Governors Island

Location: New York Harbor

You might first think of Liberty Island when you think of the islands of NYC. Governors Island lies east of Liberty Island, and it beats its neighbor in both size and history. The 172-acre Governors Island was so named because of the natural resources and strategic potential that the British deemed suitable for “the benefit and accommodation of his Majestie’s Governors.” It served as a defensive position and military base for the Army from the American Revolution to World War II and as a Coast Guard base for a few decades in the mid-20th century.

In 1985, the federal government designated as a National Historic District more than half of Governors Island; NYC followed suit in 1996, when the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission named that same land a Local Historic District. Today, thanks to work by the National Park Service starting in 2001, the area of and surrounding Fort Jay and Castle Williams, two centuries-old defensive fortifications in the northern part of Governors Island, has been built into the respected Governors Island National Monument, which attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

A short ferry ride from the Battery Maritime Building on the south coast of Manhattan brings you to Governors Island. You can also view it along with the other attractions in New York Harbor when you book a boat tour with Liberty Cruise NYC. All three of our popular cruises pass this landmark, but you’ll have the best, panoramic view with the Liberty Cruise Select. Our expert guides enhance the boat tour experience with history and fun facts about NYC, Governors Island included.

From late spring to mid autumn, this historic military center is open to visitors. Self-guided tours all week and ranger-led tours on weekends allow visitors to explore the past of Governors Island. NYC National Park Service rangers offer services in both Spanish and Chinese in addition to English. For family fun, Governors Island offers special monthly events, environmental awareness projects, various cultural programs, and outdoor recreation like biking and kayaking. No matter what you like, you’re sure to find something that excites you among the many things to do in and around the Governors Island National Monument.

Do you want yet another reason to add this attraction to your New York City sightseeing list? On the hills of Governors Island, NYC spreads straight out before you, giving you some of the best views of the glistening New York Harbor, the proud Statue of Liberty, and the iconic lower Manhattan skyline.

Book your tickets now for a boat tour around Governors Island and the rest of the beautiful New York Harbor. You’ll save up to 80% off the walk-in price when you buy in advance online! We offer flexible tours seven days a week to fit your schedule. Do you want to tour NYC on both land and water? You might consider opting for one of our all-city packages, which include a cruise around New York Harbor and double-decker bus tours to see all of the best attractions in the city. Make the most of your trip to the city with Liberty Cruise NYC!

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Content Edited by Steven Thomas