Wrapping up our New York City tour, we have come to the final borough— Staten Island. Separated from the rest of the city by the New York Bay, Staten Island is the third largest borough but also the least populated. While typically off the path of everyday tourists, Staten Island should not be overlooked!
Staten Island Ferry: By far the easiest and cheapest way to get to Staten Island from Manhattan is by boat. The Staten Island Ferry is completely free and runs from Whitehall in Manhattan to St. George on SI. For a full schedule, click here.
By Car: If you have a car, driving to Staten Island is an easy trip. From New Jersey, you can take the New Jersey Expressway over the Goethals Bridge and connect to the Staten Island Expressway. From Brooklyn, the Verrazano Bridge and the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway connect Staten Island. For more driving directions and maps, visit: http://www.silive.com/maps/
By Bus: The MTA offers over 30 bus lines to Staten Island. Click this link for more information on bus schedules: http://www.mta.info/nyct/service/bus/sisch.htm
What to Do
- Staten Island Ferry and Statue of Liberty: The ferry is not just for commuters! It also offers an up-close view of the Statue of Liberty. And like we said before, it's free!
- Alice Austin House: Alice Austen was one of America's earliest and most prolific female photographers, which is saying something since she lived from 1866-1952. She was also the first woman in Staten Island to own a car! Her home has now been declared a National Historic Landmark and is open to visitors.
- Historic Richmond Town: This village is living history museum in Richmond County. There are 30 historical buildings to visit, and the oldest one in the complex dates back to 1695.
- Staten Island Yankees: Catch a minor league baseball game on your visit to Staten Island. These may not be the New York Yankees, but they have called Staten Island home since 1999.
- Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Gardens: This is a 53-acre natural woodland and botanical gardens. While the site was originally the first home for retired sailors in the U.S., it has now been converted into an arts center and garden. The Music Hall at Snug Harbor is the second oldest in the city, after Carnegie Hall.
- Staten Island Children's Museum: This interactive museum that allows children to explore and learn. It's also a favorite for elementary school field trips.
- Staten Island Museum: Also known as the Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences (SIIAS), this is a museum where you can discover the history of Staten Island. It also has many collections devoted to the natural sciences and art.
- Staten Island Zoo: Check out a tropic forest, aquarium, and many exotic animals at the SI Zoo! There is also a New England style farm with farm animals.
- Conference House Museum: The Conference House is a National Historic Landmark and New York City Landmark. It was the home of the 1776 Continental Congress where John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Edward Rutledge met with representatives of the British King and attempted to negotiate a peace between the newly declared United States of American and the United Kingdom. Unfortunately a compromise was not met, and the Revolutionary War began shortly after.
- St. George Theater: This palatial theater first opened its doors on December 4, 1929 as a vaudeville and movie house. Check out a world-class concert, or just visit the interior of the hall to ornate Spanish and Italian influenced design, winding staircases, and chandeliers.
In addition to the sites listed above, there will be a number of FREE summer events happening in Staten Island. Fireworks, concerts, festivals and much more will be happening all summer long! Check out StatenIslandUSA.com for more details or download a full schedule here: http://www.statenislandusa.com/pdf/2013SummerScheduleFinal.pdf
Once you've made it to Staten Island for some site seeing, you might as well stick around for some good food!
Here are NY Eater's picks for 13 Must-Try Restaurants on SI! http://ny.eater.com/archives/2012/08/12_musttry_restaurants_in_staten_island.php
New York Magazine also has a guide to many restaurants on Staten Island. Browse through them here: http://nymag.com/srch?t=restaurant&N=265+74&No=0
For a full list of Zagat rated restaurants on Staten Island, click here: http://www.zagat.com/newyork/staten-island-restaurants
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Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Ani is a fan of exploring new places through photography and the local cuisine. After earning her BFA in photography from NYU and gaining communications experience at International Planned Parenthood Federation, she joined InterExchange in 2012, and worked as the Marketing Producer until 2016.