Experience New York In A Unique Way By Glamping On This Lush Island With Skyline Views

When you think of visiting New York City, the bustle and tourist traps of Times Square or the majesty of the Statue of Liberty likely come to mind. While you can find some great campsites near New York City, you probably don't associate the city itself with this type of outdoor excursion. Think again: Collective Retreats offers glamping on Governors Island. Though just a 10-minute ferry ride from Manhattan and Brooklyn, the unique destination feels worlds away.


Thanks to its location in the New York Harbor, the 173-acre island enjoys pretty much unsurpassed views of the Lower Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty. You can leave your camping gear at home, as Collective Governors Island has everything you need with a range of accommodation options. The Outlook Villa, the most luxurious choice, consists of a cabin with its own terrace, floor-to-ceiling windows, massive rain shower, and complimentary minibar.

For options more like "real" camping — if your idea of real camping includes high thread count bedding on an actual bed, Wi-Fi, and private decks — it has a number of tents available, some of which feature ensuite bathrooms. Rates start around $200 for this lush New York experience.


Dine al fresco on Governors Island

You don't need to pack a sleeping bag when you stay at Collective Retreats on Governors Island; you can also ditch your cooler. Guests get continental breakfast delivered to their tent each day and access to happy hours featuring drinks and snacks on the Sunset Terrace. Three Peaks Lodge, a.k.a. the dining tent, serves fresh, seasonal dishes and a range of curated wines, beers, and cocktails. It's open for both guests and day trippers — just make a reservation.  Of course, no camping experience is complete without roasting marshmallows. Collective Retreats has you covered with bonfires and a free s'mores pantry for guests to enjoy each night.


Collective Governors Island also runs a seasonal Hearth & Harvest Dinner Series — during which it prepares locally sourced food over an open fire and serves it family-style. Those special event dinners cost $250, with a different chef and menu each time.

Enjoy activities and explore Governors Island's history

While you might happily spend all your time sipping a drink, munching on s'mores, and enjoying the views, Collective Governors Islands offers more than that. You can play games like croquet and oversized Jenga on the Great Lawn, enjoy guest specials at the spa, or rent a bike to explore the island. The latter option will likely hold the greatest appeal for history lovers.


In 1637, the director general for the Dutch West India Company reportedly purchased Governors Island from the Lenape. The price? "Two ax heads, a string of beads, and a handful of nails," according to the island's official website. Over 100 years later, it served as an important location during the Revolutionary War, and the U.S. government built the star-shaped Fort Jay there. In the 1960s, it became a U.S. Coast Guard base, and in 2001, President Bill Clinton declared part of the island a national monument.

Collective Governors Island opens from late April through early November each year. If you want more posh camping options with Collective Retreats, it has additional locations in areas like the Texas Hill Country and near Vail, Colorado.