Out of Borough Adventures: Staten Island
October 6, 2017
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If you’ve never been to Staten Island, you’re not alone. Known as the Forgotten Borough, the residential land mass south of the Statue of Liberty maintains a reputation of inadequate substance and a lack of fun. But this is far from the truth: there is much to be done in a day on New York’s southern island.
Getting to Staten Island is easier than getting to the Bronx. Take the R, W or 1 train down to South Ferry and hop on the free Staten Island Ferry. It comes every 30 minutes, and more frequently during rush hours. Not only will you get some great pictures of the Financial District, but it’s also a free trip past the Statue of Liberty without having to deal with the tourists fighting for a great picture.
Upon arrival, head over to Project Brunch on the south side to start your morning with a great breakfast and one of its famously over-the-top hot chocolates. This hot spot has been featured on INSIDER Travel, popularizing the little shop and making Staten Island a hard borough to forget.
Following your morning dining experience, drop some cash at New York City’s only Primark, an Irish department store that sells everything from clothes to home decor at especially low prices. The expansive shopping place is located inside the Staten Island Mall. While you’re there, check out some of the other shops to get that authentic mall experience.
Hit the food court on your way out and head over to Freshkills Park for a beautiful view of natural greenery, something Manhattan sorely lacks. It’s a great place to get back in touch with a nature that consists of more than just sidewalk trees and subway rats. The park offers kayaking and a photography tour for new visitors.
If physical activities aren’t your cup of tea, head north to the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden at 1000 Richmond Terrace to explore the center’s New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden. The garden offers visitors a tranquil place to explore different species of flora native to China.
Once you’ve had your dose of nature for the day, head to the waterfront and marvel at the current construction of the New York Wheel, a structure that is on track to be on of the largest ferris wheels in the world. The ride opens in spring of 2018, so mark your calendars — you will not want to miss this historic opening.
Not into heights? Try a concert at the St. George Theatre at 35 Hyatt St. Upcoming shows include the Plain White T’s 20th anniversary concert (tickets range from $39 to $59) and a LeAnn Rimes acoustic show (tickets range from $45 to $75).
And after you’ve seen the ins and outs of what Staten Island has to offer, head back over on the ferry for a nighttime view of the city. While it may not be the borough of Broadway and Central Park, the charm of Staten Island’s slower-paced way of life gives New Yorkers a nice break from reality, without even leaving the city.
Email Alyssa Kelly at [email protected]