In the center of Staten Island, this settlement of more than 30 buildings is frozen in amber, part of a 100-acre preservation project maintained by the volunteer Staten Island Historical Society. Begin in the court room, right above the welcome desk where you buy a ticket. A second museum building has displays illustrating Richmond's beginnings as a 1690s Dutch community.
Joining a tour (2pm weekdays, 1:30pm and 3pm weekends) greatly illuminates the experience: docents use big rusty keys to unlock various buildings, affording a glimpse of an old general store and living quarters dressed in 17th-, 18th- and 19th-century styles. A highlight of the tour is two-story oak Voorlezer’s House, the oldest former schoolroom in the US.
The site is about 45 minutes from the ferry terminal by S74 bus. Check the website for special events, like the summer 'open village' showcasing centuries-old crafts, and a Harvest Festival (with pumpkin picking) in October.