Staten Island has long held the reputation of being ‘the forgotten borough’ in New York City and is an area that often tends to go unnoticed, as compared to the other popular boroughs in the city.
Perhaps, it’s because of the fact that it is the only borough in NYC that is connected to the subway. It is surrounded by water from all sides, so in order to get there, one has to depend on a long ferry ride that takes you to and from the island.
However, that’s what makes Staten Island so unique and special. There’s so much to discover in this beautiful borough, most of which has largely been unexplored before. You’ll probably be surprised to know that this part of NYC has so much to offer from natural beauty and picturesque views to unlimited opportunities and entertaining activities to do.
Even though it’s the least populated of all boroughs in New York, many people are moving there in today’s time for different reasons of their own.
The island is packed with a lot of love, excitement, beauty, and charisma, making it a place absolutely worth a visit. Here are seven things to love about the forgotten borough that will simply make you fall in love with it!
1. It Is the Borough of ‘Parks’
Staten Island is the greenest borough in New York City and is often referred to as the ‘borough of parks.’ It is home to almost 9300 acres of parkland where more than a third is protected greenspace.
This borough is actually one of the very few places in the city where you can truly bring out your adventurous side, leave your urban traces behind and go on exciting hiking and camping trips.
One of the many reasons why residents of Staten Island love living here is the beautiful parks and green spaces that sprawled all across the borough.
If you ever feel like relaxing amidst nature where there is nothing but serenity, peace and quiet, you must visit High Rock Park in Staten Island. It is considered to be the most tranquil of all places in NYC and is largely characterized by its deep woods and calm ponds.
It also has a few walking trails where you will come across highbush blueberries, skunk cabbages and red maples along the way on the trails.
One of the most notable features of this park is Mt. Moses, a 260-foot hill that offers a 360-degree panoramic view of the island. To this date, it is considered to be one of New York City’s most spectacular sights ever!
2. The Staten Island Ferry
There’s probably nothing more exciting than riding across the gushing waters in a ferry as it takes you all around town on a fun adventure. The Staten Island ferry is quite popular among its residents as they take the ferry to Manhattan and explore incredible sights along the way, such as the Statue of Liberty, Lower Manhattan, and Ellis Island.
The ferry provides such a great opportunity for you to explore the beauty of the city and just enjoy the cold breeze as it lightly hits against your hair and face and release a cool effect.
The best part about the ferry is that it’s absolutely free, so grab a few drinks and snacks and absorb the beauty of this wonderful city.
3. Rich, Cheese, Crispy Pizza
Many people often say that alongside being the ‘borough of parks,’ Staten Island should also be called the ‘borough of pizza.’
It is undoubtedly home to some of the richest, cheesiest and crispiest pizzas in town that will send your taste buds to a real culinary heaven. If you ask any person living in this borough about what their hometown offers the best and they are likely to say pizza!
You will find delicious pizzas and super-crisp pies in this part of New York City, where pizza parlors can easily whip up a perfect pizza for your appetite.
Among numerous other restaurants, Joe & Pat’s Pizzeria and Restaurant wins the title of being the ‘best pizza place’ in Staten Island. Since 1960, Staten Island has been known for its exceptionally thin-crust pizzas that are super crispy yet so easy to bite into.
4. Low Cost of Living
One of the most attractive features about Staten Island is its lower cost of living, which translates into reasonable rentals of apartments and high savings. This is particularly true when you compare it to the other boroughs like Brooklyn and Manhattan. If money is a problem for you, Staten Island is your best option.
5. Watch History Come to Life
If you are big on learning about a city’s history and take a drip down the historical events of the past, you will love the Historic Richmond Town in this borough. They say that if you want to watch history come alive, this is the place to be.
This site is spread out over 30 buildings where all the smells, sounds, events, tastes, and sights from New York City’s rural past come to life. It is considered to be the most complete and historic village in the city that evokes hundreds of years of history and culture on this island.
6. The Hub of Exclusive Art
The streets of Staten Island are home to the most exclusive art scenes that you’ll ever see in life. As you walk down places like Bay Street or Richmond Terrace, you will come across vibrant living galleries from some of the most talented local artists in the city.
You may even see some of the best works of Doug Schwartz, a renegade nature artist known for creating unique pillar-like sculptures for many years.
7. Rich History in Brewing
If you are one of those people who like a bottle of beer with everything, you will be happy to know that this borough has quite a rich history in brewing.
Staten Island takes great pride in its Flagship Brewing Co., one of its first brewing businesses that eventually transformed into a cultural hub. The brewery has hosted a number of beer festivals since its inception and produces some of the best beer in town!
Forgotten, But Truly Rich and Exotic
One simply can’t deny the beauty of Staten Island; this borough is rich, exotic, and absolutely beautiful. So many people call it home and are in love with this part of NYC!
If you think you would ever consider moving to Staten Island, let us find a home for you there. The chances are that once you go there, you might not want to come back!
Loving Staten Island but need to do more research? Check out our other local guides here.