So you’ve been to Brooklyn and conquered Queens—now what? Take the ferry (if you so choose) to the criminally underrepresented borough of Staten Island, home to a passionate population, unusual attractions, and much more. From art entertainment to spooky sites, here are 9 reasons you should get lost in New York City’s Staten Island.
Wildlife at Staten Island Greenbelt
Measuring at a whopping 2,500 acres (more than twice the size of Central Park), Staten Island Greenbelt boasts plenty of space for outdoors-loving islanders to explore. Home to a variety of rare plant life and over 30 miles (48 kilometers) of walking and running trails, the Greenbelt’s main attraction is its furry and feathered inhabitants (particularly an array of city and country bird species) which can be observed throughout this island oasis.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Surprisingly hot restaurant scene
Who would have thought New York City’s most underrepresented borough would be serving some of its best food? Come hungry to this island, where restaurants like Michelin-starred Bin 5 and the world-famous Enoteca Maria are cooking up great things. The island also offers some of the city’s freshest seafood and best waterfront dining experiences.
Top destinations for spook-seekers
One of the island’s most popular attractions is a building known as Kreischer Mansion, a reportedly haunted house and the site of several deaths and crimes. This is hardly the area’s only scary story; local spook-seekers can be seen exploring the former burial site of missing island children at the borough’s now-abandoned Staten Island Farm Colony. Whether there’s truth to these tales or they’re only local legends, Staten Island boasts an unofficial walking tour of eerie entertainment.
Brooklyn? Fuggedaboutit. The pop culture image of the slick New York Italian originated in Staten Island. Home to a large Italian-American population, the island boasts an array of institutions and events dedicated to celebrating this rich culture. The Italian Cultural Foundation’s Casa Belvedere, Rome Through Richmond Town, and the Italian Club of Staten Island Foundation are just a few of the island’s Italian-aimed offerings.
While Manhattan has the Empire State Building and Brooklyn hosts its namesake bridge, Staten Island has a tugboat graveyard. This relic of New York’s shipping era, popular among kayakers, once consisted of 200 slowly sinking ships. Today, less than 25 historic vessels remain, but the graveyard’s intrigue remains very much alive.
As well as the Western Hemisphere’s largest collection of Tibetan art, Staten Island is also home to the United States’ only building built in the style of Himalayan temples. Additionally, the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art offers meditation gardens, an annual festival, and tai chi and meditation classes.
Escape the crowds
With fewer than 500,000 residents, Staten Island is New York City’s least populated borough. It is also the most rural, hosting over 170 parks, earning the island its nickname: The Greenest Borough. Can’t take New York’s crowds any longer? The island awaits as a tranquil escape.
Staten Island Ferry
Before they had bridges, New Yorkers regularly traveled between the five boroughs via ferries. The Staten Island Ferry, a free 24-hour service shuttling 70,000 passengers to and from Manhattan each day, is keeping this local tradition alive. A popular pick among shutterbugs, the ferry provides unparalleled views of the city skyline and Lady Liberty herself.
Bounty of art events
Get artsy each month at free events held around the area, courtesy of Second Saturday Staten Island. Non-profit art schools, independent stores, and even private homes host music, dance, and visual and performance art in this year-round event series.
Emphasis on community
From borough-based events to independent businesses, Staten Island values community in ways not seen in other New York City boroughs. Nowhere is this value more clear than at Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden, a neighborhood institution dedicated to benefiting Staten Island residents. Consisting of a music conservatory, children’s museum, 14 botanical gardens, and much more, the center is a pillar of the community it serves.
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