Glamping on Governors Island

In celebration of my 5th grade son’s last day of school, we went to Governors Island with some of his besties and their moms. Governors Island has always been one of my favorite places — an easy afternoon IN the city, but OUT of the city. It is an 172 acre island in the heart of New York Harbor, located only 800 yards from Lower Manhattan. In recent years, we have visited dozens of times but have only been there for a couple of hours each time. Basically, there is not much to do but walk, scoot, look, eat, and hang out (but what else do you really need?) This time around, I thought ahead and booked us for an overnight stay, glamping at Collective Retreats.


Private boat to Collective Retreats (The company / hotel where we glamped). The complimentary water taxi runs from 430 pm to 10 pm, which is crucial since the public ferry stops service at 6 pm. The water taxi only holds up to 6 people, so it was just us on the ride. They made it a scenic ride and took us to the Statue of Liberty and other spectacular views of the city.

Glamping! A view of the tents from the water. Each tent allows 2-3 people, so we split it up by mom and son, but really only used the tents to sleep in. The rest of the time, we were outside.

Boat. It felt even better being on the boat on that particular day because it was a bajillion degrees in Manhattan, so being on a boat, and a tiny island, gave some relief.

Our tent! We opted for the less expensive tents, which meant we had no private bathrooms and shared with others. Which was not a big deal until 2 am when I needed to go to the bathroom and then got totally freaked out….It is important to note that there is AC in these tents — which is amazing when it is 90 plus degrees and you are sweltering hot…..

Our tent and the views!

Hang out space.

Where we sat and drank tequila and ate snacks. We felt so safe and secure that we allowed the boys to be on their own and explore the island and report back to us. They found some sprinklers and fountains to get wet (helping cool them down from the extreme heat), and this gave us time to sit and do nothing!

Loved the bar. AND THE FOOD was so delicious, too. We didn’t take pictures of the food but we all loved our food — great experience. It felt healthy, clean, and fresh.

Getting darker.

Hello Statue of Liberty.

Bar at night. After dinner, we made smores (they passed them out to the guests — such a nice touch), explored some more (climbed fences for some of us), and just sat around and talked. Before we knew it, it was way past our bedtime!

The next morning. Early riser besties. The room included breakfast, which was a great basket with a sampling of items — charcuterie, cheeses, breads, yogurt, and fruit.

Before we left, we went on a walk and saw the beautiful islands — both Governors and Manhattan.

Ferry ride home (all of a 2 minutes)


I HIGHLY HIGHLY suggest doing this fun adventure. It was so much fun — and possibly a highlight of this year. I loved being outside, experiencing a new adventure, being with friends and Cruzzie, seeing our beautiful city from afar, and getting a break from life. I loved everything about it! If you are in NYC or even in the area, book yourself a trip — you will love the one night adventure! And for those of you NOT in NYC, Collective Retreats has a variety of locations (Texas Hill Country, Vail, Yellowstone, and Hudson Valley) — I can’t wait to visit some of the other locations!

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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