In 1554, Giovanni da Verrazano became the first European and explorer on record to discover New York Harbor, including the area of land off the southern tip of Manhattan: Governors Island.
One hundred years later, the Dutch West India Company sent 30 families to live and work in a settlement on the island. There, the settlers began new lives; they set up trading posts and traded furs before, eventually, relocating to mainland.
Today, Governors Island is a 172-acre oasis in the heart of New York Harbor with unparalleled views of the New York City skyline and extraordinary outdoor spaces. Easily accessible by ferry and open to the public during the summer, it is a popular destination with an active calendar of events including zip-lining, rock climbing, guided tours, jazz parties and poetry events.
In 2003, about 22-acres of the island was land-marked and designated a National Park to be managed by the National Park Service (www.nps.gov/gois); the remaining 150-acres of the island was transferred to the City and State of New York and is currently run by The Trust for Governor’s Island, the 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization charged with the planning, redevelopment, and ongoing municipal operations of the island.
Governors Island is open May 1- Oct. 31 and is only 800 yards from Lower Manhattan, and even closer to Brooklyn. It is a world within itself, rich in history and full of possibility.
For more information or to plan a day trip, please visit www.govisland.com.