Memorial Day Weekend marks the unofficial start of summer, which also means Governors Island is now officially open for your Civil War Reenacting, Wine & Beer Picnicking, and Hammock Napping needs! But this isn't your grandmother's Governors Island: the Island has undergone a $260 million facelift, and along with it comes lots of upgrades and cool new features.
Unlike last summer, when everything was closed on weekdays to make room for construction, the Island will stay open seven days a week through the end of September. Ferry service to the Island from Brooklyn Bridge Park or Battery Maritime Building in Lower Manhattan is no longer free, aside from weekend mornings at 10 and 11 a.m.—you can get the full schedule and additional information about the $2 ferries here.
It's well worth that minor expensive, since there are over 30 acres of new park and public space areas to explore. That includes Hammock Grove (a 10-acre space with 50 hammocks beckoning you to fall into their embrace), Liggett Terrace (six-acres of public art, sitting space and food vendors), a Play Lawn (14-acres of ball fields), and lots of new trees and play structures (aka adult playgrounds) sprinkled throughout.
In addition, there's a new free-bike program, via Blazing Saddles bike shop, which allows anyone to ride around the Island for free for an hour between 10 a.m. and noon on weekdays. There are seven new food vendors, including Philly cheesesteaks, Thai and Vietnamese fusion, tacos and Italian sandwiches. The food options will be available Saturdays and Sundays through September 28th, plus Memorial Day, July 4th and Labor Day, from 10:30 a.m. until 7 p.m.
Before you head out there, check out lots of fantastic photos of the new additions above, taken by Tod Seelie.