Governors Island has become a popular summer location for New Yorkers to take a day trip on the weekends. With spectacular views of Manhattan, open green spaces and fun tours, its a perfect oasis from the daily grind of the city. However, this little tourist getaway has a deep and rich history. Dating back to the American Revolution, Governors Island was a vital strategic point given its location on the converging East and Hudson Rivers. And any place with a complex history, we’ve learned, has plenty of good secrets to unearth.
Last summer, we offered an early access tours to the new park, The Hills at Governors Island, and this summer we have another special tour in the works. Sign up for advance notice here:
In the meantime, here are our 10 favorite secrets of Governors Island:
10. Governors Island was Once Home to Manhattan’s Only Golf Course
Photo via the Frugal Frolicker
The Parade Ground on Governors Island was once the only place to play a round of golf in Manhattan. Built in the 1930s on the southern tip of the island, the course was approximately 800 yards and consisted of nine par-3 holes. The Coast Guard used the course until they vacated in 1996. While the course no longer exists, the location hasn’t lost sight of its roots – a miniature golf course now sits in its place. Its the only free mini golf in the city, artist-designed and part of the FIGMENT festival.