Governor’s Island was once a military base. Now it’s a public park. Certain areas of the park are still under construction, but there’s plenty to enjoy there now. You get some great views of the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline from the island. There are a variety of food concessions on the island. You enjoy a nice picnic. There are often events and festivals scheduled on the island and the National Park Service offers a variety of tours. See an event schedule.
The ferries to Governor’s Island run from Lower Manhattan (Battery Maritime Building at 10 South Street, adjacent to the Staten Island Ferry) seven days a week, and from Pier 6 at Brooklyn Bridge Park on Saturdays and Sunday. You can ride the ferry for free on certain weekend trips – see the ferry schedule for details.
There are bikes available for rental on the island or you can bring a bike along on the ferry for no extra charge. If you’re there on a week day morning between 10:00 a.m. and noon, you can use one of their rental bikes free for an hour. Be sure to get the bike back on time, though, or you’ll be charged a rental fee.
Visit the Governor’s Island website for details.
Check out this video showing a rendering of the future development plans for Governors Island.