For many years, Governors Island was New York’s premier home for crumbling, decrepit army barracks. Over the past few years, though, it’s become home to hipper pursuits, like the much-loved art fair. City officials realized there was actual money to be made here, and in 2012 they launched a $260 million redevelopment project to build out 30 new acres of park space on the island, including lawns, play areas, two ball fields and, best of all, a hammock grove.
More importantly, at least where you’re concerned: you can finally go there during the week. For the first time, Governors will be open seven days a week, and the ferry from lower Manhattan will run from 10:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day, with the last boat back from the island departing at 6. While the ferries used to be free, they now cost $2, meaning, yes, it’s still cheaper to get out there than to your office.
Some of Governors Island is owned by the National Park Service; the other 150 acres are owned by the city and run by a public trust. That 150 acres is primed for even more development over the next few years, including a day spa, an international school, and an art center. At some point next year there will also be a giant hill of slides.
The ferries from Pier 6 in Brooklyn only run on Saturdays, Sundays, Memorial Day and Labor Day; the ferries at 11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. are free. The 10 a.m., 11:00 and 11:30 ferries from Manhattan are also gratis. You can see a full schedule here.