Friday, September 14, 2007

Riding the Staten Island Ferry

One of those absolutely must-do, unbelievably FREE New York things is to ride the Staten Island Ferry across the Upper New York Bay. You get a breathtaking view of the beloved Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, and on the return trip the skyline of lower Manhattan offers awe inspiring scenery. The ferry is a workhorse, providing thousands of New Yorkers reliable transportation to and from the city every day. And it adds up - 20 million riders annually take this 5 mile journey between St. George on Staten Island and Whitehall street in lower NYC.

My trip was perfectly timed. Hopping on an early evening summer ferry to Staten Island, the sun was still out and I could take in the entire view. The sun had set just upon my return, so the Statue of Liberty was magnificently illuminated, as was the skyline. It is a thrill to finally be on one of the most famous water voyages ever.

Bonus: Getting to see tons of native New Yorkers as well as tourists enjoying the view. Typical concession type snacks are sold if you absolutely must have a hot dog, but the South Street Seaport is a short-ish walk from Whitehall, where you have your pick of good seafood joints. The ferry runs everyday, 24 hours a day.

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