For the last in our series of bitesized guides to New York’s boroughs we head across the bay to Staten Island. From beaches and boardwalks to Beaux Arts buildings, the borough offers some unexpected treats.
South Beach and Midland Beach
One of Staten Island’s most popular attractions, South Beach sees thousands of people flock to its boardwalk for regular free concerts and fireworks with great views of Manhattan. Just down the coast is Midland Beach, which is perfect for sunbathing and swimming. Children love running through the sprinklers at the Sea Turtle Fountain
St. George Historic District
Situated on the North Shore, the area is an enclave of around 80 architecturally significant buildings. Grab a walking tour map from the Council on the Arts and Humanities for Staten Island at Snug Harbour and stroll around the beautiful Beaux Arts buildings, including the French Renaissance-style Staten Island Borough Hall building.
Take a tour of the Fort Wadsworth fortifications that sit underneath the Verrazanno Narrows Bridge. One of the oldest military sites in the United States, the fort guarded New York City for almost 200 years. Now inactive, visitors can explore the catacomb-like passageways and marvel at the panoramic views of Lower Manhattan from one of the city’s highest elevations.
Great Kills Park & Beach
Get in touch with nature at this sprawling park and beach in the heart of Staten Island. The park is home to a beautiful beach for swimming as well as nature trails, great fishing, a marina, a public boat launch, paths for walking and jogging and playing fields. It makes up part of the Gateway National Recreation Area that stretches across 26,000 acres (10,521 hectares) throughout New York City.
Staten Island Zoo
Keep kids entertained at Staten Island’s animal house. The zoo features a vast reptile collection, a tropical rainforest, an aquarium and a New England farm-themed Children’s Centre where nippers can get up close and personal with their favourite farm friends.
Roller Jam USA
Don your skates and head to the only indoor roller rink in the city. The rink is a ten-minute walk from the Richmond Valley stop on the Staten Island Railway and is great for kids and big kids, it even offers free lessons to beginners on Wednesdays.
Staten Island Ferry
Don’t bother paying out big bucks for an official boat tour of the city. Instead do as real New Yorkers do and jump on the free Staten Island Ferry. The trip provides some of the best views of Lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty en route to Manhattan.
Richmond County Bank Ballpark
This beautiful 6,500-seat stadium is home to the minor league Staten Island Yankees – a Class A minor-league baseball team established in 1999. Savor the simple pleasures of one of America’s favourite pasttimes and catch an atmospheric game or just enjoy spectacular views of the Upper Bay and the downtown Manhattan skyline. The ballpark also features concerts and other special events.
Getting there from Downtown
Journey time: About 25 minutes on the free Staten Island Ferry from the Whitehall St South Ferry Terminal in Lower Manhattan.
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