Biking Governor’s Island, New York

Governor's Island, New YorkDuring our time back to New York this past summer, we finally managed to carve out time to get to Governor’s Island, something we’ve been meaning to do for years.

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.

Governor's Island, New YorkGovernor’s Island is a 40-acre island off southern Manhattan. It was long a military base until it was sold to the city of New York for one dollar back in 2003.

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.

Governor's Island, New YorkEver since then, Governor’s Island has been on my endless ‘things to do’ list each time I return to New York with my family.

This year in New York, as our departure to Rome date loomed closer, I insisted on a trip, and it was well worth it.

Governor's Island, New YorkMy husband, children and I went during a week day – much less crowded that the busier weekends – and rented bikes.

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.

Governor's Island, New YorkKids will be thrilled to discover fun slides down The Hills (bring a towel or blanket in the summer months when the slides become scorching hot) and playgrounds closer to the military barracks.

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.

Governor's Island, New YorkIf 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.

Governor's Island, New YorkGovernor's Island, New York

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