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Its annual opening was a sign that summer had arrived — now, for the first time in history, New Yorkers will be able to enjoy Governors Island all year round!

You can now arrive at Governors Island all year round. Photo: Phil O’Brien

The little oasis away from the city hustle and bustle is a mere 400 yards from Brooklyn and 700 yards from Manhattan. Served by ferry services from both, it was previously open only from May to October.

But as the city recovers from the pandemic, things are changing…  “The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented opportunity to reimagine public space in this city – and now, we’re proud to keep the crown jewel of our harbor open to New Yorkers all year round,” announced Mayor Bill de Blasio. 

Governors Island provides New Yorkers with an escape from the city. Photo: Phil O’Brien

Starting November 1, the New York City ferry service from the Lower East Side, DUMBO, Red Hook, and Brooklyn Bridge Park will be expanded to stop at Governors Island each day. The island will be open from 7am to 6:15pm and a program of cultural events is planned as the temperatures fall.

The 172-acre island in the New York Harbor was the first place in the city to be occupied by Dutch settlers. It was used by the military, starting around the Revolutionary War and ending in 2003 when the federal government transferred the land to New York for use as a public space. 

The Jazz Age Lawn Party is a popular attraction at Governors Island. Photo: Phil O’Brien

Governors Island as we know it today opened in 2005 as a public green space and has transformed itself as time has passed. Most recently, a glamping site opened, and a luxury spa is set to open soon amid the historic buildings. It is also destined to become home to the city’s Center for Climate Solutions. The site hosts the annual Jazz Age Lawn Party and the Governors Ball — which this year was moved to a parking lot in Queens.

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