Jessica Mousseau is a copywriter & copy editor from the United States. Her work can be viewed at: www.jessicamousseau.com.
Published June 18th 2011
You rode the Staten Island Ferry because it's free and because you had heard it's a "must-do" activity when visiting New York City. When you got to Staten Island, you realized there was more to do in there than just ride the ferry so now you've come back to spend the entire weekend. You'll be glad you did, because there are a lot of things to do.
One of the best ways to see Staten Island, as well as a lot of New York and a little bit of New Jersey, too, is to visit the Gateway National Recreation Area. The recreation area actually spans two states—New York and New Jersey--and three different boroughs: Queens, Staten Island, and Brooklyn.
On Sunday, you're going to Jamaica Bay. There you'll go to Gateway Marina, where you'll rent a boat and paddle around Jamaica Bay for a while. Remember that the islands and salt marshes in and around Jamaica Bay are protected areas, so you can't go into or on them.
Your next stop will be Staten Island itself, where you'll visit Ford Wadsworth and Fort Thompkins. Both these forts played crucial roles in New York's history during the Civil War.
This is a 260-acre nature preserve that was once the site of a 19th Century clay mining operation. At this preserve, you'll see evidence of the Native Americans/First Nations tribe the Leni Lenape's presence, as well as that of European settlers. In addition, you'll learn about the Free Blacks of Sandy Ground.
Conference House Park
Your next stop is the Conference House Park. The stone manor at this site was the place where a conference was held in 1776 in an effort to bring an end to the Revolutionary War. Four historic buildings, a pavilion, and playgrounds offer you the perfect way to end your weekend visit to Staten Island.