Staten Island is in the New York City borough of Staten Island. The island has a rich history, with archaeological evidence dating back to the Upper Paleolithic period. The Dutch settled on Staten Island in the 17th century, and the British claimed it in the 18th century.
The island became a penal colony in the early 19th century and was ceded to New York City in 1898. It was mainly populated by Italian immigrants during the early 20th century. It is known for its natural beauty, diverse cultural heritage, and rich history.
The History of Staten Island
New York City’s Staten Island is the city’s third largest borough. According to the 2020’s count, Staten Island has a 475,596 population. This city has fewer residents than any of its larger siblings and is mainly suburban.
“Bedroom community” within one of the world’s most populous cities. According to the Staten Island Historian, there’s a lot of history on Staten Island. No matter how closely it’s intertwined with New York City’s and our country’s issues.
The Staten-Generaal (“States General”) of the Dutch Republic inspired the naming of Staten Island. Following Great Britain’s 1664 possession of New Netherland, English and Welsh farmers-built houses and farms on the island.
Staten Island has a total area of 60.9 square miles, approximately 13.9 miles long and 7.3 miles wide. Staten Island is closer to New Jersey than New York City, with only the small Arthur Kill separating the two.
Dutch refers to a river or canal as a ‘kill.’ The Bayonne, Outerbridge, and Goethals bridges connect Staten Island to New Jersey. The Verrazano Bridge, which connects Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, with Ft. Hamilton in Staten Island, is the only way to reach Manhattan from Staten Island.
Why Should You Visit Staten Island?
Staten Island may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of a vacation destination. Still, there are many reasons why it should be on your list.
The food scene is also something worth mentioning. From classic Italian restaurants to upscale seafood spots, there’s something for everyone here. Plus, with so much history and culture waiting to be explored, from restored mansions to luxurious casinos. There’s no deficiency of things to do either!
Finally, thanks to its easy access by ferry or subway, getting to Staten Island is easy. Ferry is free.
So, whether your idea of a perfect vacation includes exploring lush gardens or bustling city streets, Staten Islands has plenty available for everyone who wants to explore it.
The 5 Best Places to Visit Staten Island
There are many great places to visit on Staten Island, depending on your interests and preferences.
1 Staten Island Ferry
The Staten Island Ferry is one of the few things left from New York City’s old ferry system. It took people from Manhattan to the places that would become its boroughs long, even before crossings were formed.
Today, the Staten Island Ferry takes 22 million people a year between St. George on Staten Island and Whitehall Street in lower Manhattan. That’s 70,000 people a day if you don’t count weekends. The ferry is the only way to get from Staten Island to Manhattan without using a car.
The Ferry is open every day of the week, 24 hours a day. Service works every 15 or 20 minutes, followed by 30-minute intervals on Saturdays and Sundays.
The City of New York provides a free Staten Island Ferry service. The Staten Island Ferry does not require a ticket to ride.
2. Snug Harbor Cultural Center
Snug Harbor Cultural Center is one of many worldwide venues offering tourists a unique experience. The center was founded in 1825 as an artists’ colony. Today, it features exhibitions from both appearing and established artists worldwide.
It also offers workshops, lectures, concerts, movie screenings, and special events relevant to its mission statement of promoting education about art through active engagement with cultural institutions.
3. Chinese Scholar’s Garden
Chinese Scholar’s Garden of Staten Island is a botanical garden that was established in 1984 by Chinese immigrants. The park features more than 2,000 plants from all over the world, including Europe, Asia, and North America. There are also several ponds and koi fish tanks that contain many kinds of aquatic fauna. Visitors can explore the gardens on foot or take guided tours throughout the year.
4. Staten Island Museum
The Staten Island Museum is a great place to visit if you’re interested in history. It has an impressive collection of artifacts, and the staff is knowledgeable. It can respond to any queries that you may have. The museum also has entertaining and educational exhibits, so your family will enjoy visiting too.
5. National Lighthouse Museum
The National Lighthouse Museum is within easy walking distance of the ferry terminal. It features a collection of more than 180 lighthouse models and exhibits. The museum is free and open to the public.
The museum’s task is to maintain the history of lighthouse keepers and the history of lighthouses around the country. Seasonal boat tours to local lighthouses and port sights are free.
How to Visit Staten Island?
There are several ways to visit Staten Island, including ferrying or driving. Unfortunately, there is no subway transportation way to get to Staten Island. But, there is a subway that runs withing Staten Island.
Staten Island is only accessible from Brooklyn via the Staten Island Ferry or the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, as crossing the water is required. Taking the ferry is an excellent option if you want to see both sides of the island (North and South). It’s also a reasonable mode to see the island from start to finish in just a few hours.
The MTA now runs all the buses on Staten Island. Through a deal with the New York City Economic Development Corporation.
Staten Island Railway is a reliable subway system that runs withing Staten Island only.
Now that you know all of Staten Island’s secret history and stories, it is time to book a trip and explore. The island is home to many legends and captures the attention of tourists worldwide because of its rich inheritance. Plan a trip today.