Welcome Back: Governors Island opens today

Governors Island opens today for the season, and the fine folks at the Trust were good enough to give me a golf-cart tour sneak peak of the foliage blooming right now. It’s spectacular. This post could be yards long with all the stuff going on there this summer, so what I will do instead is provide some highlights. For a full calendar of events and all info for this season, visit govisland.org.

10 to 6 Sunday through Thursday
10 to 10 Friday and Saturday starting Memorial Day

$3 round trip for adults. Children under 12 are free.
Morning ferries (10 AM, 11 AM and 11:30 AM) on Saturdays and Sundays are free for all.
There is no surcharge for bicycles at any time.


  • Island Oyster, recently nominated for a James Beard Foundation Award for best restaurant design, will reopen later in May.
  • Three’s Brewing, the island’s newest beer garden, will open by Memorial Day weekend. In the meantime:
  • Taco Vista | open weekends | tacos, beer and margaritas
  • Little Eva’s | open 7 days | beer garden and grill
  • Neapolitan Express | open 7 days | the first pizza truck on the island
  • Fauzia’s Heavenly Delights | weekends only | Jamaican fusion
  • Joe Coffee | weekends only | coffee roasted in BK
  • Makina Café | weekends only | Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine
  • Melt Bakery | weekends only | ice cream sandwiches
  • People’s Pops | weekends only | popsicles
  • Perros Y Vainas | weekends only | Venezuelan hot dogs
  • Three Peaks Lodge | open 7 days | lunch, cocktails, snacks

TO DO (mostly on weekends)

  • NADA House art exhibit
  • Castaways by SVA MFA Fine Arts
  • Art Force 5 kids superhero art project
  • Rare Air art exhibit
  • Rising Sun Performance Company theater
  • STEM Kids NYC science projects
  • Adventures Governors Island adventure park


  • Governors Island National Monument (Fort Jay and Castle Williams)
  • Official Governors Island Walking Tours
  • play:groundNYC’S The Yard junkyard playground
  • Earth Matter NY’s Compost Learning Center, Soil Start Farm & Lavender Field
  • GrowNYC’s Teaching Garden

A group called Collective Retreats has tee-pee-like tents for glamping on the island, offering hotel-style service and experiential dining. The retreat also has a restaurant and bar open to the public as well as public lawn space featuring yoga classes available on the weekends and lawn games.



  1. (I assume dogs (even tiny ones in a carrier) are still not allowed?

  2. Amazing changes since I lived on the island from Sept 57 to Aug 62 when my father retired. We resided at 111 B-2. Wonderful location for a kid growing up. Went to PS 26 for 4th – 7th grade and east Manhattan for 8th grade. My brother and I spent hours in the fort Jay moat playing football and hitting golf balls. Sledding in the winter on the golf course.
    I was an acolyte at Saint Cornelius Chapel serving under Chaplain Alister C Anderson.
    Too many fond memories to mention but will always cherish them!

    • I first toured the island 14 years ago, as soon as they opened it up for reservations, and on my tour was a gal who had also grown up there. She described it as a child’s fantasy. I can only imagine how fun it was when I walk around now…

    • Sounds like heaven to me! Spent one night in the tents last year for my b-day.