Plan A NYC Day Trip

The Perfect Staten Island Day Trip

By Alex Tervooren, Founding Editor, Foodstrolls April 12, 2024

When we began brainstorming for an adventure, we created the perfect Staten Island Day Trip adventure!

1. Ride the Staten Island Ferry

We love all ferries, especially when they're free. The Staten Island Ferry terminal is right next to the Whitehall St. - South Ferry subway station, great for families living downtown or close to the 1 or R subway lines. Ferries depart every thirty minutes, and the ride itself is about twenty minutes of picturesque perfection, passing The Statue of Liberty and Governor's Island along the way. You can enjoy the entire ride outdoors on one of their three deck levels, and once you arrive at St. George terminal (Staten Island), the bus and ferry terminals are connected.

At this point, you can take your trip in one of two directions. There’s the Museums and Botanical Gardens route, or the Zoos and Ice Skating option. Both have plenty of outdoor activities and are equally accessible by bus, Uber/Lyft, or car.

2a. Explore the Snug Harbor Cultural Center

The Snug Harbor Cultural Center is an 83-acre collection of Museums, Gardens, Memorials, and outdoor green spaces that used to be a retirement community for sailors in the 1800s.  You could explore all of it in a few hours or spend the entire afternoon.  Certain indoor attractions, like The Staten Island Museum and Noble Maritime Collection, are open and not crowded.  But if all you do is meander around to admire the 19th Century architecture and extensive gardens, it's a worthwhile stop.  Just don’t forget to check out the New York Chinese Scholar's Garden, a traditional Chinese Garden and site of a 2014 Katy Perry fashion shoot!

2b. Visit Clove Lakes Park

Clove Lake Park is our favorite green space on Staten Island. It packs attractions like the Staten Island ZooWWII Veterans Memorial Ice Skating Rink, and boat rentals into an area easily walkable with young children. The zoo and ice rink are relatively unknown, and we prefer them to some of the more famous ones in other boroughs. Walking across the park from the zoo to the ice rink is just over a mile, and doing both attractions in tandem is a great way to spend an afternoon.

3. Eat at Joe and Pat's

The best pizza in NYC is a cliche. Distrust anyone who tells you they know where to find it. Like a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, you may think you see it, but you’ll never find it! Just don’t tell that to our kids who declare Joe and Pat’s "the best restaurant in the world" every time they eat their Tri-Pie. When indoor dining is permitted, they have a spacious dining room which typically isn't too crowded.

4. Visit Egger’s Ice Cream Parlor

We know you may not be craving ice cream this time of year, but we trust your kids won’t mind. Besides, even if you just order for the little ones, Eggers Ice Cream Parlor at Navy Pier (not the Forest Ave or Richmond Town locations) is right next to Stapelton Waterfront Park, a great place to visit because of its beautiful views of the New York Harbor and Verrazano Bridge.

5. Check out the National Lighthouse Museum

If you make it all the way back to the ferry with time to spare, check out the National Lighthouse Museum. We aren't particularly knowledgeable about lighthouses, but this museum has some interesting stuff, including 180 mini replicas of lighthouses from all over the world, and a nice historical timeline of lighthouses around New York Harbor. And it’s right next door to the ferry terminal.

Transportation and other information

To get to Snug Harbor Cultural Center by bus from the ferry terminal, head to Ramp D and take the S40 to Richmond Terrace/Snug Harbor Rd. Advance tickets can be reserved for the Staten Island Museum, but you have to purchase the tickets for entry to the Maritime Collection and Chinese Scholar’s Garden when you get there.

To get to the Staten Island Zoo by bus from the ferry terminal, head to Ramp C and take the S48 to Forest Ave/Clove Rd. To go directly to the ice rink from the ferry, take an S62 from Ramp A to Victory Blvd/Clove Rd. Advance tickets can be reserved for the Staten Island Zoo. Entrance to the Ice Rink is walk up and cash only.

Joe and Pat’s is a one-mile walk from the Ice Rink (or a 3 minute Uber/Lyft).

You’ll need to Uber/Lyft from Joe and Pat’s to Egger’s. From there it’s 1.5 miles back to the ferry terminal. There are several buses that run up and down Bay St, and it’s two stops on the Staten Island Railroad between Stapleton and the St George terminal. Or you could just walk!

Most attractions are open on weekends only, so check in advance.

For those in a car, parking is free and easy everywhere in Staten Island. Check the road map here.

Alex is the founder and creator of, an alternative food, travel, and mommy blog (written by a daddy) seeking to encourage families to experience different cultural perspectives while exploring NYC’s diverse neighborhoods. Follow him on InstagramFacebook and Twitter.

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