To get to Roosevelt Island, one must ride the Roosevelt Island Tramway, often crowded with tourists and families heading to the park. Embark on a unique aerial journey with a ride on the Roosevelt Island Tramway. This iconic red tram offers stunning views as it glides over the East River, connecting Roosevelt Island to Manhattan. Enjoy panoramic vistas of the cityscape, bridges, and water below as you travel between the two boroughs. It’s an unforgettable experience providing a fresh New York City perspective.
TIP: To move ahead of the line, have a valid metro card to swipe – not tapping credit cards. A ticket both ways is required. I have made the trip numerous times and tried to avoid the weekend. Remember to take your passport to a main office (e.g. Times Square) and get your temporary seniors card. This will reduce your fair by 50%.
Roosevelt Island remains a gem in New York City’s East River
With its rich history, picturesque views, and unique attractions, Roosevelt Island offers a tranquil escape from the bustling city streets. In this historical, informative, and friendly blog post, let’s explore what to do and see on this charming island.
- Take a Stroll on the Promenade: Begin your adventure by taking a leisurely stroll along the Roosevelt Island Promenade. This scenic waterfront pathway offers breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline, Queensboro Bridge, and the river. Enjoy a peaceful walk, soak in the panoramic vistas, and snap memorable photos.
- Explore Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park: Pay homage to one of America’s greatest presidents at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park. This beautiful park, designed by renowned architect Louis Kahn, celebrates the four essential freedoms articulated by President Roosevelt: freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. Take a meditative walk through the park, admire the inspiring architecture, and find solace in the serene atmosphere.
- Visit the Roosevelt Island Lighthouse: Marvel at the historic Roosevelt Island Lighthouse, which dates back to the 19th century. Located at the island’s northern tip, this iconic landmark served as a navigational aid for ships travelling along the East River. Although the lighthouse is not open to the public, you can still enjoy its beauty and snap photos from the surrounding area.
- Discover the Renwick Ruin: Explore the intriguing Renwick Ruin, the remnants of the Smallpox Hospital that renowned architect James Renwick Jr. designed in the mid-19th century. This hauntingly beautiful structure offers a glimpse into the island’s past and has become an atmospheric spot for photographers and history enthusiasts alike. Please take a moment to appreciate the architectural details and imagine the stories within its walls.
- Explore the Octagon: Step back in time and explore the Octagon, a historic building that was once part of the New York City Lunatic Asylum. Now beautifully restored, the Octagon is a residential complex with apartments and community facilities. Marvel at the unique architecture and learn about the building’s fascinating history. You can also enjoy dining options and visit the Urban Farm nearby.
- Enjoy Recreational Activities: Roosevelt Island offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation. Take a bike ride or jog along the scenic paths that wind through the island. Picnic in one of the many parks or enjoy a game of tennis at the sports courts. The island also features a waterfront promenade where you can relax, fish, or enjoy the serenity of the river.
- Sample Local Cuisine: Indulge your taste buds in the diverse culinary scene on Roosevelt Island. From cozy cafes to international restaurants, you’ll find various options to satisfy your cravings. Try a slice of authentic New York pizza, savour flavours from around the world, or treat yourself to a sweet dessert from a local bakery. Roosevelt Island offers a delightful mix of dining experiences.