Long summer days are a great time for exploring New York’s most unique places. This season, don’t miss out on one of the area’s most iconic spots where you can find everything from bright flower gardens to a haunted, ruined hospital. Make Roosevelt Island one of your summer’s day-trip getaways!

Roosevelt Island Tram

Your trip to Roosevelt Island starts with a five-minute tram ride which carries you over the East River to reach the quiet, peaceful community which calls the island home. In Manhattan, the entrance to the system is at Tram Plaza at 60th Street and Second Avenue.

Over the years, Roosevelt Island has had many different names. The Native American tribe in the Hudson Channel area called it Minnahanonck, which meant “nice island”, a name which remains accurate to this day. Since that time, it has been Varckens Eylandt, and Blackwell Island. In 1973, it was renamed to honor President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

At the southernmost tip of Roosevelt Island sits the newly minted Four Freedoms Park, a four-acre memorial to Franklin D. Roosevelt that celebrates the Four Freedoms he articulated in his 1941 State of the Union address.

Roosevelt Island 4 Freedoms Park

You may, however, want to save the bright, cheerful and sunny park for after your visit to the abandoned Smallpox Hospital. This imposing ruin was once the first hospital in the country to accept smallpox patients. All that remains is the stony, Gothic edifice, and the rumors of ghosts lingering in its walls.

The same architect who designed the Smallpox Hospital also designed the North Point Lighthouse. Although it’s made from the same, grey stone, this lighthouse stands at a wonderful barbecuing and fishing spot. Nearby, you can also find the Octagon, once an asylum, and now high-end housing with maps and architecture well worth seeing!

Roosevelt Island North Point Lighthouse

Seastreak ferries are the best way to start out your adventure on Roosevelt Island and to relax on after you’ve spent your day ambling around. Our boats offer cool drinks, and the ideal place to kick back and rest your feet.  We look forward to welcoming you aboard!

Sea you soon!

The Seastreak Family

Filed Under: Roosevelt Island, Uncategorized