Staten Island is the most suburban of the five boroughs of New York City. Although still predominantly residential in nature, the borough has changed significantly since the opening of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge in 1964. It is the closest borough to New Jersey's Newark International Airport. You may want to consider staying in a hotel on Staten Island due to its proximity to Newark Airport, and the lower taxi fares and shorter travel times as opposed to Manhattan (the taxi fare is $45 to any point in Staten Island plus up to $10 in tolls, but it is less delay-prone).
Although Staten Island is statistically the least diverse borough, the North Shore of Staten Island has some diverse sections. In addition to the ones mentioned below, like St George and Tompkinsville, Port Richmond is a diverse neighborhood, with a large number of Spanish restaurants, and a decent number in nearby Mariners' Harbor.
Other neighborhoods of note are:
West New Brighton the neighborhood where the Staten Island Zoo is located.
Livingston to the east of West New Brighton and to the west of New Brighton, it is the location of the Snug Harbor Cultural Center, which includes the Staten Island Children's Museum.
Tottenville at the southern tip of the island is the location of the Conference House.
New Springville the location of the Staten Island Mall.
Staten Island can be reached by passenger ferry from Manhattan. The ferry is the best option for arriving on the island, as it passes by Liberty Island and offers stunning views of the Manhattan skyline and New York Harbor. The ferry is free and operates 24 hours a day out of Battery Park in Manhattan and St. George Terminal in Staten Island. The ride to either terminal takes 30 minutes and runs about twice hourly (four times during rush hours and less frequently on weekend and late nights after 11pm).
Buses connect at the St George Ferry Terminal going to destinations all over Staten Island. The buses can be grouped according to their service area:
North Shore: S40 series (S40, S42, S44, S46, S48)
Cross Island: S50s series (S51, S52)
Victory Boulevard: S60s series (S61, S62, S66, S67)
South Shore: S70s series (S74, S76, S78)
Limited routes: S80s and S90s series (S81, S84, S86, S90, S91, S92, S94, S96, S98)
Other routes on Staten Island that do not depart from the Staten Island Ferry Terminal are the S53, S54, S55, S56, S57, S59, S60, S79, S89, and S93. These routes follow the same general rule regarding their service area.
Outerbridge Crossing connects Perth Amboy, New Jersey and Tottenville, Staten Island.
These last 3 bridges have a $8.00 toll payable only when entering Staten Island, not leaving it. The carpool toll is $2.00 with 3 or more people in a car, payable only with E-Z Pass.
A moderately priced option is to take an express bus from Manhattan to Staten Island. The express buses are especially handy when you are traveling to places on the South Shore, which is the furthest section of Staten Island from the ferry, and has fewer local routes running than the more densely populated North Shore. The $5.50 fare is payable with MetroCard (pay-per-ride only), Express Bus Plus MetroCards or coin change. Dollar bills are not accepted.
The X1 and X10 routes run along Broadway in Manhattan (starting at around Central Park South/Seventh Avenue and East 57th Street/Third Avenue, respectively), with the X1 running along Hylan Boulevard and Richmond Avenue to Eltingville and the X10 running along the service roads of the Staten Island Expressway (North and South Gannon Avenues) to Port Richmond. Both routes run daily, the X1 leaving Manhattan from 7:30AM to 1:35AM weekdays, 7:00AM to 12:30AM Saturdays, and 7:30AM to 11:00PM Sundays, and the X10 leaving Manhattan from 7:20AM to 1:15AM weekdays, 8:30AM to 11:45PM Saturdays, and 8:35AM to 10:30PM Sundays. The X1 leaves Eltingville Transit Center from 3:30AM to 10:00PM weekdays, 5:10AM to 10:30PM Saturdays, and from 5:30AM to 8:30PM Sundays, and the X10 leaves Castleton Avenue at Jewett Avenue from 5:25AM to 10:00PM weekdays, 5:30AM to 9:00PM Saturdays, and 6:30AM to 9:00 PM Sundays.
X17 service also runs from parts of the South Shore weekdays from 4:05AM to 3:45PM, and Saturdays from 5:30AM to 7:00PM. It leaves Manhattan from 10:25AM to 11:30PM weekdays, and from 7:15AM to 8:30PM Saturdays.
Other express routes service to other parts of the island also run during the rush hours in the peak flow direction (to Manhattan in the morning, to Staten Island in the afternoon).
The wait times for an express bus are about 4-10 minutes during rush hours, 15-25 minutes other times. The Staten Island bus map ; (service descriptions ) covers the routes on the island.
There is also the option of taking the S53/S93/S79 buses from the 4th Avenue & 86th Street subway station in Brooklyn. These bus routes cross the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge into Staten Island. Since these are considered local bus routes, you can pay for the ride by depositing $2.25 in coins in the farebox or swiping your MetroCard.
From Bayonne, you can take the S89 Limited bus during rush hours from the 34th Street Hudson-Bergen Light Rail station.
The Staten Island Railway is a hybrid of a railroad and a subway line. Fares are the same as a subway ride (US$2.25), and it runs 24 hours, at intervals from 15 minutes during weekdays to hourly overnight, synchronized to the ferry schedule. Fares are collected only at St. George Ferry Terminal and Tompkinsville (You can walk from Stapleton to the ferry, though the distance is about a mile. It is not recommended to do this late at night because the ferry runs every hour and the area is somewhat unsafe). During rush hours, express service is provided and the locals terminate at Great Kills.
Bus routes  cover the island pretty thoroughly. There are two types of buses:
The local buses run routes all over Staten Island and are distinguished by the S before the route number (ex. S55, S78). They have uncomfortable plastic seats and cost $2.25. During rush hours, some buses run Limited and stop at major cross streets and transfer points. For example, the S62 starts at Jewett Avenue, making all stops east, while the S92 makes all stops west of Jewett Avenue that the S62 normally makes, while stopping only at major streets like Clove Road east of Jewett Avenue. The numbers of the local and limited routes usually correspond (S62/S92, S46/S96)
The express buses are distinguished by the X in the coded display on the front of the bus (ex. X1, X17). These buses run from Staten Island to Manhattan, have more comfortable cloth seats, and cost $5.50.
Most routes on the island meet up at the St. George Ferry Terminal. Other major transfer points include Port Richmond, with some buses terminating at Richmond Terrace at Port Richmond Avenue; the Staten Island Mall; and the Eltingville Transit Center on the South Shore, the last with MetroCard vending machines and express service to Manhattan.
Fares can be paid in quarters or dollar coins (if you can find them). You can also use a MetroCard (good for all public transportation in NYC) purchasable at some delis or at the machines located at the ferry terminal. Buses run close to schedule, but service on Staten Island is sparse outside of rush hours, and even during peak hours, the most frequent headway is 10 minutes. If possible, pick up a schedule for routes that you'll plan to take or check the Guide-A-Ride box for exact times whenever possible.
Historic Richmond Town,  by taking the S74 bus from the ferry (bus ramp B).
Snug Harbor Cultural Center,  by taking the S40 or S44 buses from the ferry (bus ramp D).
Portions of Gateway National Recreation Area are on Staten Island. You can take the S78 or S79 along Hylan Boulevard for the section in Great Kills or the S76/S86 for the section in New Dorp.
Greenbelt Nature Center,  is an educational center in the Staten Island Greenbelt Nature Area and Parks system by taking the S57 from Port Richmond. The S74/S84 and the S61/S91 stop a few blocks away. The S74/S84 leave from Ramp B. The S61/S91 leave from Ramp A
South Beach & Boardwalk,  by taking the S51/81 bus from the ferry (bus ramp B).
Staten Island's 9/11 Memorial is a short walk from the ferry terminal.
Willowbrook Park, Eton Place at Richmond Avenue or Victory Boulevard at Morani Street (S62/S92 to Morani Street, S44/S94 to Eton Place). A large park with a carosel.
Visit the Staten Island Museum. It is a short walk from the ferry terminal. Admission is only $2.
Go to a game of the single-A Staten Island Yankees, 75 Richmond Terrace, Tel. 718-720-9265, Fax 718-273-5763, email: email@example.com.
Staten Island Zoo, 614 Broadway, . Located in West New Brighton, it's a fun destination for younger children as well as animal enthusiastsby taking the S53 bus from Brooklyn, or the S48/98 buses from the ferry (bus ramp C).
The Staten Island Greenbelt is one of the largest parks in the city, with miles of hiking trails and excellent views from the highest hills on the island. Take the S61/S91 from Ramp A of the St George Ferry Terminal or the S74/S84 from Ramp B of the St George Ferry Terminal. Transfer from the S74/S84 to the S54 or S57 at Rockland Avenue or walk.
Alice Austen House, 2 Hylan Boulevard (Take the S51/S81 from bus ramp D of the ferry terminal to Hylan Boulevard.).
Wolfe's Pond Park, (Take the S78 bus (ramp D) to Seguine Avenue).
South/Midland Beach, Father Capodanno Boulevard (S51/S81 from Ramp B of the ferry).
Conference House, 7440 Hylan Bouevard (Take the S78 (Ramp B) to Hylan Boulevard at Main Street). Dates back to the Revolutionary War
Staten Island Children's Museum, 1000 Richmond Terrace (Snug Harbor) (S40 or S44 bus (Ramp D)).
Staten Island Mall, located in the center of the island. It has three anchor stores: Macy's, JCPenney, and Sears. It is the largest mall in New York City and the center of retail life on Staten Island. There is a large food court with fast food restaurants such as KFC, Taco Bell Express, and Nathans. There are also various shopping centers spread through the vicinity. Take either the S44/S94 from bus Ramp D of the ferry, or the S61/S91 from bus ramp A (the quicker option).
Atrium Stadium Theaters, 680 Arthur Kill Road, Staten Island , NY, ☎ (718) 984-7600. The only movie theater on the south shore , so if ever in the Tottenville section of the island that would be the movie theater to go to. Take the S74/S84 to Richmond Avenue from bus ramp B of the ferry terminal.
UA Hyland Plaza 5, 107 Mill Road, Staten Island, NY (S78 from Bus Ramp D or S79 from Brooklyn), ☎ (800) 326-3264 x635. One of two Movie theaters on the North Shore , It is surrounded by several restraunts and conveniently in a shopping plaza on Hylan Blvd. If you are ever in South Beach this would be the closest movie Theater.
Ralphs Italian Ices, 501 Port Richmond Avenue (S44/S94 from bus ramp D). Summer time favorite for most Staten Islanders , Long lines and long hours along with the variety of tasty flavors is what makes this such an attractions and a place to buy and delicious ices.
United Artists Theater, 2474 Forest Avenue (S40/S90 buses from ramp D of the terminal or X30 express bus from Manhattan). The other movie theater on the North Shore.
While the vast majority of Staten Island eateries are Italian, there are some gems of ethnic cuisine in the St. George and Tompkinsville neighborhoods, the area around the ferry terminal and the Staten Island Yankees stadium. Home to a large Sri Lankan community, St. George has many grocery stores and restaurants. Mostly within a mile of each other on Victory Blvd. (and in walking distance from the ferry terminal), the authentic and inexpensive restaurants serve up flavorful South Asian cuisine well worth the trip.
Paolucci's, 412 Forest Avenue (Take the S48 (Ramp B) to Sharon Avenue). As good Italian as you'll find on the North Shore.
Beso, 11 Schuyler Street (Leave the ferry terminal, cross the street, make a right, left on Schuyler). New Spanish restaurant with live music occasionally. Tapas and sangria bring some much needed class to the neighborhood. A short walk from the ferry and a great place to eat.
Bay House Bistro, 574 Bay Street (Staten Island Railway to Stapleton, S51 or S76 bus to Prospect Street (bus ramp B)). One of the best Asian take outs going. Focus on the appetizers, heavily influenced by Southeast Asian cuisine, particularly Malaysian. Try the roti canai or the curry veggie pies.
Taqueria Gallo Azteca, 75 Victory Boulevard, ☎ 718 273 6404. The cemitas are to die for, a sandwich with your choice of meat, with avocado, chipotle peppers, quesillo, and beans. One of the best sandwiches you'll ever have.
Goodfella's, 1817 Victory Boulevard (S61/S91 S62/S92 S66/S67 from Bus Ramp A to Manor Road). Famous for their vodka pizza, the recipient of several awards.
Joe And Pat's, 1758 Victory Boulevard (S61/S91 S62/S92 S66/S67 from Bus Ramp A to Manor Road), ☎ 718 981 0887. Specializes in an extraordinarily thin pizza that is one of the best slices in the city. Uniquely thin without too much cheese, Joe and Pat's slices are some of the lightest in the city. Try the eggplant fries.
Lakruwana, 226 Bay Street. One of the more elegant eateries. Its fine decor and delicious meals belie the outrageously inexpensive prices. Sundays offer a lunch and dinner buffet.
Lakshmis's Restaurant, 324 Victory Boulevard (Victory Blvd & Cebra). Mainly a take-out establishment but has a few chairs and tables. The menu is comprehensive, offering Homemade Roast (Ros) Paan, Achchu Paan, Kimbula Paan, Malu Paan, Malu Roti, Elawalu Roti, Kalu Thothol, and other Sri Lanka delicacies.
New Asha Restaurant, next door to Lakruwana at 322 Victory Blvd. Offers many of the same items at competitive prices. There are several Sri Lankan groceries that dot the street on the 15-20 minute walk from the ferry.
Denino's Pizza Tavern, 524 Port Richmond Ave., Tel # 718-442-9401. Arguably the best pizza on Staten Island. It is reasonably priced and has good dishes besides pizza. After a meal here it is tradition during the spring/summer months to walk across the street to Ralph's Ices and get one. Not doing so will not only offend the locals but will also leave just a small part of your stomach unsatisfied. Take the S44/S94 from Bus Ramp D at St George
Sushi Excellent, 366 New Dorp Ln. Trendy Japanese Restaurant with great service and food. Is somewhat expensive relative to other sushi places on the island but is well worth it. There is semi-private seating available on the second floor with a reservation with both traditional Japanese and regular tables.
S76/S86 to Hylan Boulevard (Bus Ramp C) or S78 to New Dorp Lane (Bus Ramp D) or S79 to New Dorp Lane (from Brooklyn)
Cargo Cafe, 120 Bay Street, ☎ (718) 876-0539, . Laid back eatery. Cool decor. Excellent appetizers and burgers. Great beers on tap. Entertainment weekly!
Real Madrid, 2073 Forest Avenue (S48/S98 to Union Avenue (Bus Ramp B), X12/X42 or X30 express buses from Manhattan to Union Avenue), ☎ 718) 447-7885. A restaurant with authentic Spanish food.
Spain Restaurant, 502 Jewett Avenue (S48/S98 to Jewett Avenue (Bus Ramp B), X13, X14, X16, X30 express buses from Manhattan to Jewett Avenue), ☎ (718) 816-8237. A Spanish restaurant
Nurnberger Bierhaus, 817 Castleton Avenue (S46 to Davis Avenue (Bus Ramp B)). Offers a wide variety of imported German beers and well-prepared, authentic German food. There is an outside beer garden that offers a limited menu, open in seasonable weather. Beers are served in liter steins and the food is as good as any you will find in Germany.
There is beer is on the Staten Island Ferry. It is cheap (by NYC standards). A 16 ounce can of Bud/Miller will cost $3.50
Hilton Garden Inn Hotel, 1100 South Avenue, . Easily accessed by the West Shore Expressway. It is newly constructed and is much like any other Hilton in the USA. Take the S46/S96 from bus ramp C of the ferry terminal or shuttle bus. Get off at Lois Lane. It is located south of Exit 6 on the Staten Island Expressway (coming from New Jersey, get off at Exit 4 (Forest Avenue) and make a right at South Avenue).
Staten Island Hotel, 1415 Richmond Ave., . Centrally located right off Exit 7 of the Staten Island Expressway (I-278). You can take the S44/S94 from bus ramp D. Get off at Lander Avenue. From Manhattan, you can take the X17 or X10 express buses to Lander Avenue.
Staten Island can be divided into two parts: North Shore and South Shore. The South Shore is primarily suburban residential neighborhoods with small commercial establishments usually within five minutes driving distance. The North Shore has more apartment buildings and public housing, called "Projects". There is very little crime in the South Shore. Some parts of the North Shore, however, have some crime rate and while these areas are generally safe during the day, you should avoid mistakenly walking into or around seedy neighborhoods by yourself at night.