Staten Island & Staten Island Ferry, New York City
I was told about this option - taking a ferry ride for free to have a view of the skyline of NYC from the river - but I didn't have time for this during my first visit to the Big Apple.
However, this time I rode the metro, reached the Ferry terminal on the south tip of Manhattan and jumped on a boat that took me to Staten Island and back to Manhattan. It was a nice experience as this is the closest I've ever been to the Statue of Liberty and it looked really nice all illuminated against the dark sky. The trip itself is a little boring but not too long, and it gets exciting when you start approaching Staten Island, look back and gradually have a full view of Manhattan with its million lights and high buildings illuminating the night and the waters of the river. You can also see the bridges communicating Manhattan with the firm land, all illuminated too. It's a marvelous view and the best thing is that you don't have to pay a dime or even walk to see this panorama. Just jump on the boat, sit back and relax..... enjoy the view!
Fondest memory: I loved to see the world's most famous skyline from the water, although it was a VERY COLD trip... I wanted to be outside all the time so I could get the best view and take some pictures... unfortunately all of them came out dark or unfocused, so I don't have a postcard-like photo of NYC by night. And the wind outside was really strong and cold, so I nearly froze while admiring the view.
Also, keep in mind that you will see the Ferry Terminal really packed with people trying to catch the boat. But don't panic: the ferry is REALLY big and holds a bunch of people, so you shouldn't have any problem getting in - no matter how many people are waiting on line before yourself! It's the only place where the crowd shouldn't be a problem. I took the ferry on a rush hour and I could go back and forth without any problem or delay. The boarding is also very quick, so it shouldn't take you long to jump in, travel from one island to the other, and then go back (if that's what you want).
Ride the Staten Island Ferry! Round trip to and from Staten Island is free, and taking a car costs $3 each way (I think!). You get a close up look of the Statue of Liberty, great photo opportunities of the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Island, and a relaxing ride on the water. What more could you want?
For more info: www.siferry.com
If you want to leave SI right away, just go out the turnstile and then get back on the next ferry. If you want to stay, there is a bus to whisk you away. Bring a bus map!
Why pay the admittance fees of the Liberty Island tour and then not get to go up in the statue of Liberty? See the statue up close and FREE by taking the Staten Island Ferry from the city to Staten Island. You get a relaxing 20 minute ride, disembark, time to check out the new acquariums at the SI terminal, then board the next ferry back to the city. Day or night, a pass by Lady Liberty is a must do!
UPDATE: Well, guess what? They finally opened the statue of Liberty again this year (2009) and now visitors to the island CAN go up into the crown! Still don't think it's worth the cost of admission, and the interior is cramped and there's all those steps to climb, but if you want to do it (and I did, back in 1988) now you can.
You can get a terrific view of the Island of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty from the Staten Island Ferry. Even better, It's free. You really can't beat that on a gorgeous day or a clear summer's night.
This picture was from Summer 2001 - before September 11. Our daughter lived in Staten Island at that time, and we'd take the ferry to and from the city.
Fondest memory: I always loved to take people to the top of the World Trade Center. It was one of my favorite places in the world. It will be a long time before I see the skyline and not think of all that is missing.
Fondest memory: to take the staten island ferry it is beautiful and free,and to go to the grand central terminal it is beautiful too,and there is a beautiful passage there full with food like a food market,beautiful and tasty.
Favorite thing: ride the Staten Island Ferry (free!) cradled in the arms of a boy on a cold winter night; wander around the city searching for no monuments, just absorbing the intense life and excitement swirling around the streets; walk the brooklyn bridge smoking blunts; disco skate in Central Park and mack on the macho guys showing off; play hide and go seek in P.S. 1; have a psychedelic time in a little india restaraunt in the eat village, surrounded by christmas lights and tin foil; visit the Brooklyn botanical gardens; have iced tea on Mott Street in Chinatown; walk through the East Village on a cool spring/fall night passing all the people checkin' you out from their outdoor cafe seats
take the Staten Island Ferry to view Downtown Manhattan and Statue of Liberty
Fondest memory: The nice New Yorkers who not only take time to give us detailed directions, one at Riverside Park cared enough to check if we went the right way and walked all the way back cross the street to see if we needed more help, and the other New Yorker came from UK went out of his way took us on a long walk to exit the underground maze like metro station to get to the Time Square, and rushed back to make sure we will get to the best part of Time Square.
Despite the fact that there's a lot here other than NYC, I would still rate it as the best part of the state. I'm hoping to get my NYC page up soon, so I'll leave specific ideas of things to do there for that site.
Fondest memory: I have two items for this category. One is taking the Staten Island Ferry across to Manhattan, which gave me great views of the Statue of Liberty and of Lower Manhattan. My other choice is visiting the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, a fascinating museum for all baseball fans.
take a boat from the Staten Island Ferry Terminal at Battery
Park and enjoy the trip to Staten Island (first entry for early immigrants) and then, of course, to The Statue of Liberty.
Fondest memory: Take an early breakfast on Sunday morning at McDonalds in Times Square and walk all the way to Central Park (via the
sidewalk open market selling beautiful flowers). Join the many joggers and roller bladers gliding their ways in the park. Have a picnic in the park and watch all those characters around... join the crazy gang!!
Favorite thing: We decided to check out the Staten Island ferry one morning since we heard it was free and that it offers a pretty good view of Manhattan. We took one morning and we took the subway to Bowling Green and we walked the rest of the way. The ferry service operates between Whitehall street in Manhattan and St. George on Staten Island. The ferry terminal on the Manhattan side was a bit of a mess as they are expending it or maybe building a new. Well, it felt like we were waiting at a construction site before we could get on the boat. We grab a seat on the left side…excuse me…the port side of course :-) This didn’t give us that much of a view so when we came over to Staten Island we switched sides. Well, first everyone had to get of and then we could board again. Come to think of it we were also sitting on the port side when going towards Manhattan again :-) Anyway, this time we were facing the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island and the view was great. I think the trip took about 30 minutes each way.
Take the Staten Island Ferry!!
It takes you past the Statue od Liberty, Ellis Island and gives a great opportunity to take pictures of Manhatan.
And best of all, it's free!!!
If you don't wan to stay at Staten Island, after leaving the boat, turn around to take the same boat back.
Fondest memory: Those gulls above ferry impressed me very much. It seems that they are not moving, but just fixed with invisible strings.