New York is the city that never sleeps and a town with an infinite amount of possibilities. If you’re visiting, it’s very (very) difficult to get bored, and between world-class shows, endless food options, and the best people watching humanity has to offer, there’s always something to do.
But beyond being a premiere center for tourism and theater, New York is also situated on a huge natural harbor and has tons to offer in the way of nearby beaches and boating activities. And that’s easy for tourists and locals alike to forget. Check out some of the can’t miss options on the water below.
1. Visit Jones Beach
Originally designed as a getaway for city-dwellers, Jones Beach takes nearly an hour to reach from Manhattan, but it’s 100% worth it. A gorgeous beach situated on the southern coast of Long Island, Jones Beach is home to regular concerts, shows, and festivals to compliment the ocean landscape. Watch flocks of ocean-bound birds, build a sand castle, and — as long as the weather is warm — enjoy any of the beach amenities you might find much further down the East Coast, just a quick drive from the busiest city on earth.
2. Check Out One of the World’s Best Boardwalks
Coney Island certainly took a hit after Hurricane Sandy, but the area has roared back to life with new shopping, entertainment, amusement, and food than ever. Its centerpiece is the famed Coney Island Boardwalk, largely rebuilt and refurbished after the 2012 hurricane. Go during the day to people watch and ride the roller coasters, or visit at night for weekly fireworks and breathtaking views of the tides. It’s an area steeped in history, and you’ll likely hear upwards of ten languages being spoken by New Yorkers on your walk!
3. Go Sailing Around the City!
The rivers and harbor surrounding New York’s island boroughs are all active waterways, and they’re (mostly) open to private craft. That means you can actually rent a boat in New York City and sail around Manhattan, taking in the amazing views and peering up at the skyscrapers. It’s a splurge treat for sure, but also a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the bustling metropolis from a rare and breathtaking perspective.
4. Take the Ferry
New York is known for its subways, but the ferry system is awesome — and about to get a whole lot better. The Staten Island Ferry is completely free and the speediest way to get from lower Manhattan to Staten Island. A proposed expansion is about to make the inter-borough ferry system bigger AND cheaper, with more lines and lowers costs. That means it will be easier than ever to get to and from Queens and the furthest parts of Brooklyn over water. And that’s good for commuters, visitors, and everyone in between.