governors island

Governors Island: Castle Williams

BY TARA BURKE

If you’ve been following us for awhile you’ll know Cailin and I love us some Governors Island. The island is filled with history, beautiful landscapes and architecture. We have been wanting to take our whole family there for awhile and finally got the chance this past weekend. When we go we usually bike around the island, but this time we went on the Castle Williams tour.

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The tour is 30 minutes long and takes you through three levels of the fort turned prison as well as the roof. Castle Williams was built in the early 19th century to protect the New York Harbor before the War of 1812. During the Civil War and into the early 20th century it served as a low security prison. It is really interesting to learn how the fort’s original purpose was reconstructed to fit each time period’s needs.

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We spent the rest of the day walking around the island and enjoying some perfect summer weather. Of course, we also spent some time relaxing at Hammock Grove before we headed back to Manhattan on the ferry.

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We Love Governors Island

BY CAILIN BURKE

After spending our first month living near NYC and getting to explore Manhattan, Brooklyn, a bit of Queens and Harlem, and A LOT of Hoboken… we decided to leave the city life for a little bit. We had heard of Governors Island and after seeing that it was only a $2 round trip ferry ride to get there, we thought “why not?” We’ve gone several times now and what I love most about the island is the epic views of Lower Manhattan, the free bikes on weekday mornings, and the hammocks. Our first time there, we just walked around the island, got lunch from the many food trucks there, and ended our day with Mister Softee ice cream, a NYC staple!

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Since we saw everyone riding bikes during our first visit, we knew we wanted to come back and have a leisurely day out of the city, just bike riding on an island. So we woke our roommate up super early to catch the ferry and make it to the island in time to get the free bike deal. Every weekday you can ride a cruiser for a free hour between 10am-12pm. Since New York is one of the most expensive cities and free things aren’t super common, we had to take advantage of it. Biking with the Statue of Liberty on one side and the Freedom Tower on the other was amazing. Plus since it was a weekday, the island wasn’t overly crowded and as an extra bonus we could ride down the hills as fast as we wanted!

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Although Governors Island isn’t a tropical island by any means, it is just as relaxing. We went to the one area of the island known as Hammock Grove and were lucky enough to each score our own hammocks! We spent the rest of the afternoon in these hammocks reading and it definitely felt like a little island getaway. If you’re tired of busy city life, a day trip to Governors Island is the perfect remedy!

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