Wellness & Nature

Island-hopping in NYC: Discovering the 5 best hidden gems!

New York City, the city that never sleeps, is known for its towering skyscrapers, bustling streets, and vibrant nightlife. However, what many may not know is that the city is also home to some of the most beautiful islands in the country.

These islands, each with its unique charm and character, offer a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Whether you're looking to relax on a sandy beach, hike through lush forests, or explore historic landmarks, New York City's islands have something for everyone.

From the iconic Statue of Liberty to the picturesque Governors Island, these islands are a testament to the city's rich history and culture.

In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at the best islands in New York City. We'll explore their unique features, the activities they offer, and the best times to visit.

Whether you're a local looking to explore your backyard or a tourist planning your next trip to the Big Apple, this guide will help you discover the hidden gems of New York City's islands. So, pack your bags, grab your sunscreen, and get ready to embark on a journey through the best islands in the city that never sleeps.

1. Roosevelt Island

Roosevelt Island
New York, NY 10044 (Google Maps)

Roosevelt Island is a hidden gem that offers stunning views of the Manhattan skyline.

Visitors can take a tramway to the island and explore its historical sites, including a smallpox hospital and a Roosevelt memorial.

The island also boasts a cat sanctuary and plenty of green spaces for picnics.

It's a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy some peace and quiet.

2. Governors Island

Governors Island
New York, NY 11231 (Google Maps)

Governors Island is a 172-acre island with a rich military history that has been restored into a beautiful park. It's a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy some peace and quiet.

The island offers stunning views of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty, and visitors can rent bikes to ride around the entire island.

There are plenty of green open spaces to relax in, and a food court with a variety of options.

Families can enjoy the playground, splash pad and dog park, while art lovers can explore the various art displays around the island. Governors Island is a hidden gem that is definitely worth visiting.

3. Liberty Island

Liberty Island
New York, NY 10004 (Google Maps)

Liberty Island is a must-visit destination in NYC. The island is home to the iconic Statue of Liberty, which offers breathtaking views of the skyline.

Visitors can take a ferry to the island and explore the museum, audio & guided tours, and the statue itself.

The island is well-managed and organized, making it an enjoyable experience for tourists. The free audio guide is informative and adds value to the visit.

The food from the cafe is also worth trying. Liberty Island is a famous spot that should not be missed when in the city.

4. Belmont Island

Belmont Island
New York, NY 10044 (Google Maps)

Belmont Island is a unique man-made island with an interesting history. It is now a bird sanctuary and landing there is prohibited.

The island's main attraction is the "Oneness Arch" and it can be seen within an hour.

However, visitors should arrive before daybreak to avoid long lines and possible arrest. The island has been claimed by different individuals and organizations over the years, adding to its intrigue.

Despite its small size, Belmont Island is worth a visit for those interested in its history and unique features.

5. Randalls and Wards Islands

Randalls And Wards Islands
New York, NY (Google Maps)

Randalls and Wards Islands are a hidden oasis in the midst of a bustling city. With plenty of parks, sports fields, and playgrounds, it's a great place for families to spend the day.

The waterfront park offers stunning views of the city skyline, and there are even rental bikes available for those who want to explore the area on two wheels.

While the islands can get crowded on weekends, there are still plenty of peaceful spots to relax and enjoy the scenery.

All in all, Randalls and Wards Islands are a must-visit destination for anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.