Of all of New York City's boroughs, Staten Island is the most mysterious. Located five miles across New York Harbor from Manhattan, the island feels a world apart from the electric energy of the city. It isn't as famous as Harlem or popular as Brooklyn, but its diverse community and storied past give this secluded district a certain charm. Think outside of the Big Apple, and discover the many things to do on Staten Island.

01Board the Famous Orange Barge

The Staten Island Ferry runs 24 hours a day free of charge. Michael Lee / Getty Images

Staten Island is the only one of NYC's boroughs not connected to the subway. To make the trip, you can Uber across the scenic Verrazano Bridge or take the ferry across New York Harbor. Staten Island's iconic orange barge transports over 65,000 people daily and runs 24 hours a day at no charge. That means the ferry can get crowded during peak hours, so you may wish to board before the sunrise or during midmorning. The journey lasts about 25 minutes, which is ample time to visit the café or photograph panoramic views of the harbor. You'll also pass the Statue of Liberty along the way. For the best views, head for the stern of the ship while heading for Staten Island, and the bow when sailing back to Manhattan.