NYC's Hidden Gem: 4 Pretty Cool Things to Cross off Your Staten Island Bucket List This Summer

Ah, Staten Island. 

The forgotten borough.

Not sure why it's called that since Staten Island is actually a hidden gem if you go to the right places. 

Staten Island is home to acres of parkland, unique museums, historic sites, delicious restaurants and more.

We promise the ferry ride will be worth it!

1. Get cultured

Brooklyn doesn't have to be your only destination for art and music. Did you know Staten Island hosts its own visual and performing arts festival every summer? LUMEN8 is an exhibition celebrating the past seven years of Staten Island Arts’ LUMEN Festival. 

The exhibit will feature video, sound art, performance art, and ephemera from past festival participants and honor the artistic genres that the festival highlights.


In case you miss out on LUMEN, you can still enjoy the all of the creative inspo the island has to offer the second Saturday of every month. Second Saturday Staten Island is a year-round art even series on the island's north shore. Their events regularly include visual art, music, dance, and performance art. 

Not sick of outdoor music series yet? Good, because we've got more lined up on the island this summer. Movies Under the Stars features free movies at parks across all five boroughs. The first showing will be Jaws at Franklin D. Roosevelt Boardwalk and Beach. 

2. Get your nature fix


The heart of Staten Island is home to 2,800-acres of nature’s rugged beauty – the Greenbelt. This summer, you can discover “Forever Wild sites” – mature forests, wetlands, meadows, wildlife and over 35-miles of marked hiking trails. Take a break from the chaos of NYC life and experience nature’s beauty.

The New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden is one of those truly unique attractions. It features magnificent rockery that resembles the mountains that inspired the works of Confucian, Buddhist and Taoist monks. 

You can explore eight pavilions, a bamboo forest path, waterfalls, a Koi-filled pond, Chinese calligraphy, and a variety of Ghongshi scholar’s rocks including a 15-foot formation that towers over the central courtyard. Not bad for the forgotten borough, huh?

Since the 1800s, Staten Island's Eastern Shore has been a haven for tourists and beach goers. The pride of the shoreline is the South Beach Boardwalk, which stretches almost two miles!  

3. Taste the flavors of the island

You can't discuss the best of NYC pizza without mentioning Staten Island. And you can't discuss SI pizza without mentioning Denino's. Denino's boasts an award-winning thin crust pie. But they're not just about pizza. They use their family’s recipes for their Chicken Parmigiana, Meatballs and Sausage. 

Since here's no shortage of Italians on the island, there's no shortage of good Italian food here as well. Pastacerria Bruno is a Staten Island staple. The traditional restaurant features a Manhattan-style atmosphere and regional Italian specialties. 

What's dinner without dessert? And what's Staten Island without Ralph's? Ralph's Italian Ice is an SI classic. There's a reason why the line gets crazy in the summer. With over 150 flavors to choose from, there is guaranteed to be something for everyone. 

4. Go on an adventure


Known as one of the most tranquil places in NYC, High Rock Park is acclaimed for its quiet ponds and deep woods. The park contains five ponds and various wetlands, six walking trails, along which visitors can see stands of red maples, highbush blueberries, and patches of skunk cabbage. Walk along the trails or climb Mt. Moses, a 260-foot hill named for City builder and Parks Commissioner Robert Moses.

Did you know Staten Island is home to one of the country's oldest military installations? Fort Wadsworth occupies 226 acres on the northeastern shore of Staten Island, on the Narrows of New York Harbor. 


Rich in history and natural beauty, Fort Wadsworth gives you the opportunity to observe an important part of our nation's history, while offering amazing views of New York Harbor.

No real adventure is complete without visiting an abandoned hospital. The Sea View Hospital Ruins are leftovers from what was once a children's hospital. If you're looking for a thrill, a walk through the ruins will totally satisfy the adrenaline-junkie in you. 

[Feature Image Courtesy Instagram] 

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