Day Trip to Staten Island

Climb aboard the ferry to this island, where gardens in bloom, historic architecture and cultural attractions galore awaken NYC’s sleepy suburban borough.

THE SECRET GARDEN

Majestic Greek Revival buildings stand tall at Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden (1000 Richmond Terr., btw Harbor Rd. & Tysen St., 718.448.2500), an arts center that hosts performances and exhibitions. The grounds feature a collection of gardens, crowned by the New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden.

PIONEER PHOTOJOURNALIST

Decades before the term photojournalism was coined, Alice Austen documented NYC life from the 1880s to the 1950s. One of the first female photographers to work outside of a studio, she chronicled the lives of Manhattan “street types” (ragpickers, peddlers, cleaners) and the local Quarantine Station, where immigrants awaited admittance to Ellis Island. Images from her prolific portfolio can be seen at the Alice Austen House (2 Hylan Blvd., at Edgewater St., 718.816.4506).

Greenbelt Conservancy (Dorothy Reilly)

PICNIC IN THE PARK

Nearly 3,000 acres of preserved natural forest, known as The Greenbelt (Nature Center, 700 Rockland Ave., at Brielle Ave., 718.351.3450), provide a serene setting for hiking, picnicking and outdoor recreation.

CULTURE ON TAP

German culture dominates the culinary scene throughout this borough. See what’s brewing at Nürnberger Bierhaus (817 Castleton Ave., btw Regan & Davis aves., 718.816.7461) or Killmeyer’s (4254 Arthur Kill Rd., at Sharrots Rd., 718.984.1202), and chow down on authentic bratwurst, schnitzel and sauerbraten.

Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art

TIBET REVEALED

Designed to resemble a Himalayan monastery, the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art (338 Lighthouse Ave., near Winsor Ave., 718.987.3500) showcases pieces from one of the earliest U.S. collections of sculpture, instruments, scroll paintings (thangkas) and furniture from the largely Buddhist region in a contextual setting. The museum pursues its mission to advance greater understanding of Tibetan culture though presentations, lectures, film screenings and special events.

Joni Sweet
About the author

Joni serves as the New York associate e...