoy most about living in this city is, its amazing skyline, and we were certainly in for a treat.
View of Manhanttan’s Skyline from Ferry
After only 4 minutes we arrived at Governors Island and my curiosity was piqued for the scene that laid before us. Colonial style brick buildings and churches dotted the shoreline and the information guides were more than happy to welcome us ashore.
Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church
I was amazed at the maintenance of the island; it was immaculate, by all means an excellent first impression. There were numerous areas for just chilling out or actually doing stuff such as rock climbing, cycling or grilling. Visitors are now able to do the latter activity on the island, however a permit is needed at a cost of $26. Not only are there lots of fun things to do on the island, but there are also lots to eat.
Nonetheless, too much activities coupled with limited food and drinks cannot work, and soon I was standing around the outdoor food court. A rotating selection of food vans stocked with burgers and fries, ice cream and even West Indian food, served up their delicacies to the hundreds of visitors. Not to be left out, further down at Leggett Road, several temporary tents were erected and manned by eager vendors serving various drinks and dishes. I had an iced cold water and a burger, relatively cheap yet tasty. After lunch, we spent the remainder of the day discovering the island.
All things considered, this is the place to be during the summer. Pack your sunscreen, picnic basket and coolers, catch the ferry, bring your vibes and head on over to Governors Island; after all, it’s only open for four months during the year.