Richmond County, Staten Island, New York

Staten Island (/ˌstætən/) is a borough of New York City, coextensive with Richmond County, in the U.S. state of New York. Located in the city’s southwest portion, the borough is separated from New Jersey by the Arthur Kill and the Kill Van Kull and from the rest of New York by New York Bay. With a population of 495,747 in the 2020 Census, Staten Island is the least populated borough but the third-largest in land area at 58.5 sq mi (152 km2).

Home to the Lenape indigenous people, the island was settled by Dutch colonists in the 17th century. It was one of the 12 original counties of New York state. Staten Island was consolidated with New York City in 1898. It was formally known as the Borough of Richmond until 1975 when its name was changed to Borough of Staten Island. Staten Island has sometimes been called “the forgotten borough” by inhabitants who feel neglected by the city government.

The North Shore especially the neighborhoods of St. George, Tompkinsville, Clifton, and Stapleton—is the island’s most urban area. It contains the designated St. George Historic District and the St. Paul’s Avenue-Stapleton Heights Historic District, which feature large Victorian houses. The East Shore is home to the 2.5-mile (4 km) F.D.R. Boardwalk, the world’s fourth-longest boardwalk. The South Shore, the site of the 17th-century Dutch and French Huguenot settlement, developed rapidly beginning in the 1960s and 1970s and is now mostly suburban. The West Shore is the island’s least populated and most industrial part.

Ferry Terminal
Photo by Ajay Suresh

Motor traffic can reach the borough from Brooklyn by the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and from New Jersey by the Outerbridge Crossing, Goethals Bridge, and Bayonne Bridge. Staten Island has Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) bus lines and an MTA rapid transit line, the Staten Island Railway, which runs from the ferry terminal at St. George to Tottenville. Staten Island is the only borough not connected to the New York City Subway system. The free Staten Island Ferry connects the borough to Manhattan across New York Harbor. It provides views of the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and Lower Manhattan

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The Top attractions in Richmond County, New York

Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden Just a ferry ride away from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, this Staten Island gem, a former home for retired sailors, is still somewhat of a secret. Spread across 83 acres, the area has an enormous botanical garden and cultural center surrounded by cobblestone streets and tiny paths of Victorian and Tudor homes. One of the most popular attractions here is the Chinese Scholar’s Garden, fitted with magnificent rocks meant to resemble mountains inspired by the poetry and paintings of Confucian, Buddhist and Taoist monks, as well as a bamboo forest path and Koi-filled pond.

Marie’s 2

Satisfy your hunger on some of New York City’s best pizza at this Italian staple, which boasts a full menu: pizza by the slice, pasta, calzones, sandwiches and even rib eye. The portions are generous, so come hungry. You’ll leave with your stomach feeling  full. Most of the entrées as well as the 16-inch pizzas are priced well under $20

National Lighthouse Museum

You can check out more than 180 lighthouse models from 29 states, view life-size historical images and reading the personal stories of various beacon keepers, this museum sells tickets ($60) for boat tours that explore nearby lighthouses, ship graveyards and other attractions on New York Harbor and the East and Hudson rivers.

Staten Island Ferry

The price of a harbor crossing between Staten Island and lower Manhattan may be the only activity in New York City that’s cheaper today than it was in 1817. In 1817 it was 25 cents; today, it’s free. This 24-hour ferry is a lifeline for commuters making their way from NYC’s southernmost borough, but it’s also a boat trip affording some of the finest views in the world. Keep your eyes peeled for Governors Island to the east and Ellis Island and Lady Liberty to the west as the Manhattan skyline recedes in the vessel’s wake.