As it turns out, our timing was great, because in July they inaugurated ‘The Hills’, the project by renowned Dutch landscape architect, Adriaan Geuze. You can see an interesting profile of him and his work on Governor’s Island here in The New Yorker.
In 2008, it was open to the public and ferries run several times daily from April to October from the ferry station just beside that for Staten Island. A separate ferry runs from Brooklyn.
This year in New York, as our departure to Rome date loomed closer, I insisted on a trip, and it was well worth it.
It was a hot day, but the breezes from the water were fabulous and the biking is easy around this island, and offers stunning views over downtown Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, and the Brooklyn Bridge.
It was great to explore the old, gracious military barracks and officers’ homes, and it was especially nice to see The Hills so soon after its completion. From the top there are impressive views all around the island and on to the Manhattan skyline.
You can pack a picnic lunch and enjoy all that luscious green expanse of grass (always a plus for New Yorkers) and the quiet of the island compared to the bustle of city life just a short boat ride away.
If you don’t have time to pack that picnic lunch, on weekends, there are lots of food carts that set up and sell lunch (although there are fewer on weekdays), so you’ll have an opportunity to recharge.
Look out for special events held on the island – from jazz concerts to Roaring 20s parties to nature walks. You can plan your trip accordingly.
When you’re in New York in the period from spring to early fall, be sure to take a trip out to Governor’s Island and enjoy your relaxing day ‘biking New York’ – minus the crowds, traffic and chaos.