Lonely Planet review
Staten Islanders know these hulking, dirty-orange ferryboats as commuter vehicles, while Manhattanites like to think of them as their secret, romantic vessels for a spring-day escape. Yet many a tourist is clued into the charms of the Staten Island Ferry, whose 5.2-mile journey between Lower Manhattan and the Staten Island neighborhood of St George is one of NYC's finest free adventures.
In service since 1905, the ferry service carries around 20 million passengers each year. Whether you choose to simply ride it to Staten Island and back in one run – enjoying cinematic views of the city skyline, the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge (which connects Staten Island to Brooklyn) and the Statue of Liberty – or stay and explore New York's least-known borough before catching a later ferry, you're guaranteed a memorable experience.