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Exploring Staten Island – A beginner’s handbook

Often overshadowed by its counterparts, Staten Island stands as a hidden gem within the bustling expanse of New York City. Beyond merely traversing its streets en route from Newark Airport to Brooklyn, there lies a plethora of experiences waiting to be uncovered.

For those orchestrating a bespoke group excursion through the Big Apple, a detour to Staten Island promises a panoramic perspective of the city’s boroughs.

New York City

Delve deeper into the essence of Staten Island as we unveil its top attractions, culinary delights, and group travel tips.

Navigating Staten Island as a Cohort

While New York boasts a renowned public transit system, Staten Island operates on a slightly different wavelength. Devoid of the ubiquitous subway network, the borough relies on alternative modes of transportation such as the Staten Island Railway, extensive bus routes, and of course, the iconic ferry service.

Top Activities to Enjoy in Staten Island

Discover some of the most rewarding experiences during your group excursion to Staten Island:

Statue of Liberty Views from the Staten Island Ferry

Embark on a free voyage aboard the Staten Island Ferry, running 24/7 between Staten Island and Manhattan. As you traverse the waters, relish stunning views of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Departing from the St. George Ferry Terminal at Staten Island’s northern tip, the ferry journey to Lower Manhattan’s Whitehall Terminal takes about 25 minutes. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to admire Lady Liberty up close without spending a dime!

Charter Bus Parking Tip: Due to limited parking at the St. George Ferry Terminal, consider alternative parking at the nearby Richmond County Bank Ballpark. Note that fees may apply for parking oversized vehicles.

Explore Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden

Dive into history and nature at Snug Harbor, often hailed as Staten Island’s “crown jewel” and a must-visit for tourists. Originally founded in 1801 as a retirement haven for sailors, Snug Harbor now sprawls across an 83-acre park hosting museums, art galleries, and serene gardens.

Explore Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden

Spend a delightful afternoon exploring the Staten Island Museum, the New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden, the Noble Maritime Collection, and contemporary art exhibits. Keep in mind that access to certain areas may require the Snug Harbor Discovery Pass, and additional fees may apply for special events.

Charter Bus Parking Tip: Multiple parking lots are available on the Snug Harbor campus, but inquire about charter bus parking availability when planning your group visit.

Capture Memorable Moments at Fort Wadsworth – Gateway National Recreation Area

Immerse yourself in history and scenic beauty at Fort Wadsworth, a historic military site dating back to 1663. Once a vital defense post during wartime, the area is now a public park boasting historic fortifications like Fort Tompkins and Battery Weed. Explore bike trails, enjoy panoramic views of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and the Manhattan skyline, and capture picturesque moments during sunrise or sunset across the New York Harbor.

Charter Bus Parking Tip: Opt for parking at the Visitor Center near the Bay Street entrance for convenience at Fort Wadsworth.

Where to Dine with a Crowd in Staten Island

Indulge in Staten Island’s diverse culinary scene with your group, as every borough in New York boasts a rich array of dining options. Here are a couple of eateries to consider for a delightful group dining experience:

Enoteca Maria Address: 27 Hyatt St, Staten Island, NY 10301

Phone: 718-447-2777

Elevating your dining experience, Enoteca Maria stands out among Staten Island’s restaurants, having earned the prestigious Bib Gourmand recognition for its exceptional value for money. The restaurant embraces a unique concept, revolving around the continual transmission of culinary wisdom across generations and cultures. Each evening, a different “nonna” takes charge of the kitchen, infusing the dishes with a distinct cultural touch. Whether it’s savory delicacies from Italy, Argentina, Palestine, Sri Lanka, or Greece, Enoteca Maria promises a diverse and delectable menu every night.

Conveniently located near the St. George Terminal, the restaurant accommodates group reservations, providing an ideal setting for friends or family to gather, enjoy a communal meal, and relish the comforting ambiance that feels just like home.

Where to Dine with a Crowd in Staten Island

Charter Bus Navigation Tip: Navigate the somewhat narrow roads of this area with caution, as full-size charter bus rentals might face challenges. Opting for a minibus is advisable, allowing your driver to drop off your group near the restaurant before finding suitable parking along Richmond Terrace or at Richmond County Bank Ballpark.

Patrizia’s Of Staten Island

Location: 4255 Amboy Rd, Staten Island, NY 10308

Contact: (718) 317-6600

For large groups seeking a warm and authentic Italian dining experience, the locally cherished Patrizia’s is a must-visit. Boasting a spacious dining area and a Family Style Tasting Menu, Patrizia’s provides an ideal setting for sizable group gatherings or special occasions such as birthday dinners. Indulge in a variety of delectable dishes, including seafood delights like baked clams and calamari, classic pasta options like spaghetti with meatballs and eggplant parm, or savor a selection of wood-burning brick-oven pizzas.

Reservations are highly recommended and can be secured over the phone. Inquire about the availability of the private dining room if you’re interested in group dining.

Charter Bus Navigation Tip: A shared parking lot is conveniently situated in front of the restaurant, with additional street parking available on Old Amboy Rd in case the lot reaches capacity.

Lakruwana Restaurant Location: 668 Bay St, Staten Island, NY 10304

Contact: 347-857-6619

Catering to groups of enthusiastic foodies with hearty appetites, Lakruwana Restaurant is a standout choice for a weekend culinary escapade. Nestled in Staten Island’s Stapleton neighborhood, this intricately-decorated gem specializes in authentic Sri Lankan cuisine and earned a coveted spot in the 2022 Best-of Guide for Staten Island by Michelin. Delight your taste buds with savory and flavorful offerings like fish lamprais and lamb biryanis. For those with insatiable hunger, the all-you-can-eat buffet from Friday through Sunday is a tempting option.

Group reservations (5 or more) are available, and outdoor seating can be arranged upon request.

Charter Bus Navigation Tip: Limited street parking surrounds Lakruwana, and securing a spot directly in front of the restaurant may pose a challenge. It’s advisable for your driver to drop off the group before scouting the area for suitable parking.

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