12 Must-Do Adventures and Uncovering Hidden Gems in Staten Island

12 Must-Do Adventures and Uncovering Hidden Gems in Staten Island
12 Must-Do Adventures and Uncovering Hidden Gems in Staten Island

Staten Island is a unique part of New York City that offers plenty of fun things to do and interesting places to explore. Whether you are a local looking for new adventures or a tourist seeking cool experiences, this ultimate guide shares 12 must-try staten island activities to help you discover the island's beauty, culture, and history. 
From scenic parks and waterfront views to charming neighborhoods and historical landmarks, every corner has some amazing places to visit in staten island. With this guide, you will learn about the island's treasures and get ready to have a great time exploring this “forgotten borough”. So, pack your bags, and let’s discover a sense of wonder. If you are a tourist looking for things to do in New York for first-timers then start your journey to discover the hidden gems that make Staten Island so special.

Best 12 Things to Do in Staten Island

1. Go Back Centuries in Historic Richmond Town

You can explore Historic Richmond Town on foot, wandering through its winding streets and admiring the historic architecture. The village also has beautiful gardens where you can relax and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. There are so many workshops in the surrounding, where skilled craftsmen demonstrate traditional trades like blacksmithing and woodworking. Don't forget to visit these workshops and experience the skills of those craftsmen.
You can get to experience special events and activities throughout the year at Historic Richmond Town. These events offer visitors a chance to experience different aspects of life from centuries ago. Whether you're interested in history, and culture, or simply looking for unique things to do in nyc, this preserved village has something to offer for everyone.

2. Soak Up the Sun at Franklin D. Roosevelt Boardwalk and Beach

Staten Island's beaches, like South Beach, provide a peaceful escape from the bustling city life of New York. The boardwalk not only offers stunning views of the bridge and Brooklyn but also invites visitors to enjoy various recreational activities. Whether you're strolling along the boardwalk, pedaling a bike, or lounging on the sand, there's something for everyone to relax and appreciate the coastal beauty.
The shops, bars, and restaurants add to the allure of South Beach Boardwalk and they are so nearby. After a leisurely afternoon by the sea, you can explore local eateries, grab a refreshing drink, or shop for souvenirs. It's a perfect combination of relaxation and city exploration, making it a hidden gem worth discovering on Staten Island.

3. Discover why Staten Island is the Borough of Parks

There are plenty of parks on Staten Island where everyone will enjoy and relax. Whether you prefer sprawling green spaces, lakeside views, beachside vibes, or serene nature trails, there's a park that suits your preferences. From the lively atmosphere of Great Kills Park to the tranquil beauty of High Rock Park, each park has its unique charm and attractions.

Exploring these parks allows visitors to immerse themselves in nature, engage in outdoor activities, and take a break from the urban hustle and bustle. If you are a tourist visiting NYC for the first time and confused about staten island what to do…. then look for a peaceful park and plan a picnic with family and friends. Staten Island's diverse park options provide a perfect escape for residents and tourists alike.

4. A Ride on The Famous Staten Island Ferry

If you want to see the Statue of Liberty and the famous New York City skyline, go back to St. George before sunset. Then, plan your ferry ride back to Manhattan so that you can see a stunning sunset. But if you miss the sunset or don't like boats, there are many other chances to see the incredible view of New York City. Make a plan on how to get to the staten island ferry watching the sunset as it crosses back to Manhattan and is a magical experience that many visitors enjoy. 
However, if you prefer not to take a boat ride or happen to miss the sunset time, there are still plenty of opportunities to catch breathtaking views of New York City. You can visit observation decks, rooftop bars, or waterfront parks that offer panoramic vistas of the city skyline and iconic landmarks like the Statue of Liberty. Exploring different vantage points allows you to appreciate the beauty of New York City from various angles and settings, creating unforgettable memories of your visit.

5. Take In the Views Above and Below Ground at Fort Wadsworth

Fort Wadsworth provides a fascinating look into the past, displaying the area's rich military history. As you explore the fortifications and underground spaces, you can picture their strategic significance during different historical periods. The panoramic view of New York Harbor from Fort Wadsworth provides a unique perspective, allowing visitors to appreciate the city's maritime history and modern developments like the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.
Exploring Fort Wadsworth is not just a journey through time but also an opportunity to connect with the natural beauty of the surrounding area. The fort's location near the waterfront offers serene views and a peaceful atmosphere. Whether you're interested in military architecture, and panoramic views, or simply enjoy exploring historic sites, Fort Wadsworth promises a memorable experience for all.

6. Look Out from The National Lighthouse Museum

The National Lighthouse Museum used to be the main office of the US Lighthouse Service. It's a cool place to visit and learn about the history and technology behind lighthouses. Did you know there are still 700 lighthouses standing along the coasts of the United States? The museum has a lot of old documents and items related to lighthouses, and they also have special displays, talks, and activities at different times of the year. It's a fun and interesting way to explore maritime history.
The museum also offers special events, workshops, and seasonal trips that provide deeper insights into lighthouse culture and operations. If you are curious about lighthouses, then a visit to the National Lighthouse Museum promises an educational and enjoyable experience for all ages.

7. Go South to Conference House Park and Museum

The Conference House is one of New York City's oldest buildings and it's a National Historic Landmark. Its name comes from a meeting held in 1776 between the English army and American Founding Fathers in an attempt to stop the Revolutionary War. Nowadays, the house has been restored and turned into a museum. You can visit and take guided tours on weekends from April to mid-December. The beautiful grounds around the house have many old trees and are open for exploring every day until it gets dark.
The Conference House is not only historically significant but also boasts a remarkable beauty that fascinates visitors. Its charming architecture, with its colonial-era design and well-preserved features, transports you to a past era.

8. Visit An Urban Zoo with A Focus on Reptiles

If you're looking for more things to do in Staten Island, you should check out the Staten Island Zoo, especially if you have kids. It first opened in 1936 with a focus on reptiles, like snakes, especially rattlesnakes, and now it's home to about 350 different kinds of animals. One of the most famous animals there is Staten Island Chuck, a groundhog who predicts that spring is coming on Groundhog Day.
The zoo also has educational programs and interactive exhibits where kids can learn about wildlife conservation and animal habitats in a fun way. In addition to exploring the animal exhibits, the Staten Island Zoo provides a pleasant outdoor experience with beautiful landscaping and picnic areas. It's a great place for families to spend a day enjoying nature and learning about fascinating creatures.

9. Get To the Borough’s Roots at the Staten Island Museum

The Staten Island Museum has a large and carefully chosen collection. It includes historical documents, artworks, books, ancient discoveries, and more than 500,000 plant specimens. This is why it's the most popular and well-known museum in the borough. It's a great place to learn more about the area's history.
At the Staten Island Museum, you can explore old records, admire lovely art pieces, and discover plants and animals from the natural world. It's more than just a museum; it's like going back in time and honoring Staten Island's history.

10. Find Some Art and Calm at Snug Harbor Cultural Center

If you're looking for a peaceful and quiet staten island tourist attraction, then you should visit the Snug Harbor Cultural Center, which is right next to the Staten Island Museum. It used to be a home for retired sailors but is now a modern art center. The building is surrounded by a big park with beautiful gardens. These include the botanical gardens, the NY Chinese Scholar’s Garden, and the Connie Gretz Secret Garden. You can visit the park for free from morning until it gets dark. However, there's a small fee to enter the tours, galleries, and some gardens.

11. Where to Eat in Staten Island

If you are planning to spend a day in Staten Island, looking for brunch or the best italian restaurants on staten island. Then do visit Staten Island's downtown area on the North Shore which has many good places to eat before you go exploring. There are also bars and a shopping mall called Empire Outlets near the ferry stop, where you can find many stores with discounted prices. It's a nice way to shop and relax before taking the ferry back.
You can also ask any local about the best pizza in New York, and everyone will have their favorite spot. But many agree that some of the best pizza can be found on Staten Island. No matter where you are on the island, you're never too far from a delicious slice. And with so many options, you can't go wrong with any of them.

12. Shop At the Empire Outlet

If you are in Staten Island and want to go shopping, you should visit Empire Outlets. It's a shopping mall located next to the St. George Terminal. Although it's a newer mall, but it's very popular because it's the only outlet mall in the city. The mall has both indoor and outdoor areas and features well-known brands as well. You can also find local stores so that you can support local businesses while also finding luxury items. Additionally, there are cafes, restaurants, bakeries, and even a brewery inside the mall. So, it's a great option and best things to do in staten island.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are There Any Fun Things to Do in Staten Island?

Yes, there are many fun things to do on Staten Island for both visitors and locals. Some enjoyable activities and attractions you can explore are Staten Island Ferry, Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden, Staten Island Zoo, Fort Wadsworth, Historic Richmond Town, Greenbelt Park, St. George Theatre, etc.

What cultural attractions are famous in Staten Island?

You can have cultural experiences in Staten Island by visiting museums like the Staten Island Museum and Alice Austen House, attending performances at the St. George Theatre, exploring historic sites like the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art, and enjoying art exhibitions at various galleries.

Are there any family-friendly activities on Staten Island?

Yes, Staten Island has several family-friendly activities like visiting the Staten Island Children's Museum, playing at the Carousel for All Children, enjoying a day at the Staten Island FunPark, and exploring nature at the Greenbelt Nature Center.
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