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11 Ways to Get on the Water in New York City This Summer

 The Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse is one of several organizations that offers kayaking in the city.
The Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse is one of several organizations that offers kayaking in the city.
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Facebook/Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse

NEW YORK CITY — Take a break from the concrete jungle and hit the water this spring and summer.

Whether you’re paddleboarding along the Hudson, surfing at Rockaway Beach, or whale watching, there’s plenty to do in the city’s waterways.

► Sailing Along New York Harbor

Manhattan by Sail
Where: Departing from North Cove Marina at Brookfield Place and Battery Park, Slip 2
When: Times and dates vary
Cost: Adults starting at $25

Set sail on schooners during day or sunset-trips around New York Harbor. Trips include a champagne brunch sail, wine tasting, city lights, happy hour and more.

► Whale and Dolphin Watching

American Princess Cruises
Where: Departing from Riis Landing, Breezy Point in Rockaway, Queens
When: Beginning May 14, through Oct. 30
Cost: $45 for adults, $30 for children, $40 for seniors

Believe it or not, you can go whale watching in New York City. Set sail into the Atlantic and bring your best camera to capture a glimpse of whales and dolphins. Snacks and a beverage bar are on board.

► Surfing at Rockaway Beach

Where: Between 67th and 69th streets, and 87th to 92nd streets, Rockaway Beach, Queens
When: Year-round, from dawn until dusk
Cost: $100 per session for hour-long private lessons at Locals Surf School.

Surfers brave the cold temperatures at Rockaway Beach even in the winter time, and the warmer weather is sure to bring people out to the waves. Learn from the locals with private lessons or join a surf camp for all ages.

► NYC Architecture Yacht Tours

Classic Harbor Line
Where: Departing from Chelsea Piers, Manhattan
When: Monday through Sunday, times vary
Cost: Starting at $48 for adults, $32 for students.

Learn about the city’s architecture, infrastructure, and bridges on these yacht tours with complimentary alcohol and snacks. These guided water travels showcase the transformation of the city’s waterfront from industrial to residential, with details on harbor monuments, the Chrysler Building, Statue of Liberty and more.

► Kayaking and Canoeing

NYC Parks
Where: Locations vary throughout the city and include Manhattan’s Riverside Park, Willowbrook Park on Staten Island, the Boathouse in Prospect Park and Queens’ Bayswater Park.
When: Every weekend through Sept. 6.
Cost: Free

Grab a paddle and hit the city’s waterways with NYC Parks, from basic canoeing and kayaking for all skill levels on Staten Island, to rowing in the Bronx River.

Check out a list of other places to kayak:

Hudson River
The Downtown Boathouse
Manhattan Community Boathouse

East River
Long Island City Community Boathouse
Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse

South Beach, Staten Island
Kayak Staten Island

Red Hook
Red Hook Boaters

► Bird Watching on an EcoCruise

Audubon Summer EcoCruise
Where: Departs from Pier 16 in South Street Seaport, Manhattan
When: Dates vary, starting from June 8th through Aug. 17.
Cost:  Starting at $35 for adults, $25 for children

Get up close with the city’s wildlife, including views of nesting osprey, wading birds, falcons, Black-crowned night herons and more. There are three separate EcoCruises, one touring the islands of Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, another along the Statue of Liberty, Governors Island and the Verrazano Bridge, and a third on the East River’s Brother Islands.

► Paddleboating

Wheel Fun Rentals 
Where: North Meadow Lake, Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens
When: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to sunset; weekends from 9 a.m. to sunset.
Cost: $20 an hour for a single boat, $30 an hour for a double

Pedal through North Meadow Lake on Flushing Meadows Corona Park with rental paddleboats. Singles are available that fit two people and a small child, or rent a double that fits up to four.

► City of Water Day Family Festival

Waterfront Alliance
Where: Governors Island
When: July 16, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Cost: Free

This all-day, free family festival showcases the New York and New Jersey waterfronts with on-water activities ranging from art to science, a cardboard kayak race, boat tours and more.

► Floating Lobster Shack

North River Lobster Company
Where: Pier 81, Hudson River
When: Open daily as of April 29; 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday
Cost: No cost to sail, pay per item for food and drinks

Chow down on seafood, mason jar cocktails, beer, and snacks on a 45-minute sail through the Hudson with views of Midtown. A raw bar includes oyster varieties and samplers of shrimp, crab claws and lobster.

► Jet Ski Tours

Jetty Jumpers
Where: Locations vary, meeting location given upon ticket purchase
When: April through October, Monday through Sunday, dusk til dawn.
Cost: Starting at $175

Jet ski through the city’s sights and landmarks, with tours of Coney Island, the Verrazano Bridge, and the Statue of Liberty. Sunrise and sunset tours are also available.

► Stand Up Paddleboarding

Manhattan Kayak Company
Where:  MKC Boathouse at West 44th Street and the Hudson River Greenway
When: Sessions vary, starting May 1
Cost: Rentals are $15, group courses are $150 each for 3 sessions, $80 for one-on-ones

Get private lessons for basic to advanced paddlers, or take group courses with friends. Other options include yoga on paddleboards, cross-training and tours.