staten island america

Staten Island, often dubbed as the “Forgotten Borough,” is a hidden treasure within the dynamic mosaic of New York City.

It boasts a storied past and a multitude of attractions, offering visitors a blend of urban vibrancy and natural splendor.

Staten Island’s roots trace back to the Lenape Native Americans, with its history spanning millennia.

It emerged as a pivotal hub for Dutch and English settlers during the colonial era.

Over time, Staten Island has grown into a vibrant community, contributing significantly to the cultural fabric of New York City.

What distinguishes Staten Island is its diverse range of attractions, from historic landmarks to scenic parks.

Whether you’re an aficionado of history, a nature lover, or a culinary enthusiast, the borough has something to offer.

From the iconic Staten Island Ferry to the lush trails of the Greenbelt, every corner beckons with new adventures.

Prepare for an unforgettable exploration of Staten Island’s wonders.

We invite you to embark on a journey through 12 remarkable experiences that showcase the borough’s charm and allure.

From world-class museums to breathtaking natural vistas, Staten Island promises an enriching and captivating escape.

Now, let’s take a closer look at the 12 best things to do on Staten Island:

1. Visit the Staten Island Museum

Staten Island Museum

The Staten Island Museum stands as a cultural beacon, offering a captivating journey through the borough’s rich history and vibrant art scene.

Step into the museum’s halls and immerse yourself in a treasure trove of exhibits spanning art, science, and natural history.

From intricate artifacts showcasing indigenous cultures to contemporary artworks reflecting the borough’s diversity, the museum’s collections offer a comprehensive glimpse into Staten Island’s past and present.

Among the museum’s standout attractions is its renowned art gallery, featuring works by local and internationally acclaimed artists.

Visitors can also marvel at fossil specimens, explore interactive science exhibits, and delve into the museum’s rotating special exhibitions, each offering fresh insights into Staten Island’s cultural landscape.

Before embarking on your museum adventure, it’s advisable to check the museum’s website for current exhibitions and visiting hours.

Consider joining a guided tour or participating in hands-on workshops to enhance your experience.

Additionally, don’t forget to take advantage of the museum’s amenities, including gift shops and cafes, for a well-rounded visit.

2. Explore Historic Richmond Town

staten island richmond town

Nestled within Staten Island’s lush landscape lies Historic Richmond Town, a living testament to the borough’s rich heritage and storied past.

With its well-preserved buildings and captivating exhibits, this historic village offers visitors a glimpse into life in colonial America and beyond.

Richmond Town holds a significant place in American history as one of the nation’s oldest and most well-preserved settlements.

Established in the late 17th century, this charming village served as a vital trading hub and cultural center during the colonial era.

Today, it stands as a living museum, preserving the architectural heritage and cultural traditions of generations past.

Stroll through the cobbled streets of Historic Richmond Town and marvel at its meticulously restored buildings and structures.

From colonial-era homes to quaint shops and artisan workshops, each edifice offers a window into the daily lives of early settlers.

Highlights include the Voorlezer’s House, the Guyon-Lake-Tysen House, and the Third County Courthouse, all of which have been painstakingly preserved to transport visitors back in time.

To truly immerse yourself in Richmond Town’s history, consider joining a guided tour led by knowledgeable docents.

These tours provide fascinating insights into the village’s past, offering anecdotes and stories that bring its heritage to life.

Additionally, keep an eye out for special events and exhibitions hosted throughout the year, including craft fairs, historical reenactments, and seasonal festivities.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast or simply seeking a glimpse into the past, Historic Richmond Town offers a captivating journey through time.

3. Walk Along the Staten Island Boardwalk

Staten Island Boardwalk

For a leisurely stroll amidst picturesque views and refreshing sea breezes, the Staten Island Boardwalk beckons with its serene ambiance and scenic vistas.

Stretching along Staten Island’s southern shore, the boardwalk offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Spanning several miles, it meanders past sandy beaches, lush parks, and charming waterfront neighborhoods, providing ample opportunities for exploration and relaxation.

As you wander along the boardwalk, be sure to pause and take in the breathtaking views of the New York Harbor and the iconic Manhattan skyline.

The boardwalk also serves as a hub for outdoor recreation, with designated areas for jogging, biking, and picnicking.

During the warmer months, visitors can bask in the sun on the sandy shores or cool off with a refreshing dip in the ocean.

After working up an appetite, indulge in a culinary adventure at one of the many dining establishments nestled along the boardwalk.

From casual beachfront cafes to upscale seafood restaurants, there’s no shortage of options to satisfy your cravings.

For those seeking additional attractions, nearby landmarks such as the Staten Island Museum and the Staten Island Zoo offer enriching experiences for visitors of all ages.

4. Tour the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden

Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden

Immerse yourself in the cultural tapestry of Staten Island with a visit to the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden.

This sprawling complex offers a multifaceted experience, combining artistic expression with natural beauty.

Established in the 19th century as a haven for retired sailors, Snug Harbor has since evolved into a dynamic cultural destination.

Its historic buildings and lush gardens serve as a backdrop for a wide range of artistic and educational activities.

As one of the largest ongoing adaptive reuse projects in America, Snug Harbor is a testament to the power of preservation and community engagement.

The botanical garden at Snug Harbor is a verdant oasis, boasting a diverse array of plant species from around the world.

Wander through themed gardens, including the White Garden and the Healing Garden, and discover the beauty of native and exotic plants.

Keep an eye out for seasonal blooms and resident wildlife, adding to the garden’s allure throughout the year.

Snug Harbor is a hub of cultural activity, hosting an eclectic lineup of events and performances year-round.

From outdoor concerts and art exhibitions to theatrical productions and educational workshops, there’s always something happening at this vibrant venue.

Check the calendar of events for upcoming programs and plan your visit to coincide with performances that pique your interest.

Whether you’re a history buff, a nature enthusiast, or an art aficionado, Snug Harbor offers a wealth of experiences to enrich your time on Staten Island.

5. Enjoy the Views from the Staten Island Ferry

Staten Island ferry

Embark on a scenic journey across the waters of New York Harbor aboard the Staten Island Ferry.

This iconic mode of transportation not only provides a convenient means of travel but also offers unparalleled views of the city skyline and notable landmarks.

The Staten Island Ferry shuttles passengers between Manhattan and Staten Island, offering a refreshing respite from the urban hustle and bustle.

As you glide across the harbor, be sure to keep an eye out for iconic landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and the towering skyscrapers of Lower Manhattan.

The journey provides a unique perspective of these historic sites, making it a must-do experience for visitors and locals alike.

To make the most of your ferry ride, position yourself on the outdoor decks for unobstructed views of the harbor and skyline.

Arrive early to secure a prime spot along the railing and be prepared to capture stunning photographs of the surrounding scenery.

Consider bringing binoculars for a closer look at distant landmarks, and don’t forget to dress warmly during cooler months to fully enjoy the breeze off the water.

The Staten Island Ferry operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, providing frequent service between Manhattan and Staten Island.

Departure times vary throughout the day, with more frequent sailings during peak hours. Check the official website for up-to-date schedules and plan your trip accordingly.

While onboard, take advantage of amenities such as concessions and restrooms to ensure a comfortable journey.

Whether you’re commuting to work or simply seeking a scenic excursion, the Staten Island Ferry promises an unforgettable experience with breathtaking views of New York City’s iconic skyline.

6. Hike in the Greenbelt

Hike in the Greenbelt

Discover the natural wonders of Staten Island by exploring the verdant trails of the Greenbelt.

Spanning over 2,800 acres of protected woodlands, wetlands, and meadows, this urban oasis offers an escape into nature right in the heart of the borough.

The Greenbelt is renowned for its diverse ecosystems and scenic vistas, providing a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

With over 35 miles of hiking trails winding through its lush landscape, the Greenbelt offers endless opportunities for exploration and adventure.

From leisurely strolls along tranquil paths to challenging hikes up rugged terrain, there’s a trail suited for every skill level and interest.

As you wander through the Greenbelt, keep an eye out for its myriad of natural wonders and hidden gems.

Marvel at towering stands of oak and tulip trees, listen to the tranquil sounds of babbling brooks, and catch glimpses of wildlife such as white-tailed deer, red-tailed hawks, and eastern box turtles.

Don’t miss the chance to visit iconic landmarks like Moses’ Mountain and High Rock Park, each offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a novice explorer, the Greenbelt has a trail to suit your abilities.

For beginners, the Yellow Trail offers a gentle introduction to the park’s beauty, winding through wooded groves and open meadows.

Intermediate hikers may enjoy the Blue Trail, which provides a more challenging trek with its hilly terrain and panoramic overlooks.

For experienced adventurers seeking a true wilderness experience, the Red Trail offers a rugged journey through remote sections of the park, rewarding intrepid explorers with secluded vistas and untouched wilderness.

7. Visit the Alice Austen House

Alice Austen House

Step back in time and explore the charming abode of Alice Austen, a pioneering photographer whose work captured the essence of life in turn-of-the-century America.

Situated along the picturesque shores of Staten Island, the Alice Austen House offers a glimpse into the life and legacy of this remarkable artist.

Alice Austen, born in 1866, was a trailblazing photographer whose work defied the conventions of her time.

Recognized for her keen eye and candid approach, Austen captured a wide range of subjects, from intimate portraits of family and friends to candid snapshots of daily life in New York City.

Her photographs offer a poignant reflection of social issues and cultural trends, making her a pioneering figure in the field of documentary photography.

The Alice Austen House, also known as Clear Comfort, was the childhood home of the acclaimed photographer.

Built in the 17th century, this quaint Dutch Colonial cottage has been meticulously preserved to reflect the atmosphere of Austen’s era.

Step inside to explore the house’s charming interiors, adorned with period furnishings and personal artifacts belonging to Austen and her family.

The museum’s exhibits showcase a rotating selection of Austen’s photographs, providing insight into her artistic process and creative vision.

Enhance your visit to the Alice Austen House with a guided tour led by knowledgeable docents, who offer fascinating insights into Austen’s life and work.

Learn about her groundbreaking contributions to the field of photography and gain a deeper appreciation for her enduring legacy.

Additionally, consider participating in photography workshops offered at the museum, where aspiring photographers can hone their skills and learn from experts in the field.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast or a photography aficionado, a visit to the Alice Austen House promises an enriching and inspiring experience.

8. Discover Fort Wadsworth

Fort Wadsworth

Explore the rich military history and commanding presence of Fort Wadsworth, a historic fortress nestled along the shores of Staten Island.

With its strategic location overlooking the entrance to New York Harbor, Fort Wadsworth has played a vital role in defending the nation’s shores for over two centuries.

Originally constructed in the early 19th century, Fort Wadsworth served as a key defensive position during various periods of American history.

From its role in the War of 1812 to its use as a coastal defense installation during World War II, the fort has witnessed countless chapters of military significance.

Its strategic location at the entrance to New York Harbor made it a crucial stronghold for protecting the city and its vital maritime assets.

Fort Wadsworth boasts a commanding presence with its imposing stone walls, gun emplacements, and sweeping views of the harbor.

Visitors can explore the fort’s historic structures, including barracks, officer quarters, and gun batteries, each offering a glimpse into military life throughout the ages.

Highlights include Battery Weed, a massive granite fortress named after Civil War hero Stephen H. Weed, and the picturesque overlooks of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and the Statue of Liberty.

Experience the history and grandeur of Fort Wadsworth at your own pace with a self-guided tour of the grounds.

Pick up a map at the visitor center and embark on a journey through the fort’s storied past, stopping at interpretive signs and historical markers along the way.

Additionally, keep an eye out for special events and reenactments hosted at the fort throughout the year, offering immersive experiences for history enthusiasts of all ages.

9. Relax at South Beach

staten island south beach

Unwind and soak up the sun at South Beach, a tranquil haven nestled along the southern shores of Staten Island.

With its pristine sands, inviting waters, and array of recreational amenities, South Beach offers the perfect escape for beach lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

Located along the eastern coast of Staten Island, South Beach boasts a prime waterfront location with easy access to New York City’s skyline.

The beach is equipped with amenities such as lifeguard stations, restrooms, and picnic areas, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable experience for visitors of all ages.

From swimming and sunbathing to volleyball and paddleboarding, South Beach offers a plethora of recreational activities to suit every preference.

Take a leisurely stroll along the boardwalk, rent a bike to explore the scenic coastline, or simply lounge on the sand and listen to the soothing sounds of the waves.

Families will appreciate the playgrounds and designated swimming areas, while fitness enthusiasts can take advantage of the beachfront fitness equipment and jogging paths.

After a day of fun in the sun, satisfy your appetite with a delectable meal at one of the nearby dining establishments.

From casual beachfront cafes serving fresh seafood to upscale restaurants offering panoramic views of the harbor, there’s no shortage of culinary delights to enjoy.

Be sure to stick around until evening to witness a breathtaking sunset over the water, casting a warm glow over the beach and skyline.

10. Attend a Performance at the St. George Theatre

staten island St. George Theatre

Experience the magic of live entertainment at the St. George Theatre, a historic landmark and cultural gem located in the heart of Staten Island.

With its stunning architecture and diverse lineup of performances, the theater promises an unforgettable experience for audiences of all ages.

Built in 1929 as a lavish movie palace, the St. George Theatre is a testament to the golden age of cinema and live performance.

Designed in the Beaux-Arts style, the theater features ornate detailing, grand chandeliers, and a majestic proscenium arch, creating an ambiance of elegance and sophistication.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the St. George Theatre continues to captivate audiences with its timeless charm and timeless allure.

From Broadway productions and musical concerts to comedy shows and dance performances, the St. George Theatre offers a diverse array of entertainment options throughout the year.

Check the theater’s calendar for upcoming events and performances, featuring both local talent and internationally renowned artists.

Whether you’re a fan of classic theater or contemporary music, there’s something for everyone to enjoy at this iconic venue.

Secure your seats for an unforgettable night of entertainment by purchasing tickets in advance through the St. George Theatre’s website or box office.

Choose from a variety of seating options, ranging from orchestra seats to balcony views, and enjoy the show in comfort and style.

Additionally, take advantage of the theater’s amenities, including concessions and merchandise stands, to enhance your experience.

With its convenient location and world-class entertainment offerings, the St. George Theatre is a must-visit destination for theater enthusiasts and culture aficionados alike.

11. Explore the Staten Island Zoo

Staten Island Zoo

Delve into the wonders of the animal kingdom at the Staten Island Zoo, a beloved destination for families and wildlife enthusiasts alike.

With its diverse collection of species, interactive exhibits, and educational programs, the zoo offers an immersive experience that inspires conservation and appreciation for the natural world.

Spanning over 8 acres, the Staten Island Zoo is home to a wide variety of animals from around the globe.

From exotic species such as lemurs and kangaroos to native wildlife including red pandas and bald eagles, the zoo’s exhibits showcase the incredible diversity of life on Earth.

In addition to providing a safe and enriching environment for its animal residents, the zoo is actively involved in conservation efforts aimed at protecting endangered species and their habitats.

Get up close and personal with the zoo’s inhabitants through a variety of interactive experiences and animal encounters.

From feeding giraffes and petting farm animals to attending keeper talks and wildlife demonstrations, there are plenty of opportunities to learn about animal behavior, conservation, and biodiversity.

Additionally, the zoo offers a range of educational programs for visitors of all ages, including guided tours, workshops, and summer camps, designed to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation for the natural world.

Plan your visit to the Staten Island Zoo with the whole family in mind, taking advantage of amenities such as stroller rentals, picnic areas, and designated play zones.

Be sure to check the zoo’s website for information on special events and seasonal attractions, including holiday celebrations, animal birthday parties, and nocturnal zoo experiences.

Don’t forget to pack sunscreen, hats, and water bottles for a comfortable and enjoyable day of exploration and discovery.

12. Experience Local Cuisine

Staten Island pizza

Indulge your taste buds in the flavors of Staten Island’s vibrant culinary scene, where diverse cuisines and local delicacies await at every turn.

From family-owned pizzerias to upscale dining establishments, the borough offers a delectable array of options sure to satisfy any palate.

Staten Island’s culinary landscape reflects the borough’s rich cultural heritage and diverse community.

Influenced by Italian, Greek, Hispanic, and Asian traditions, the local cuisine encompasses a wide range of flavors and culinary styles.

Whether you’re craving traditional comfort food or innovative fusion dishes, Staten Island has something to offer for every taste and craving.

Sink your teeth into Staten Island’s iconic dishes, such as savory slices of New York-style pizza, mouthwatering Italian heroes, and hearty servings of pasta with homemade marinara sauce.

For seafood lovers, fresh clams and oysters harvested from nearby waters are a must-try delicacy.

Explore local eateries and family-owned restaurants, where you’ll find authentic flavors and warm hospitality in every bite.

Immerse yourself in Staten Island’s culinary culture by attending food festivals and culinary events held throughout the year.

Sample a smorgasbord of flavors at the annual Taste of Staten Island event, featuring dishes from top local restaurants and food vendors.

Additionally, keep an eye out for specialty food markets, wine tastings, and cooking demonstrations hosted by renowned chefs, offering unique opportunities to explore the borough’s culinary delights.


As we conclude our exploration of Staten Island, we’ve uncovered a treasure trove of experiences that showcase the borough’s rich history, natural beauty, and vibrant culture.

From historic landmarks and cultural institutions to scenic vistas and culinary delights, Staten Island offers a diverse array of attractions sure to captivate visitors of all interests.

Throughout our journey, we’ve highlighted 12 incredible things to do on Staten Island, each offering a unique perspective on this dynamic borough:

  1. Visit the Staten Island Museum: Immerse yourself in art, science, and history at this cultural institution.
  2. Explore Historic Richmond Town: Step back in time and discover the charms of colonial America.
  3. Walk Along the Staten Island Boardwalk: Enjoy stunning views of the harbor and indulge in outdoor activities.
  4. Tour the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden: Delve into art, nature, and history at this sprawling complex.
  5. Enjoy the Views from the Staten Island Ferry: Take a scenic cruise across New York Harbor and marvel at iconic landmarks.
  6. Hike in the Greenbelt: Immerse yourself in nature and explore miles of scenic trails.
  7. Visit the Alice Austen House: Learn about the life and work of pioneering photographer Alice Austen.
  8. Discover Fort Wadsworth: Explore a historic military fortress and enjoy panoramic views of the harbor.
  9. Relax at South Beach: Soak up the sun and enjoy recreational activities along Staten Island’s beautiful coastline.
  10. Attend a Performance at the St. George Theatre: Experience the magic of live entertainment at this historic venue.
  11. Explore the Staten Island Zoo: Get up close and personal with a diverse array of wildlife at this family-friendly attraction.
  12. Experience Local Cuisine: Indulge in the flavors of Staten Island’s diverse culinary scene, from classic Italian dishes to fresh seafood specialties.
staten island

FAQ’s About Staten Island:

Why is Staten Island so famous?

Staten Island is famous for several reasons.

Its iconic landmarks, such as the Staten Island Ferry and the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, attract tourists and provide stunning views of the New York City skyline.

Additionally, the borough’s rich cultural heritage, including Historic Richmond Town and the Alice Austen House, draws visitors interested in history and art.

Staten Island is also known for its diverse culinary scene, offering everything from traditional Italian fare to fresh seafood delicacies.

Is Staten Island a good place to live?

Staten Island offers a suburban lifestyle with easy access to Manhattan, making it an attractive option for those seeking a quieter alternative to city living.

The borough boasts beautiful parks, waterfront views, and strong community ties.

However, factors such as housing costs and commute times may vary depending on location within Staten Island.

Is Staten Island cheap or expensive?

Staten Island’s cost of living can vary depending on factors such as housing, transportation, and utilities.

Generally, housing costs tend to be lower compared to Manhattan but higher than some other boroughs of New York City.

Other expenses, such as groceries and dining out, may also be slightly higher compared to suburban areas outside of New York City.

Why is Staten Island called the forgotten borough?

Staten Island is often referred to as the “forgotten borough” due to its perceived isolation from the rest of New York City.

Despite being one of the five boroughs, Staten Island is physically separated from Manhattan and has a distinct suburban character.

This geographical separation, combined with limited public transportation options, has led some to feel that Staten Island receives less attention and investment compared to other parts of the city.

Does anyone famous live on Staten Island?

Staten Island is home to a diverse population, including some notable individuals from various fields.

While not as densely populated with celebrities as Manhattan or Los Angeles, Staten Island has been home to actors, musicians, athletes, and other public figures.

Some famous residents have included musicians such as Christina Aguilera and members of the Wu-Tang Clan, as well as athletes like Yankee legend Joe Torre.

Is Staten Island a wealthy area?

Staten Island is home to a mix of neighborhoods, ranging from affluent enclaves to more middle-class communities.

While some areas boast high property values and incomes, others may have more modest means.

Overall, Staten Island’s median household income is higher than the national average but varies widely across different neighborhoods.

Is Staten Island richer than Manhattan?

Generally, Manhattan is considered the wealthiest borough of New York City, with some of the highest property values and incomes in the country.

While Staten Island has its share of affluent neighborhoods, it typically does not surpass Manhattan in terms of overall wealth.

Why are houses so expensive in Staten Island?

Several factors contribute to the cost of housing in Staten Island.

The borough’s desirable waterfront locations, suburban atmosphere, and relatively low crime rates can drive up property values.

Additionally, limited land availability and high demand for housing in certain neighborhoods may further inflate prices.

As a result, housing in Staten Island can be more expensive compared to suburban areas outside of New York City.

Is Staten Island middle class?

Staten Island is home to a diverse mix of residents, including middle-class families, professionals, and retirees.

While some neighborhoods may have higher median incomes and property values than others, Staten Island as a whole encompasses a range of socioeconomic backgrounds.

The borough’s suburban character and strong sense of community appeal to many middle-class families seeking a quieter lifestyle within New York City.

Is the Statue of Liberty on Staten Island?

While the Statue of Liberty is located within New York Harbor, it is not technically on Staten Island.

The statue is situated on Liberty Island, which is part of the borough of Manhattan.

However, visitors can access the Statue of Liberty and nearby Ellis Island via ferry service from Battery Park in Manhattan or Liberty State Park in New Jersey, with views of both landmarks visible from the Staten Island Ferry.

Do you need a car to live in Staten Island?

While owning a car can offer convenience in Staten Island, it is not necessarily required to live in the borough.

Staten Island does have a network of buses and the Staten Island Railway providing public transportation options.

However, the borough’s suburban layout and limited subway access compared to other parts of New York City may make owning a car more practical for some residents, especially those living in more residential areas away from transit hubs.

staten island usa

(Island Expert)

Christian is a dynamic serial entrepreneur and a licensed real estate agent with a relentless passion for unlocking the potential of island real estate. Christian's expertise extends beyond entrepreneurship and property transactions. He possesses a profound expertise in crafting captivating content and persuasive copywriting tailored exclusively to the enchanting realm of island real estate.

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