Staten Island Ferry is free and imho one of the best "cheap dates" in the city.
Board on the right side or the front of the boat for departure from Manhattan so you get a good look when you pass the Statue of Liberty, then get in the front or front-left side on the return to Manhattan to see Liberty again and the bridges & South Manhattan.
Ferry leaves each terminal every half hour on the half hour, departing from the new ferry terminal on the east river just south of the Fulton market.
Ride takes a little under 30 minutes, and there is actually time (if you are not planning to sightsee on Staten Island) when you arrive (if you hurry) to hustle off the ferry and go around to hop right back on the same boat for the return to Manhattan so you don't end up waiting around half an hour for the next boat.
Bring your camera. The view of the bridges and the Statue of Liberty is unforgettable.
Bring your own refreshments. Lots of people do, from snacks / sandwiches to beers and cokes, & the crew doesn't seem to mind.
Bottom line: I think the Staten Island ferry is great and I'll probably do it every time I go to NYC if weather / visibility is decent.
The price is right.
New York's best deal is the absolutely free Staten Island Ferry which runs between Staten Island and Manhattan. The Staten Island Ferry overs views of some of the New York's most famous sights, including Ellis Island, the Lower Manhattan skyline, Verrazano Narrows Bridge, Elizabeth Seaport, and the Statue of Liberty. It runs each half hour between the two points; each trip takes 25 minutes. After riding to Staten Island from Manhattan, you can get off, hop right back on, and head back.
Other objects visible from the ferry are the World Financial Center, 40 Wall Street, tugboats and large cargo ships, the forested residential areas on Staten Island, the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, and Governor's Island; to get the best view, head to the right side of the ferry when you get on.
It's free! You can take the ferry across the harbor, FOR FREE, and take beautiful pictures of the lower manhattan skyline. You also go right past the Statue of Liberty. It's great for photo ops for the budget traveler.
South Street Seaport is not too far.. so you could do both in the same afternoon. There is no reason to hang out on Staten Island so just get back on the ferry and come back - perhaps for dinner at the South Street Seaport. It's a short walk going north.
Spanning the Narrows, a strait between Brooklyn and Staten Island, Verrazano Narrows Bridge is one of the most impressive bridges in New York, and also one of the most impressive bridges in the United States. With a central span of 4,620 feet between it's two towers, the Verrazano Narrows Bridge is also the longest suspension bridge in the United States, with a span that is easily longer than any other of New York's famous bridges. The bridge is named after an Italian explorer who was apparently the first European to enter New York Harbor. At the moment, there is (sadly) no pedestrian walkway over the bridge; you can only cross by car, for a fee of $9. However, if New York Mayor Bloomberg holds his words, that is slated to change, and you may soon be able to walk over the longest suspension bridge in the US.
I went to friday night game to the see the minor league Staten Island Yankees. It was the best thing I did in NYC. We took the ferry across (free) walked five minutes to the stadium, and paid $11 for a seat at first base four rows up.
The park is right on the river so you have this panoramic view of manhattan while watching the game in an old-style ball park.
Very friendly people, and a very family-friendly atmosphere with lots of goofy inter-inning antics from the team mascot.
Skip the yankees (and the $100 ticket price) and instead take a relaxing break in a lovely stadium right on the water.
If you wanna see the Statue of Liberty but don't necessarily need to visit it, then hop on the FREE Staten Island Ferry. You need to hurry to the deck when you get in because you won't be the only one to have thought of this, but it is most definitely worth it.
ITS FREE Which is great and it sails past the Statue of Liberty which is also great.
Staten Island looks like a neat place in which to live.
Snug Harbor on Staten Island is nice I walked there and back taking in the view and admiring the local homes.
Its a place to relax.
Probably the best views of Lower Manhatten. And it's free for the round trip. It does get packed with tourists all vying for the best spot to take pics, but worth it. We did get off on Staten Island for a bit of a wander, but unless you have some time to get on a bus and away from the ferry port, there isn't a lot there. Most people, I think, just stay on the ferry over and back.
Bought out ticket. Determined to do it to say we had. Ended up walking for a mile or so. That was the queue and still never reached the end. Decided at that point to stand from afar and take a photo of the statue (very in the distance) but had more worthwhile things to spend our time on as it was our last day. Went to Ground Zero site by accident as we walked away from the ferry terminal. Not morbid as I thought but amazing to see how quickly the whole area has been developed. Paused for thought though at how it must have been on that day..
Riding for free on the ferry was one of my favorite things to do in NYC. We didn't have time to visit Staten Island itself, but the ride was worth it. Classic views of the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty, and you can re-live your favorite scene of the movie "Working Girl" from the 1980's :) The trip also provides some time to write those postcards you've put off writing and provides you with a great ambiance to complete them in. The trip is approx 20-30 minutes one way. Once in Staten Island you MUST step off the ship and enter again through the terminal. Don't be alarmed when they require you to get off and get back on for the round trip, we were able to get right back on the ferry.
The Staten Island Ferry provides 20 million people a year ( 70,000 passengers a day ) with ferry service between St. George on Staten Island and Whitehall street in lower Manhattan.
The ferry is the only non-vehicular mode of transportation between Staten Island and Manhattan. NYC DOT operates and maintains the eleven vessel fleet as well as the St. George Ferry Terminal on Staten Island, Whitehall Ferry Terminal in Manhattan, the City Island and Hart Island Facilities, The Battery Maritime Building and, all floating dock building equipment.
The Staten Island Ferry is run by the City of New York for one pragmatic reason: To transport Staten Islanders to and from Manhattan. Yet, the 5 mile, 25 minute ride also provides a majestic view of New York Harbor and a no-hassle, even romantic, boat ride, for free! One guide book calls it " One of the worlds greatest ( and shortest ) water voyages."
From the ferries deck you will have a perfect view of The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. You'll see the skyscrapers and bridges of Lower Manhattan receding as you pull away and coming into focus again as you return.
A typical weekday schedule involves the use of five boats to transport approximately 70,000 passengers daily (104 daily trips). During the day, between rush hours, boats are regularly fueled and maintenance work is performed. Terminals are cleaned around the clock and routine terminal maintenance is performed on the day shift. On weekends, three boats are used (64 trips each weekend day).
Over 33,000 trips are made annually.
The Staten Island Ferry, like the walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, is one of New York's great _free_ attractions. Going out, you get a striking view of the Statue of Liberty. Coming back, standing at the rail and the ferry steams toward the towers of Lower Manhattan, you feel just like Barbra Steisand in "Funny Girl."
Unfortunately, my camera was having "issues" that day, and this is the only one of my Ferry pictures that turned out.
This is a great way to get a sense of New York City, if you don't have time to go to the statue of Liberty or the Ellis Island. I took the Staten Island ferry just for taking pictures of the surrounding area as well as a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty and the Ellis Island. I didn't have to do anything else, just sit down, or walk around taking pictures while the ferry cruised to the Staten Island. If you want, you can also go to the Staten Island and go around there, but since I didn't know anybody there, I just stayed in the ferry. But I think it was well worth the trip because I took some great and memorable pictures while I was on the ferry.
To make your visit to the Statue of Liberty, you will need to go to Castle Clinton in Battery Park, at the lowest point in Manhattan (use the Bowling Green subway stop). There, you can buy a ticket, the ferry leaves from Battery Park every half hour for Liberty Island first and Ellis Island last. I recommend getting there as early as possible to avoid long lines. Check out the Ferry web site for the schedule and cost. The trip is a 5 mile, 25 minute ride and gives a great view of the New York Harbor
From the ferries deck you will have a perfect view of The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. You'll see the skyscrapers and bridges of Lower Manhattan receding as you pull away and coming into focus again as you return. The only bad part is looking into the water. It’s amazing how filthy the bay is. It’s hard not to look at the water anywhere during the trip and not see floating plastic, bags or worse.
Note that you can buy ferry tickets in advance via www.statueoflibertyferry.com, which will allow you to board the boat without standing in the sometimes-long ticket line; however, there is an additional service charge attached. Even if you've already purchased tickets, arrive as much as 30 minutes before your desired ferry time to allow for increased security procedures prior to boarding the ferry. The ferry ride takes about 20 minutes.
If your time is as limited as mine was, and money is tight, take the Staten Island Ferry. Not to see Staten Island, but to take in New York's fabled skyline. This is my first choice of things to do in New York.