PHOTO: Beth Schepens
Fort Jay's cannons on Governors Island point toward Manhattan.

, Half a Mile Off Manhattan

Less than a mile from Wall Street is an island of solitude with 300 years of rich history.

With its tree-lined parks and turn-of-the-century homes, Governors Island is a world away from the chaos of Manhattan.

Remnants of its two centuries as a military base make for daydreams of a 19th-century New York.

From its seawall, visitors can take in a billion-dollar skyline and the chatter of seagulls. It is a piece of country serenity across the bay from the greatest city in the world.

A glance at the history
Visit the island
Linda Neal of the National Parks Service talks about Governors Island's national monuments. More
See: Growing up on post More
Visit: Multimedia Center More
A New Purpose
After three centuries of military use, Governors Island is New York's again, and the city has big plans for the space. More

Read more
Army brats remember island paradise. More
Discover the island's storied past. More