Governor’s Island: Always an NYC Summer Adventure

Oh Governor’s Island, you’re the best. You’re the perfect time-crunch NYC get-away. There you are, a mere five minute boat ride from the southern tip of Manhattan. You’re so accessible and yet you’re a different world. NYC loves you- you are open space, recreation and relaxation.


I spent my Saturday on Governor’s Island. I went with my two friends, Rose and Lilly. We had no plan, no agenda. We knew we could get on a ferry, sail over, and wander until we found fun. This couldn’t have been a safer assumption. We had a fantastic day filled with hammocks, ice cream, mini golf, sculptures, tree houses, civil war reenactments. Go to this Island any day of the week and you’ll happen upon something special. I promise.

The ferry ride alone is worth the trip!

The incredible view from the ferry.
This year they’ve opened an entire new section to the public. It’s full of black-eyed susans lined paths perfect for wandering.

hammock grove governors island
The cute older couple walking in front of us.
governor's island freedom tower
Me and my boyfriend, New York City! My boyfriend has the best looking Freedom Tower, don’t ya agree?

You’ll happen upon a baseball field and most exciting- the Hammock Grove! Some day in the future the trees will tower above and bathe the hammocks in dappled sunlight. But for now it’s a vitamin D concentration!

hammock grove governor's island
Uh oh…on a weekend it’s hard to find a free hammock…
gov island hammock grove
But we got lucky! Lilly and I!

At one time Governor’s Island was an army base. Hundreds of military personnel and families called it home. Now no one is allowed to live there. No one! It’s full of abandoned houses that in the summer time turn into boutiques and art galleries.


It was Civil War History weekend! During the war, troupes were stationed here. Now reenactors invade for one weekend to give us a taste of history.

civil war governor's island

governor's island civil war canon
You should’ve seen how long it took to prepare this canon!

I’m 28 years old and until this weekend I’d never played mini golf. Can you believe it? Well all that changed thanks to Figment NYC on Governor’s Island!  Figment NYC is a free participatory art event that is 100% volunteer-powered. As part of their experience this season, Figment NYC has set up mini golf and other art sculptures in the great field of the island. Each mini golf par was hand made by an artist, featuring a NYC theme or political issue.

figment nyc mini golf
Lilly and Rose gearing up for mini golf. (Yes, that’s a giraffe statue in the background!)
governors island mini golf
My first thwack at mini golf! On every one’s favorite New York cliche- pizza!
figment nyc mini golf king kong
Mini golf team! That is a King Kong with Chris Christie’s face if you’re wondering!

Mini golf is a sport, right? After such exhilarating exercise we needed ice cream. The selection of food trucks on Governor’s Island does not disappoint. Our favorite was Brooklyn Soda Works with the fanciest, most refreshing sodas you’ll ever taste made from cold-pressed juices like Watermelon- Tarragon and Apple-Ginger.

governors island ice cream

But wait, there’s more! Figment also has an amazing tree house!

figment governors island tree house

An interactive giraffe (you can draw on him) sculpture!

figment giraffe governors island

Cloud palace similar to last year– a canopy made of cups!


Have I convinced you that you must visit Governor’s Island? You still have time! It’s only open until September 28th. It’s open 7 days a week, the ferry is 2 dollars round trip (if you go on a weekend before noon the ferry is free).
If you go this weekend, you can check out the Jazz Age Lawn Party– I went back in June and you’ll never find an event more nifty! I’m telling ya, it’s beyond the bee’s knees!

Governor’s Island is such an NYC treasure, every one should go. I hope to make one more trip before the season ends!

goivernor's island phone are
Call me (or leave a comment) if you have any questions about visiting!

About New York Cliche

NYC lifestyle blog by Mary Lane. Events, adventures, epic mistakes, dating, life, humor. A 20-something trying to make it (and make out) in the city of dreams.

One thought on “Governor’s Island: Always an NYC Summer Adventure

Comments are closed.