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A Borough Away

Verrazzano Bridge via Elite Photography

Staten Island, while many may refer to it as the forgotten borough, has so much more to offer than just a barely monumental reputation. Though some may view Staten Island as being the runt of the pile, or the butt of every borough’s jokes, as residents of this historic city- we know there are hidden gems among our little home.  Often overlooked by tourists and even some locals, Staten Island is a hidden gem that boasts natural beauty, rich history, vibrant communities, and unique attractions. In this blog, we’ll dive into the reasons why Staten Island deserves to be discovered and explored.

At the heart of Staten Island’s natural allure is the expansive Staten Island Greenbelt. Spanning an impressive 2,800 acres, this vast natural oasis is a haven for diverse flora and fauna. As you explore the Greenbelt, you’ll find yourself immersed in a world of forests, wetlands, and meadows, each offering its own unique charm. Towering trees, vibrant wildflowers, and tranquil ponds create a soothing ambiance, inviting visitors to escape into the tranquillity of nature. The Greenbelt is crisscrossed with a network of hiking trails that wind their way through the lush greenery, providing endless opportunities for adventure and exploration. As you traverse these trails, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes. Rolling hills, sparkling streams, and hidden waterfalls paint a picturesque scene, offering a feast for the eyes and a chance to reconnect with the natural world. 

Staten Island carries a rich historical heritage that is often overlooked. One of its most notable landmarks is Historic Richmond Town, a living history village that takes visitors back in time to colonial America. With over 30 historic structures, including a courthouse, a schoolhouse, and a church, this open-air museum provides a glimpse into the borough’s past. Staten Island is also home to the famous Conference House, where a peace conference took place during the American Revolution. Exploring these landmarks offers a unique perspective on the history of New York City. 

Staten Island is renowned for its cultural diversity, with a melting pot of communities that contribute to its vibrant atmosphere. Neighbourhoods like St. George and Stapleton showcase Staten Island’s rich architectural history with their charming Victorian-era homes. Walking through these streets feels like stepping back in time, with their well-preserved facades and distinct character. These neighbourhoods have become hubs for artists, creatives, and small businesses, further adding to the cultural vibrancy of the area. Beyond these specific events, Staten Island’s cultural diversity is evident in its vibrant arts scene, with galleries, theatres, and performance spaces showcasing the talents of local artists and performers. The Staten Island Museum, for instance, exhibits a diverse range of art, history, and science, providing an avenue for residents and visitors to engage with various cultural expressions.


Beyond its natural beauty and historical significance, Staten Island offers a range of unique attractions that set it apart. The Staten Island Zoo is a small but delightful zoo that houses a variety of animals, including kangaroos, reptiles, and birds. For art enthusiasts, the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden is a must-visit, featuring stunning botanical gardens, art galleries, and the Staten Island Museum. The National Lighthouse Museum showcases the maritime history of the area, while the Staten Island Children’s Museum provides interactive exhibits for young learners.

Staten Island may be New York City’s best-kept secret, but its hidden treasures are waiting to be discovered. With its natural beauty, rich history, diverse communities, and unique attractions, this borough offers a refreshing escape from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan. Whether you’re exploring the lush greenery of the Staten Island Greenbelt, immersing yourself in the borough’s fascinating history, or enjoying the cultural diversity and vibrant communities, Staten Island has something for everyone. So, venture beyond the well-trodden paths and uncover the hidden gem that is Staten Island. You won’t be disappointed. 

Manhattan view from Staten Island via Elite Photography