New York City, globally recognized for its iconic skyline, is now turning the spotlight on its lesser-known borough: Staten Island. As part of the pioneering “Get Local NYC” campaign, the New York City Tourism + Conventions organization is rolling out the red carpet, welcoming travellers from Southeast Asia and beyond to experience Staten Island’s rich history, diverse neighbourhoods, and vibrant local culture.
Known by many for the stunning Liberty Statue views via a complimentary ferry from Battery Park, Manhattan, Staten Island offers much more than meets the eye. From ancient landmarks dating back to the 17th century to scenic beaches and global gastronomic delights, the island promises an immersive New York experience.
Delving through its history, one can trace the footsteps of giants like Benjamin Franklin and John Adams at the Conference House. Peace negotiations with the British were attempted in 1776 in this pivotal location. On a lighter note, sports aficionados can root for the FerryHawks baseball team while basking in panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline across the expansive New York Harbor.
The allure doesn’t end there. The Empire Outlets, New York City’s exclusive outlet shopping destination, awaits shoppers with a promise of memorable finds. Meanwhile, families can embark on enlightening escapades at the Staten Island Zoo, the Children’s Museum, and iconic locations like the Chinese Scholar’s Garden at Snug Harbor.
Staten Island’s tapestry of over 60 neighbourhoods spread across its 60 square miles boasts a unique charm. Despite being the borough with the smallest population (approximately 500,000), it is home to a significant percentage of homeowners, with 66% owning their abodes.
The St. George neighbourhood provides a magnetic pull with attractions like the poignant Postcards memorial commemorating the lives lost on 9/11 and the notable St. George Theatre, which has hosted luminaries from Al Jolson to Jerry Seinfeld. As food lovers indulge in diverse culinary offerings, from the thin-crust delights of Pier 76 to Enoteca Maria’s authentic global cuisine, comic enthusiasts can explore the treasures at Hypno-Tronic Comics.
Further north, the Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden showcases a blend of historical architecture and botanical wonders, including the famed Chinese Scholar’s Garden. In the vicinity, the Staten Island Zoo introduces visitors to a world of biodiversity, with a notable collection of rattlesnakes stealing the limelight.
Historic Richmond Town offers a journey back in time, narrating 350 years of Staten Island’s illustrious past. Meanwhile, Tottenville, situated at the island’s southwestern apex, hosts the venerable Conference House, a testament to American resilience during the Revolutionary War.
Navigating Staten Island has never been easier. Two ferry services provide seamless connectivity from Manhattan, while an extensive network of buses, taxis, and the Staten Island Railway ensures smooth transit across the borough. Visitors travelling by car have the luxury of accessing the island via four significant bridges, offering unparalleled convenience.
Fred Dixon, President and CEO of New York City Tourism + Conventions, aptly summarized the allure of Staten Island, stating, “From its historic landmarks and cultural attractions to its serene natural landscapes, Staten Island presents a microcosm of experiences for every traveler.”
For an in-depth guide on the myriad wonders of Staten Island, visit nycgo.com/statenisland. Join the voyage and experience Staten Island as a true New Yorker.
Written by: Matthew Thomas
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