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50 Fun Things to Do in Staten Island

Exploring Staten Island: A Hidden Gem in New York City

Located in the southernmost part of New York City, Staten Island often goes unnoticed by tourists. However, this underrated borough offers a variety of attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy. From vibrant cultural experiences to stunning natural landscapes, Staten Island has something for everyone. In this article, we will guide you through the top things to do and see in Staten Island, ensuring you make the most of your trip to this hidden gem.

1. Immerse Yourself in History at Historic Richmond Town

Step back in time at Historic Richmond Town, a living history village that showcases 400 years of Staten Island’s rich history. Explore the restored historic buildings, including a courthouse, schoolhouse, and general store, as costumed interpreters reenact scenes from the past. This unique experience provides an educational and immersive journey into the borough’s fascinating past.

2. Discover the Serenity of Staten Island’s Green Spaces

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and embrace the tranquility of Staten Island’s abundant green spaces. With over 12,300 acres of parkland, there are plenty of options for outdoor enthusiasts. Take a leisurely stroll along the picturesque pathways of the Greenbelt, which offers miles of trails through forests, wetlands, and meadows. For a breathtaking view of the Manhattan skyline, visit Franklin D. Roosevelt Boardwalk and Beach. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful picnic spot or a challenging hike, Staten Island’s natural beauty has you covered.

3. Dive into the World of Art at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center

Immerse yourself in the vibrant arts scene of Staten Island by visiting the Snug Harbor Cultural Center. This historic campus is home to several cultural organizations, including museums, gardens, and theaters. Explore the Staten Island Museum, which showcases a diverse range of exhibits, from local history to contemporary art. Don’t miss the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art, where you can discover innovative works by emerging artists. With its stunning botanical gardens and lively events calendar, Snug Harbor offers a cultural experience like no other.

4. Enjoy Family-Friendly Fun at Staten Island Zoo

If you’re traveling with kids, a visit to the Staten Island Zoo is a must. This small yet impressive zoo is home to a variety of animals, including kangaroos, snakes, and lemurs. Watch feeding sessions, animal shows, and educational presentations that will entertain and educate visitors of all ages. The zoo also features a carousel, playgrounds, and picnic areas, making it an ideal destination for a fun-filled family day out.

5. Indulge in Culinary Delights in Staten Island’s Food Scene

Staten Island boasts a vibrant culinary scene with a variety of mouthwatering options to satisfy every palate. From traditional Italian-American favorites to international cuisines, the borough offers a diverse range of dining experiences. Indulge in freshly made pizza in the Little Italy section of Staten Island or savor authentic Thai flavors at one of the local Asian eateries. For seafood lovers, the restaurants along the shore serve up delicious dishes featuring the catch of the day. No matter what you’re craving, Staten Island’s culinary offerings will leave you wanting more.

6. Join Festivities at Staten Island’s Annual Events

Staten Island hosts several exciting events throughout the year, providing visitors with the opportunity to immerse themselves in local culture and traditions. Attend the Staten Island Zoo’s Spooktacular, a Halloween-themed event featuring costume contests, live entertainment, and trick-or-treating. The Richmond County Fair is another highlight, showcasing agricultural exhibits, thrilling rides, and live performances. Plan your visit around the Staten Island St. Patrick’s Day Parade, one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day parades in New York City. By joining these annual events, you can experience the vibrant spirit of Staten Island firsthand.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: How do I get to Staten Island?

A: Staten Island is conveniently accessible by ferry, which departs from Manhattan’s Whitehall Terminal every 30 minutes. The ferry ride offers spectacular views of the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline.

Q: Is Staten Island safe for tourists?

A: Like any other urban area, it is important to exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings. Generally, Staten Island is considered a safe borough. However, it is always recommended to take common-sense safety precautions while exploring any new destination.

Q: Are there accommodations available in Staten Island?

A: While Staten Island may not have as many hotel options as Manhattan, there are several hotels and bed and breakfasts available for visitors. From budget-friendly to upscale choices, you can find accommodation that suits your preferences and budget.

Q: Can I visit Staten Island in a day?

A: Yes, it is possible to explore the highlights of Staten Island in a day. However, to fully appreciate the borough’s offerings, we recommend spending at least a couple of days to immerse yourself in its rich history, natural beauty, and cultural experiences.

Q: Are there any free attractions in Staten Island?

A: Absolutely! Many of Staten Island’s attractions, including the Staten Island Museum and Historic Richmond Town, offer free or discounted admission on certain days. Additionally, the borough’s parks and beaches provide opportunities to enjoy scenic beauty without any entrance fees.

Q: Can I use public transportation to get around Staten Island?

A: While Staten Island is well-connected via public transportation, the most convenient way to explore the borough is by car. However, if you prefer public transportation, the Staten Island Railway and bus routes can take you to various destinations within the borough.

Discover the Hidden Charms of Staten Island

From immersing yourself in history to exploring the natural wonders and embracing the vibrant cultural scene, Staten Island has much to offer. Plan your visit to this often-overlooked borough and uncover the hidden charms that make Staten Island a must-visit destination in New York City.