The first thing that probably comes to mind when people hear "Staten Island" is the famous ferry that shuttles some 60,000 passengers a day to and from lower Manhattan (and that's not including weekends). However, once groups actually step off the boat onto the smallest New York City borough, they will find three scenic golf courses, an authentic Chinese scholar's garden, acres of parkland, a living history village and even a local Yankees baseball team that plays the Richmond County Bank Ballpark. Meeting venues in Staten Island have convenient access to major airports, affordable accommodations and interesting attractions make this destination that more attractive to meeting planners.
Spanning 59 square miles in the southwest part of the city, Staten Island is a short distance from New York's major airports-Newark Liberty International Airport (10 miles), LaGuardia Airport (25 miles) and John F. Kennedy International Airport (28 miles). Travelers have several choices when it comes to hotel venues in Staten Island, including the Hilton Garden Inn New York/Staten Island, the Hampton Inn & Suites, Holiday Inn Express Staten Island, Comfort Inn Staten Island and the Ramada Staten Island.
Across the bay in Manhattan, the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and Piers 92/94 are New York City's main meeting venues. On Staten Island, however, options for group gatherings include more than 12,000 square feet of banquet, meeting and convention space, along with 11,400 square feet of indoor gardens at the Hilton Garden Inn New York/Staten Island.
Special event venues in Staten Island include the 83-acre Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Gardens, which features different facilities for performances, classroom instruction or festivals. Among these are the Music Hall, which is housed in a Greek Revival building and can accommodate up to 680 guests, or the more intimate Veteran's Memorial Hall perfect for parties up to 150. For a totally different experience, the Staten Island Zoo welcomes corporate events and other celebrations. Entertaining comes easy at the Looney Bin Comedy Club which regularly welcomes private parties and corporate events.
Dining out delivers a range of restaurants such as the Historic Old Bermuda Inn and Catering Hall, which is housed in a late 19th-century mansion filled with antiques and cozy nooks (with a maximum capacity of 300). Another local favorite for get-togethers is Killmeyer's Old Bavaria Inn, which has been around since 1907. The festive restaurant has a private dining room, live music in the outdoor beer garden in addition to its main dining room where guests can enjoy sauerbrauten, red cabbage, beef goulash with spaetzle and other hearty dishes.
Culture lovers, outdoors enthusiasts, families and history buffs will all find something to do during their visit to Staten Island. Popular points of interest include the hillside Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art, which looks like a Himalayan mountain monastery; the 26,000-acre Gateway National Recreation Area managed by the U.S. National Park Service; Historic Richmond Town, Fort Wadsworth and the Staten Island Zoo.