Staten Island Travel Guide

Discover the culturally rich and naturally beautiful Staten Island, with our week-long itinerary and guide to attractions, dining, accommodations, and transportation options.

Introduction to Staten Island

Welcome to Staten Island, the southernmost borough of New York City and the third-largest borough in land area. Nicknamed “the forgotten borough,” Staten Island is a hidden gem, blessed with a rich cultural heritage, a vibrant food scene, and abundant natural beauty. A visit to Staten Island offers a refreshing break from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan and will leave you with unforgettable memories.

List of Places to Visit in Staten Island

From historical landmarks to natural wonders, Staten Island has something for everyone. Here’s your list of must-visit places in the borough:

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Staten Island Museum - With exhibits highlighting the borough’s natural and cultural history.
  • Staten Island Zoo - Home to over 1,100 animals from all over the world.
  • Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden - This 83-acre complex features museums, gardens, theaters, and more.
  • National Lighthouse Museum - Discover the history of lighthouses and their keepers.
  • Conference House Park - Visit the site where Revolutionary War peace talks were held.

Natural Attractions of Staten Island: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Greenbelt Nature Center - Learn about Staten Island’s ecosystems and enjoy miles of hiking and biking trails.
  • Great Kills Park - A beach, fishing pier, sports fields, and bird-watching opportunities, all in one place.
  • High Rock Park - Find waterfalls, forests, and peace and quiet in this 200-acre park.
  • Mount Loretto Unique Area - Explore this 200-acre nature preserve with woodlands, wetlands, and open fields.
  • Fort Wadsworth - This historic fort features stunning views of Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and New York Harbor.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Staten Island

Staten Island is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, with over 30 miles of scenic bike paths and hiking trails that will take you through some of the borough’s most beautiful landscapes. Here’s a list of standout routes:

  • Greenbelt Trail - A 35-mile trail that traverses Staten Island’s diverse terrain. You can join at one of several access points, including High Rock Park and LaTourette Park.
  • South Beach Boardwalk - This scenic boardwalk runs 2.5 miles along the oceanfront.
  • The Alice Austen House to Fort Wadsworth - This 6-mile route takes you from the historic home of photographer Alice Austen, through several parks, and ends at the fort.
  • Ocean Breeze Trail - A 3.3-mile paved path that takes you through the Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex, with views of the wetlands and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

Best Things to Do in Staten Island: Activities and Tours

From guided tours to fun activities, Staten Island has something for everyone. Here are some of our top picks:

  • Staten Island Ferry - This free ferry ride offers incredible views of the Statue of Liberty and Lower Manhattan.
  • Richmond County Bank Ballpark - Home to the famed Staten Island Yankees, catch a game with a stunning backdrop of New York Harbor.
  • The Staten Island FunPark - Located adjacent to the Staten Island Mall, find go-karts, mini-golf, and batting cages to enjoy.
  • Historic Richmond Town - A living history village, with over 30 buildings restored to reflect the borough’s colonial past.
  • The Flagship Brewery - This taproom features beer brewed on-site, with live music and events.

Week-Long Itinerary for Staten Island

Here’s a comprehensive itinerary to make the most of your week in Staten Island:

Day Activity
Monday Visit the Staten Island Zoo in the morning. Spend the afternoon exploring Conference House Park.
Tuesday Take a guided tour of Historic Richmond Town in the morning, followed by lunch at Denino’s Pizzeria and Tavern. Spend the afternoon at High Rock Park.
Wednesday Head to Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden for the morning. Have lunch at Lakruwana, a Sri Lankan restaurant. Spend the afternoon at Fort Wadsworth.
Thursday Take a guided hike through the Greenbelt Trail in the morning. Follow it up with lunch at Lee’s Tavern. Spend the afternoon at the Alice Austen House.
Friday Take the Staten Island Ferry to Manhattan for the day.
Saturday Visit the National Lighthouse Museum in the morning. Have lunch at the Flagship Brewery. Spend the afternoon at Great Kills Park.
Sunday Spend the day relaxing at South Beach.

Food and Drink Scene of Staten Island

Staten Island’s food scene is a melting pot of flavors, with influences from the borough’s Italian, Sri Lankan, and Mexican communities. Here are some must-try dishes and local beverages:

Must-Try Dishes

  • Pizza - Staten Island is known for its pizza, with Denino’s and Goodfella’s being favorites.
  • Pasta - Italian fare is abundant here, and Enoteca Maria is a standout.
  • Sri Lankan Food - Lakruwana and New Asha are two restaurants that serve authentic Sri Lankan cuisine.
  • Mexican Food - The Surf Taco chain has several locations in Staten Island.

Local Beverages

  • Staten Island Beer Company - This brewery produces award-winning craft beer.
  • Flagship Brewery - A taproom with a rotating selection of beers brewed on-site.
  • Albright’s Candy - This family-owned candy shop has been in business for over 100 years.
  • Total Wine & More - A wine and spirits store with a vast selection.

Where to Stay in Staten Island: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Staten Island has several accommodations to fit your budget and preferences. Here are some options:

  • Hilton Garden Inn - This hotel is a short walk from the Staten Island Ferry Terminal.
  • Victorian Bed & Breakfast - A charming, Victorian-era B&B in St. George.
  • Fort Place Bed & Breakfast - Located near the Staten Island Zoo, this B&B offers free parking and a family-friendly atmosphere.
  • Ramada by Wyndham Staten Island - This hotel is near the Staten Island Mall and has an on-site restaurant.

What to Buy in Staten Island: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Staten Island has several unique items to take home as souvenirs or gifts:

  • Staten Island Ferry T-Shirt - Commemorate your free ferry ride with a T-shirt from the gift shop.
  • Alice Austen House Postcard - Purchase a postcard of this historic home to remember your visit.
  • Albright’s Candy - Bring back some handmade candies to share with friends and family.
  • Local Artwork - Several galleries sell artwork by local artists.

Local Culture and Customs of Staten Island

Staten Island’s residents are friendly and hospitable, with a deep pride in their community. It’s important to note that the borough does not have the same frenzied energy as Manhattan, so be prepared for a more laid-back atmosphere.

Best Time to Visit Staten Island

Staten Island is an excellent year-round destination, with each season offering different activities and events. Spring and fall are beautiful with moderate temperatures, making them ideal for outdoor activities. Summer months offer free outdoor concerts and festivals, while winter sees the opening of ice-skating rinks and holiday markets.

Do’s and Don’ts of Staten Island


  • Take the free Staten Island Ferry for amazing views of the harbor and Statue of Liberty.
  • Visit at least one of the beautiful parks to appreciate Staten Island’s natural beauty.
  • Try some of the borough’s many dining options, particularly Italian cuisine.
  • Engage with locals, who are friendly and willing to share their knowledge and pride about Staten Island.


  • Underestimate the amount of time it takes to get from Manhattan to Staten Island. Plan for extra time during rush hour.
  • Limit yourself to just one part of the borough. Staten Island has much to offer across its neighborhoods.
  • Assume the food is the same as in Manhattan. Staten Island has its own unique food scene worth exploring.

Safety and Health

Safety in Staten Island

Staten Island is a relatively safe borough, and it’s unlikely you’ll experience any issues. There are, however, a few areas to take precautions in, such as St. George and Port Richmond.

Health in Staten Island

Staten Island has several hospitals and medical facilities, including Staten Island University Hospital and Richmond University Medical Center. It’s important to note that medical care in the United States can be costly, so consider purchasing travel insurance before your trip.

Getting to Staten Island: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Staten Island

Three airports serve New York City: JFK International, LaGuardia, and Newark Liberty International. From there, you can take a cab, shuttle service, or public transit to Staten Island.

Bus Stations Near Staten Island

The Staten Island Ferry Terminal serves as a popular bus hub for the borough. You can also take buses to Staten Island from nearby New Jersey and Brooklyn.

Other Options

The Staten Island Ferry is a free and fun way to reach the borough. You can also take the train from Manhattan to Staten Island via the Staten Island Railway.

How to Get Around Staten Island

Staten Island has several transportation options to help you get around:

  • Staten Island Ferry - A free ferry that runs 24/7 between Staten Island and Manhattan.
  • Staten Island Railway - A train that runs from the St. George ferry terminal to Tottenville, with several stops in between.
  • Buses - Several routes connect all corners of the borough.
  • Taxis and Ride-Share Services - Available throughout the borough.

Where to Go Next from Staten Island: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Staten Island is well-positioned for several exciting day trips. Here are a few nearby destinations worth exploring:

  • Coney Island - Home of the famed Cyclone roller coaster and the historic boardwalk.
  • Jersey Shore - A summer hotspot with miles of beaches and boardwalks.
  • Grounds for Sculpture - 42 acres of landscaping, sculptures, and dining located in Hamilton, New Jersey.


Staten Island is a borough like no other, full of charm, history, and hidden delights. With so much to see and do, it’s easy to see why it’s a favorite among locals and visitors alike. We hope this guide has inspired you to explore all that Staten Island has to offer. Safe travels!