Let’s face it: Staten Island doesn’t get much love. Many people who don’t live in the United States, or even outside the New York metropolitan area, have never even heard of this place. Staten Island is part of New York City, a borough just like Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx. It is the smallest in population, having just under a half-million inhabitants. The easiest way to get there is to take the Staten Island Ferry, located at the southern tip of Manhattan, at Whitehall Terminal, South Ferry, near Battery Park.
Here are some great places to check out when visiting this often-forgotten borough of the Big Apple:
Conference House Park – This was the site of a 1776 peace conference between representatives of the Continental Congress and the Commander of British Forces during the Revolutionary War.
Garibaldi-Meucci Museum – This home is the historic home of Antonio Meucci, the true inventor of the telephone, and Giuseppe Garibaldi, a legendary hero who championed the unification of the Italian state.
Fort Wadsworth – Gateway National Recreation Area – One of the oldest military sites in the United States, Fort Wadsworth guarded New York City for almost 200 years.
Richmond County Bank Ballpark – Home of the Staten Island Yankees.
Sandy Ground Historical Museum – Founded in the early 19th century by freed black men from New York, Sandy Ground is the oldest community established by freed slaves in North America.
Staten Island September 11 Memorial – Dedicated to the Staten Island victims of terrorist attacks.
Staten Island Zoo – New York City’s biggest little zoo features an internationally acclaimed reptile collection.
Staten Island Museum (SIIAS) – The Staten Island Museum – SIIAS (the Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences) is devoted to the history of Staten Island and its people.
Snug Harbor Cultural Center – Originally a housing residence for retired seaman, Snug Harbor is an 83-acre National Historic Landmark District whose grand 19th century buildings house Snug Harbor Cultural Center, The Botanical Gardens at Snug Harbor, The New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden, and many other Cultural Organizations.
Snug Harbor Botanical Gardens – The Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden is a 53 acre natural woodland with over 20 specimen gardens.
*Most information provided by the Office of the Borough President, Staten Island, NY.
*UPDATE: Staten Island may soon be home to the world’s tallest Ferris Wheel!