Besides the obvious purpose of connecting Lower Manhattan with Staten Island, the Staten Island Ferry offers both visitors and New Yorkers alike the chance, quite literally, to soak in the panorama of New York harbor. Unlike New York’s parks, subway system and streets, the Staten Island Ferry offers one of the few public locations in the city where consumption of alcohol is legal.
Since 1905, the recognizable orange ferries have been crossing New York harbor, offering free cruises that last 25 minutes in each direction. The ferries depart from Whitehall Terminal in the South Ferry district of Lower Manhattan and turn around at St. George Terminal in Staten Island. When boarding, try to get yourself to the middle of the upper level of the boat to reach the beer vendor and avoid a long wait. After that, it’s smooth sailing and quite possibly even spirited “New York, New York” sing-a-longs.
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