The Staten Island Ferry is one of the top free attractions in NYC. This ferry began service in 1817, becoming a city service in 1905, and now carries millions of passengers each year between the outer borough of Staten Island and South Ferry in lower Manhattan.
The 25-minute ferry ride is popular with tourists as it travels past the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island and offers panoramic views of Lower Manhattan, making it a fun and easy way to see the city from the water.
The ferry docks at St George on Staten Island, which is an up-and-coming neighborhood known for its historic buildings, diverse restaurants and inviting pubs. Tourists should definitely take the time to explore some of the neighborhood sights and have a meal before returning to Manhattan.
The St George Historic District is located near the ferry pier and is a charming enclave of almost 100 historic buildings and Colonial-era homes. Another historical attraction in the neighborhood is the St George Theatre. Built in 1929, this theater was one of the most extravagant theaters in all of NYC when it opened. It was recently renovated and is now once again hosting big names in music and entertainment.
Before departing on the ferry, stop in at Enoteca Maria for some of the city’s best Italian food. The restaurant is still relatively quiet despite having received critical acclaim from several of the city’s top food critics. The restaurant has a somewhat unique kitchen staff, as the kitchen is manned by a rotating crew of Italian grandmothers. The menu changes nightly, depending on who’s cooking, and the food could not be more authentic or delicious.
It’s incredibly easy to reach the Staten Island ferry terminal from our boutique hotel The MAve in Midtown, just take the train from 28th Street and Broadway to Whitehall Street Downtown. The total journey time on the train is only 20 minutes and the ferry runs 24 hours a day.