Celebrated for its commuter suburbs and ferry, Staten Island is often overlooked by tourists as they swarm to Manhattan and Brooklyn. It’s well worth visiting Staten Island, however, for a refreshing change of pace as well as numerous cultural and natural attractions.
After disembarking from the Staten Island Ferry, explore the historic neighborhood of St. George. Enter the Staten Island Borough Hall to admire its clock tower and the marble lobby’s historical murals. Try authentic Italian food, watch a baseball game at the scenic ballpark or see a live show at the lavish, 2,800-seat St. George Theatre.
Head to the island’s north side and the Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden. This magnificent complex is the result of over 30 years of work converting America’s first home for retired sailors into a regional arts center. Roam through a heritage farm and numerous charming small gardens.
Delve into seafaring history at the Noble Maritime Collection and explore the offbeat Staten Island Museum, which balances a local focus with a collection of global art and natural specimens.
Hike a forest trail or enjoy a round of golf at LaTourette Park, part of Staten Island’s leafy Greenbelt. Encounter Himalayan culture at the nearby Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art or experience colonial New York at Historic Richmond Town.
Tour Fort Wadsworth on the island’s eastern point. Enjoy the views as you walk around this historic military stronghold, which guarded New York’s harbor for over two centuries. Visit the Alice Austen House museum, a Gothic Revival cottage once inhabited by the pioneering photographer. See works by Austen and others in this charming waterside location.
Staten Island is best approached by ferry, which runs free from Lower Manhattan’s Whitehall terminal to St. George. Travel through the borough using its bus and rail network or choose a taxi or rental car. Newark Airport is less than a 1-hour drive away, depending on traffic. For a memorable trip to or from Manhattan, catch the ferry around sunset.