Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Biggest Secret In New York

Psst... Wanna know a secret?

The largest, most fun place in New York is virtually unknown. It's an entire island that's merely a stone's throw from Manhattan -- and utterly uncrowded. This paradise costs almost nothing to visit; if you go before noon, it's free.

The secret is Governors Island.

Governors Island is a 172-acre island only 800 yards south of Lower Manhattan. It's so close you can swim to it. The Island has spellbinding views of the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan. For centuries, the Island was closed to the public because it was used for government purposes, like stationing soldiers during the First and Second World Wars. After 1966, it was used as a U.S. Coast Guard base.

Recently, the Island was turned into a national park. In 2014, a first section was opened to the public and this year, in July, an impressive second section was opened. The new section is called "The Hills" and contains four mountains as high as 70 feet. Skilled landscape architects designed and built the area as a playground for adults and children. There are paths for hiking and bicycling, two 1812-era forts to explore, and four slides to go down (one of which is three stories high). The Island also offers rotating cultural and artistic exhibitions.

The only way to get to Governors Island is by ferry, from either Manhattan or Brooklyn. A round-trip ferry ride is free before noon and $2 afterward. No cars are permitted on the Island; only pedestrians and bicyclists can roam around. You can rent a bicycle there or bring your own.

The views at the Island are incredible. You've never seen New York look so good. There is no admission to enter the Island. Imagine you're rich and have your own private island.

On the way home, I stopped at one of my fav restaurants in NYC (Mudville 9) for super-hot wings and cold stout beer. Yumm. Their wings are universally acclaimed as the best in New York.

Here are some pics of my day...


  1. What a cool spot!

    I want to go down that slide : )


  2. Sounds amazing and that slide looks like heaps of fun!

  3. I should definitely visit it during my next trip (and don't forget to see you in person)

  4. I remember when we went to the statue of liberty, it was so foggy you could not see anything. Fun times, we will have to come back and see this. :)

  5. Nice photos!
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    Please join me -

  6. It looks so pretty! I'm definitely adding this to my NYC bucket list. :)

  7. I had no idea this is now a park! I cant wait to visit!
    I was there once 20 some odd years ago, with a boy I was dating, who had a friend there that ended up in a movie with Jack Nicholson.... as best as I can remember.
    These pictures are stellar, thanks so much for sharing this. I will take my daughter there!
    xx, Elle

  8. What a cool place, NY has so many places to visit...I can't wait to visit again and hope you will meet me and show me some of those gems =) Kisses

    Fashion and Cookies - fashion and beauty blog

  9. I've never heard of this place! Secret indeed, so thanks for sharing it with us! :)

  10. How amazing, I'd never heard of this island. It's going on my list.

  11. What great pictures--I had no idea about the slide! I have seen a few concerts there and it's a beautiful spot. Thank you for sharing this--love a quiet haven just a hop, skip, jump from NYC.

  12. oh wow! this looks and sounds like a fantastic place to spend the day! glad to hear your are headed back!

  13. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and great photos of what looks like a beautiful retreat from urban intensity to a little "isle of zen". Neat post Ally!