The 10 Best Museums in Staten Island

Staten Island, often seen as the overlooked borough of New York City, is a treasure trove of cultural and historical gems. Among these are museums that offer a glimpse into the rich tapestry of the island’s past and present. Whether you’re a history buff, art enthusiast, or simply looking for an educational day out, these institutions are sure to pique your interest. Let’s dive into the top 10 museums that Staten Island proudly boasts, each with its own unique flavor and fascinating exhibits.

1. Staten Island Museum

Founded in 1881, the Staten Island Museum, also known as the Staten Island Institute of Arts & Sciences, is a must-visit. It’s a cornucopia of art, science, and history. You’ll find everything from ancient artifacts to contemporary art pieces. The museum’s eclectic collection ensures that there’s something to catch everyone’s eye.

2. Historic Richmond Town

Step back in time at Historic Richmond Town. This living history village and museum complex lets you experience life as it was in the 17th century. With over 30 historic buildings and numerous live demonstrations, it’s like walking through a time capsule.

3. National Lighthouse Museum

For those fascinated by maritime history, the National Lighthouse Museum is a beacon of knowledge. Located near the Staten Island Ferry Terminal, it educates visitors on the history and technology of America’s lighthouses and their keepers.

4. Alice Austen House Museum

The Alice Austen House Museum, also known as Clear Comfort, was home to one of America’s earliest and most prolific female photographers. Today, it stands as a national landmark, showcasing her life and work, and offering stunning views of the New York Harbor.

5. Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden

Once a haven for retired sailors, Snug Harbor is now a vibrant cultural center set within a stunning 83-acre park. It houses several museums, including the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art and the Noble Maritime Collection, amidst beautiful botanical gardens.

6. The Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art

Transport yourself to the Himalayas at the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art. This serene spot offers a collection of Tibetan artifacts and art pieces that are as enlightening as they are beautiful. The museum’s tranquil gardens are perfect for reflection and meditation.

7. Garibaldi-Meucci Museum

Dedicated to the lives and contributions of Antonio Meucci and Giuseppe Garibaldi, this museum is a nod to Italian-American heritage. It’s housed in the Gothic revival home where Meucci, the inventor of the telephone, once lived and Garibaldi, the Italian national hero, sought refuge.

8. The Staten Island Children’s Museum

Perfect for the little ones, the Staten Island Children’s Museum offers interactive exhibits that make learning fun. From exploring a life-sized bug’s world to broadcasting in a TV studio, it Sparks curiosity and imagination in children of all ages.

9. Fort Wadsworth Visitor Center

Fort Wadsworth, part of the Gateway National Recreation Area, boasts a history that spans over two centuries. The Visitor Center provides insights into the fort’s strategic military significance and offers breathtaking views of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge.

10. The Conference House

The Conference House, site of a 1776 peace conference during the Revolutionary War, is steeped in history. This stone Manor now serves as a museum, offering a glimpse into colonial life and the attempts to end the conflict between the colonies and Britain.


  • Are there any free museums in Staten Island?

    Yes, some museums offer free admission on certain days or at specific times. For example, the Staten Island Museum has free admission on Tuesday afternoons.

  • Can you recommend a museum for families with children?

    The Staten Island Children’s Museum is a fantastic choice for families. Its hands-on exhibits are both educational and entertaining for kids.

  • Is there a museum that focuses on local Staten Island history?

    Historic Richmond Town is your best bet for a deep dive into Staten Island’s local history, with its preserved buildings and reenactments of daily colonial life.


Staten Island’s museums are as diverse as they are engaging. From the Staten Island Museum’s broad spectrum of exhibits to the immersive historical experience at Historic Richmond Town, there’s a wealth of knowledge and culture to be discovered. Whether you’re marveling at the Tibetan artifacts at the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art or exploring the botanical beauty of Snug Harbor, each museum offers a unique slice of Staten Island’s rich heritage. These institutions not only preserve the past but also educate and inspire future generations. So next time you’re in the borough, take a detour into history, art, and science – you won’t regret it!

Kurby Team

The Kurby Content Team is a diverse group of seasoned real estate experts dedicated to providing insightful, reliable information for homebuyers, real estate investors, and real estate agents. With backgrounds ranging from real estate brokerage, property investment, and residential home buying, our team combines decades of experience with a passion for demystifying the real estate world. We at Kurby are committed to helping you make informed, successful real estate decisions. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned investor, or a real estate professional, count on the Kurby Content Team to deliver the most relevant, actionable real estate content you need.