(a “WANDERS NYC” adventure)
Wandering the magnitude that is New York City in a summer seemed impossible.
That is, until a couple of weeks ago at about 2am we realized the best way was to start at the southernmost point of Manhattan and work our way up.
Battery Park was the obvious choice for the official start to Wanders NYC. We took the R train from Queens all the way down to “Whitehall St”, which basically drops you at the Staten Island Ferry. We initially intended to just wander the area, but instead a plan was hatched! We would take the Ferry to Staten Island & back for a glimpse of the statue of liberty. It is the worst kept secret in New York that the best free way to see the Statue of liberty is the Staten Island Ferry! Besides the Statue of Liberty, you will get some great views of lower Manhattan and the freedom tower, as well as the Verrazano Bridge.
BUT we didn’t start off on the best foot- we missed the first ferry by 5 minutes! When we got on the next ferry we ended up on the wrong side of the boat. We went to the left, but you definitely need to be on the right side to see the statue of liberty on the way to SI. We figured no biggie we would just catch a glimpse on the way back.
We also assumed the round trip would take an hour total and we would have some time to wander around Battery Park when we got back. But we found out just as the ferry was pulling into Staten Island that it takes an hour and half round trip. The ferry takes about 30 minutes each way, BUT you won’t catch one back to Manhattan right away. As you pull into port, the next ferry is already leaving.
To help you avoid making the same mistakes we did, I compiled a list of tips & tricks for taking the Staten Island Ferry:
30 minutes of standing around the ferry station & buying overpriced snacks, we realized we should’ve planned ahead & found some things to do walking distance from the ferry station. Fortunately for all of you, I’ve been in contact with Kristina from “Staten Island Lifestyle” on Instagram who has been amazing to share some things to do near the Staten Island Ferry. Go check out her Instagram @StatenIslandLifestyle ! Keep a look out for this post (coming soon!)
The only thing the 30 minutes did was give us some time to calculate which side of the of the ferry we needed to be on to see the statue of liberty- we correctly calculated to go left. So, we boarded and went left as we were supposed to & even got a great spot at one of the banisters! Unfortunately, due to our confusion about whether or not the ferry turns around (it does not), an argument ensued about whether or not we had correctly boarded. We went back and forth probably 8 times before the ferry had even started moving. At this point we were utterly confused about where we started and ended up on the wrong side again!By going back and forth so many times, we lost out on a good viewing/photos spot…
Should this happen to you, you can do what we ended up doing (after some frustration and a lot of blaming each other), and head to the front or back of the ship for some okay-ish views. Hey, it’s better than nothing. Just keep in mind, if you are on the front or back on the way to Manhattan, they will make you go inside 5 minutes before docking.
Despite all the ups and downs we experienced, I would definitely recommend taking the Staten Island Ferry as a free way to see the Statue of Liberty!
Don’t forget to stay tuned for the list of things to do and see on Staten Island near the ferry!