Spend A Night On NYC's Governors Island With This Unique Glamping Experience

While the idea of sleeping outside usually evokes an image of pitching a tent in a remote campground, what if we told you there's a place in the great outdoors that's an eight-minute ferry ride from downtown Manhattan? Technically, it's glamping, but this is something new for those used to high-rise hotels on their Big Apple visits. Comprised of 172 acres, Governors Island has a long history and is a mere 800 yards from Lower Manhattan in New York Harbor. 

The unique island is currently home to parks, a school, an art center, and Buttermilk Labs (a hub working against climate change). It's also the site of Collective Retreats' sleep-and-dine experience that will have you looking at New York in a whole new way. You might still need a bug repellant, but we can assure you this is next-level when it comes to spending a night in a tent. 

Luxe accommodations

This easy-to-get-to-experience via public ferry is a practical getaway for NYC visitors. Just reserve or tack on one to two days to your itinerary. It's also the ideal weekend or almost staycation for locals. You can easily view availability and book online through the Collective Retreats website. And the best part? You won't need to pack gear like camping stoves and sleeping bags, which means no lugging. And you get breathtaking views of the NYC skyline from a strategically organized glamping village. 

While the island is open to visitors year-round, reservations for overnight stays end in late fall. Five overnight options are available, including Summit tents (with private bathrooms, Wi-Fi, and electricity) and the Outlook Liberty Suite, capitalizing on the views with floor-to-ceiling glass windows built into a sustainable structure. There are also perks like turndown treats and a private fire pit. Starting at $249 a night, accommodations go up to over $1,000. Be sure to click to save 15% off on the booking page for stays of two nights or more. 

Gourmet food and yoga

Morning yoga and farm-to-island dining are part of the benefits of this outdoor adventure. The Three Peaks Lodge serves breakfast and dinner al fresco and in luxe tents. The à la carte breakfast menu boasts vegetarian options like a tofu scramble, gluten-free toast, and french toast with whipped ricotta and local honey. 

For those who work up an appetite with bike riding on the island, there's a grilled branzino for dinner, as well as options including roasted chicken with parsnip puree. And yes, there are premium s'mores around the bonfire for dessert. If you're keeping your schedule loose, there's also Happy Hour, with signature cocktails, including a weekly drink feature. From 3:00 to 5:30 p.m., you can sip beverages and snack on oysters on the great lawn as the day comes to a close. 

If you're traveling with children, kid's menu options are always available.  And even if you can't budget for a full-on glamping experience, day visitors can dine at Three Peaks Lodge and enjoy the stunning views.