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Joggers enjoy views of the New York City skyline on the Reservoir Loop in Central Park

New York

New York City: 4 Activities for Urban Adventurers

By: Idoia Gkikas

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    New York

In addition to endless entertainment, culture, history and nightlife, New York City has an abundance of outdoor activities.

Whether it’s ice skating at Rockefeller Center in the winter, strolling and biking across the Brooklyn Bridge Park in the fall and spring, or kayaking at Staten Island beaches in the summer, there’s always something to get you outdoors.

Best Biking Adventures

Bike-friendly New York City offers many resources for those who want to journey the boroughs on wheels. The Citi Bike program is a convenient and flexible way to get around. Buy a short-term or multi-day pass to explore Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Prospect Park, the Hudson River Greenway or car-free Governors Island. While traveling on your bike, you can take in the views of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge from the Franklin D. Roosevelt Boardwalk on Staten Island. Pedal the paved trail at the Bronx River Path, or bike to the Rockaways in Queens for a beachside ride and views of the city across the water.

Citi Bike bicycles lined up and ready for an adventure

Citi Bike bicycles lined up and ready for an adventure
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Great Running Trails

New York City is also a playground for runners. To start, scenic Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, New York City’s third-largest park, is awesome for jogging on the wooded trails or track. The trails are especially pretty when the leaves change color in the fall season. Running aficionados can join other runners on the soft-surface Reservoir Loop in Central Park, a 2.5-kilometer trail with great skyline views.

Discover a hidden treasure in Roosevelt Island situated between Manhattan and Queens. Take the aerial tram over the East River to access this off-the-beaten-path locale. As you jog the paved trails, keep an eye out for several fascinating landmarks, including the Gothic-revival North Point Lighthouse at the northern tip of the island.

Ice Skating in Winter

When the weather gets chilly, the outdoor rink at Rockefeller Center in Manhattan is likely New York City’s best-known skating spot. The rink is open October through April and is a must-do activity if you’re visiting during the colder months. Also in Manhattan, both Lasker Rink and Wollman Rink in Central Park offer rentals and lessons in the winter season. The LeFrak Center at Lakeside Prospect Park in Brooklyn has two skating rinks that also host ice hockey, broom ball and other winter ice activities.

A can’t-miss holiday experience in the USA, ice skating at Rockefeller Center in Manhattan

A can’t-miss holiday experience in the USA, ice skating at Rockefeller Center in Manhattan
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Summertime Kayaking

New York City is surrounded by water, offering plenty of places for paddlers to explore. From Staten Island’s South Beach, Kayak Staten Island offers free, 15-minute kayaking sessions for beginners. Once you get the hang of it, you can rent your own and set out from multiple launch points on the island’s eastern shore. Another great paddling location is the Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse, where you can reserve a free kayak for 20 minutes on the weekends from June through August. Be sure to have a camera ready to capture outstanding views of the city and the Brooklyn Bridge. Long Island City Community Boathouse in Queens also provides free, 20-minute slots for walk-up kayaking and canoeing on Hallets Cove.

Kayakers and beachgoers enjoying the day Staten Island’s South Beach

Kayakers and beachgoers enjoying the day Staten Island’s South Beach
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Getting There

To reach New York City from international destinations, fly into John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in Queens or Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) in nearby Newark, New Jersey.

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