Basic Information

Governors Island is a 172-acre island, a 10-minute ferry ride from Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn in New York City. Governors Island National Monument manages 22 acres, containing Fort Jay, Castle Williams, and Dock 102. The City of New York through the Trust for Governors Island manages the rest of the 150 acres. A number of amenities are managed by the Trust. A map of specific locations of amenities is available via the bottom of this page.
Operating Hours & Seasons

Public access to the island is during the summer season - generally May through the last weekend of September. Hours are dependent on the ferry schedules.

The island is busiest in July and August, coinciding with summer vacation. The island is busiest on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.


There is no charge to visit the island or the national monument.

There is a charge for ferry transportation. Exceptions: Free rides for children under a certain age, IDNYC holders, and select days/times for 2 of the ferry routes. There are 4 ferry routes to choose from. Please check the ferry fares.

There is no charge for programs conducted by the National Park Service.
  • Check Things To Do for guided tours of Castle Williams, Fort Jay, and the National Historic Landmark District, and small arms & cannon firing historic weapons demonstrations.
  • Check the Calendar for special events like Civil War Weekend.
The Trust for Governors Island, our island partner, also offers other programming. Some events hosted by the Trust and other entities may be ticketed and require an entrance fee.
Food court at Liggett Terrace, view of Manhattan from the Parade Ground, and grilling stations
Food court at Liggett Terrace, view of Manhattan from the Parade Ground, and grilling stations

Liggett Terrace Food Court and King Avenue Food Court showcase a number of food truck and tent vendors that serve a variety of food, from burgers and ice cream to jerk chicken and empanadas! More food vendors are on the island during the weekend.

Feel free to bring a picnic lunch or your favorite take-out to the island. There are many eating establishments in Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn. Visitors are welcome to lay a blanket on the grass and picnic on the lawn. Get a view of Manhattan from the Parade Ground. A number of benches and picnic tables are also located around the island. There are also rocking chairs in Fort Jay.

Grilling is now permitted on the island by permit. Grilling stations can be reserved through the Trust for a fee along with picnic tables.

Free public water fountains and bottle filling stations are available at a few locations. We strongly recommend you bring water on your day trip outing.

Beverage Rules:
Visitors are welcome to bring their own beverages to the island, with the exception of alcohol. Alcohol is however available for purchase on the island - to be consumed only in specific areas of the island.
Restrooms at Building 110
Restrooms at Building 110

Restrooms with flush toilets are located inside Building 110 at Soissons Landing - the building to the right exiting the Manhattan Ferry.

On the rest of the island, there are a number of porta potty locations, as well as restroom trailers - including near the food courts.
Bike rentals at Colonels Row, Soissons Landing, and Yankee Pier
Bike rentals at Colonels Row, Soissons Landing, and Yankee Pier

Governors Island is a walking and cycling island. Cars, motorcycles, and other motorized vehicles are not permitted. Exception: Motorized wheelchairs, etc. If you have any questions, please contact 212-440-2200 for more information.

Cycling is a great way to see the island. You can also get a view of the city along the Promenade. If you own a bicycle, you are encouraged to bring your bike with you over on the ferries. You can also rent a bike while on the island: Blazing Saddles offers regular, kids, 2-seat, 4-seat, and 6-seat bikes. Check select days/times for free bike rentals. There are also Citi Bike bicycle sharing stations.

Bicycling Rules:
Cycling is permitted all over the island except in designated areas. Please dismount and walk your bicycle in the following locations:
  • Soissons Landing
  • Nolan Park
  • inside Fort Jay
  • inside Castle Williams
All bicyclists shall cycle at their own risk and comply with all bicycle rules. Speed limits are enforced.
We are sorry, pets are not permitted on Governors Island. Exception: Service animals with a State or New York City recognized service animal license are welcome. Please call 212-440-2200 for more information.
Island Rules
  • The following are not permitted on Governors Island: alcohol, pets, controlled substances, weapons, or explosives. All visitors and packages are subject to search. Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult at all times. The Trust and its agents reserve the right to deny access to the Island at their discretion.
  • Visitors are also not permitted to swim in New York Harbor except by permit.
  • Fishing is permitted on Governors Island in the designated area along the western promenade. Fishing is catch and release ONLY.
  • Drones are allowed on Governors Island, flown over Trust property. They should not be flown over National Park Service property (Fort Jay, Castle Williams, and the area between the two forts). Call or write before you visit, we'll help keep you out of trouble.
  • No private docking or mooring.

Last updated: June 2, 2017

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Mailing Address:

10 South Street
New York, NY 10004-1921


(212) 825-3045

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