Once part of a retirement center for sailors, this 83-acre cultural center is now a popular spot to engage with contemporary art and historical collections. Enjoy the Children's Museum (www.sichildrensmuseum.org; $6), or take a stroll through lush gardens. (Note that all on-site attractions can be visited—and, if applicable, ticketed—independently of each other.)
Made up of 26 landmarked buildings, nine botanic gardens, 10 acres of wetlands, and a 2-acre farm, Snug Harbor is also home to a new outpost of the Staten Island Museum (www.statenislandmuseum.org; $5), with exhibits spanning art, history, and science; the New York Chinese Scholar's Garden ($5); as well as dance and music studios, art galleries, and residency programs. Main Hall—the oldest building on the property, dating to 1833—is home to the Eleanor Proske Visitors Center (free) and the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art ($5), which exhibits artworks connected to Snug Harbor's history. Next door, the Noble Maritime Collection (www.noblemaritime.org; suggested donation) maintains historic collections specific to Staten Island and Snug Harbor's maritime past.