Travel via the Staten Island Ferry, which runs 24/7, free of charge. During the 25-minute ride, you’ll have great views of both the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Pro tip: the ferry has wifi and a relaxed BYOB policy.
Just a short walk from the ferry terminals is “Postcards,” an outdoor sculpture by Masayuki Sono that honors the 274 Staten Island residents killed in the 9/11 attacks and the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing.
From there head to the National Lighthouse Museum, which is located on the grounds of the former U.S. Lighthouse Service “Super” Depot on the North Shore of Staten Island. Spend an hour or so learning about the history and purpose of lighthouses and those who watch over them.
We recommend enjoying the afternoon at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden. Once a 19th century charitable rest home for sailors, the grounds have been converted into an arts center and public park, consisting of 14 distinct botanical gardens, wetlands and a two-acre urban farm.
And of course, food. Staten Island is well known for its Italian cuisine, but did you know the borough is also home to a vibrant Sri Lankan population complete with a “Little Sri Lanka?” The area has drawn many foodies, including the late, great Anthony Bourdain. Our rec? Try New Asha for its reasonably priced roti and curries, the latter of which have been called “reason enough” to make the ferry commute.