New York Sea-Ti: Summer Fun on the Waterways of NYC

July 9th, 2018

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We walk on the sidewalks, stand on the trains, and sit in the back of a taxi but there are other ways to get around the city-- and they’re way more fun. Deep in the heart of our urban jungle, it’s easy to forget we’re surrounded by water. Manhattan is an island, after all! Next time you’re looking for some weekend fun head to NYC’s waterways. There are a ton of different ways to have summer fun on the high seas! Kayaking: shutterstock_233450014 We New Yorkers pride ourselves on our ability to get around town. We’d rather walk a few blocks than jam ourselves into a crowded subway car or pay for a cab. All that walking makes us fit, which is why hopping in a Kayak and exploring the Hudson and East Rivers is a great idea. The five boroughs are rich with options when it comes to kayaking and most of them are totally free. The most popular by far is the Manhattan Community Boathouse, a small organization dedicated to providing free kayaking at Pier 96th and at 72nd street. Even if you’re not experienced with kayaking, the folks at the Manhattan Community Boathouse will teach you how. The only problem with kayaking close to Manhattan is that you’re almost too close to enjoy the breathtaking views. For a more distant view head out to the Long Island City Boathouse or to the Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse. Fancy yourself a kayaking expert already? All of these organizations need volunteers. It’s a great way to meet new people and spend some time in the sun! NYC Ferry: shutterstock_169657106 You really don’t need to shell out a ton of cash to get yourself aboard a legit ship with great city views. The NYC Ferry is a bit of a hidden gem in NYC. If everyone knew about these totally affordable ferries they’d probably be a lot more popular. A mere $2.75 earns you a ticket aboard one of these big swanky boats. You’ll be whisked away to locations all around the five boroughs from Brooklyn to Astoria. There’s even a ferry that will take you right out to Governor’s Island. These ferries don’t just provide great views and a whole new way to explore the NYC waterfront--they also serve snacks and drinks. Think about it, you and your friends could buy a dirt-cheap ticket, enjoy incredible views and (responsibly) sip beer as you enjoy the ride. The whole thing is managed through Hornblower Cruises, well known for their luxury NYC yacht experiences, so it’s all pretty darn nice. With the right mindset, it’s a booze cruise on a budget.   Staten Island Ferry: shutterstock_435421216 Believe it or not, there was a time when the five boroughs weren’t connected by bridges or subways. If you wanted to head out to Brooklyn or Queens, you needed to hop aboard a boat. As the city's infrastructure grew, the need for a complex ferry system diminished and the once awesome free NYC ferries became a thing of the past. Except, of course, for the Staten Island Ferry. This beautiful monstrosity of the past was, and arguably still is, the best way to get to our most distant borough. On the surface, the Staten Island Ferry exists to transport Staten Islanders to the heart of the city, but it also provides incredible views of the New York Harbor, including the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and all of downtown Manhattan Island. Like the other NYC ferries, they serve food and drink aboard the Staten Island Ferry. Unlike the other ferries, this trip is absolutely free. That’s right, when it comes to cheap fun in NYC, it doesn’t get much better than this classic old ship. As Bob Dylan once sang: “If you got a lot o' money you can make yourself merry, If you only got a nickel, it's the Staten Island Ferry.” The trip takes about a half hour, plenty of time to take in the sights while you enjoy a cold one. Once you arrive at your destination, you can explore Staten Island or just hop back on for the return trip!