NYC Guide

How to explore Roosevelt Island

Roosevelt Island was one of the first places that I visited when I moved to New York. This residential island located between Manhattan and Queens it’s a beautiful place – and it’s good to escape from Manhattan. Many people relate Roosevelt Island with the Roosevelt Tramway – that makes the path between Manhattan and the small island. There is also a subway line to get here – F – but using the Tramway is much more beautiful and fun. I was there on Saturday with some friends and I had never written a post about the island, so, I took the opportunity to take some pictures and recommend, once again, this place in New York.

Some tourists may think that this tour ends at the Tramway station on Roosevelt Island. But no: before returning to Manhattan, it is worth exploring this charming island. Oh, before I forget, remember that you get a ride in the Tramway with your Metrocard – and the station is located at 60th St and Second Avenue. The path is super fast and the Tramway passes next to Queensboro Bridge, providing a fantastic view!

After you get off the Tramway, walk toward the south. The path includes views to the East River, Upper East Side and you can also see buildings like Chrysler Building, Empire State, UN building, and One World Trade Center. All this path has trees (it is very special on Spring season!) and stools for those who want to sit and relax.

After a short walk, you will see the Smallpox Hospital ruins – it was supposed to be converted in a historical center, but I don’t know what are the plans now. This hospital was designed by the same architect who designed St. Patrick’s Cathedral. For those who do not know, Roosevelt Island housed several hospitals and a prison in the past. Walking a little more, you arrive at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park, a park built in honor of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, open from 9 am to 7 pm (closed on Tuesdays). The park has a modern footprint and is beautiful. Not to mention the beautiful view of the river – you can also see the iconic Pepsi sign, located in Long Island City.

Cool, right? Remember that the park has public restrooms and drinking fountains. If you want to explore more of the island, you can walk to the north, to Lighthouse Park, which will give you another fantastic view – there is a lighthouse there too. Remember that there are free buses around the island too – it can be good if you get tired of walking. Cool, right? I love this place and, above all, if you are using an unlimited MetroCard, it’s free!


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