The Best Outdoor Activities To Do in New York City

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Whether this is your first or 100th time visiting New York City, there is always something new to see. Being such a vibrant city, New York has no shortage of outdoor activities, but how do you know which one is right for your visit? I want to share with you the best outdoor experiences in NYC, and what I like to do to make them unique. 

New York City has been one of the most iconic cities in the world since I can remember. Every corner you turn will introduce you to brand new experiences exposing you to new communities, music, restaurants, and shops that make you feel like you could never run out of things to try. It has world-renowned restaurants, museums, parks, clubs, and any other type of hang-out spots . Outdoor adventures don’t get talked about enough, but in summer, the fun can’t stay indoors. There is no better way to appreciate the city than to step out of your comfort zone.

If you love to fill your days with as much excitement as possible (my personal favorite!) or even if you enjoy a slower-paced excursion, some of these activities will appeal to you, or lead to a refreshing new experience. These outdoor experiences will leave you mesmerized, full of wanderlust, and will allow you to get to know the city in a completely different way.

Table of Contents

Bikes & Scooters to explore the streets of the city ($)

Biking in New York City
Biking in New York City

I like to start my day off with a bike ride or scooter ride (depending on how active I feel) to check out some local spots. The reason I love getting bikes or scooters when I am in NYC is that I can go at my own pace and for as long as I need. It’s a quick and convenient way to enjoy the outdoor scenery of the city without dealing with the traffic, and while appreciating the details of each borough. Talking about traffic, you may not be stuck in it, but always keep an eye out for other road users when renting bikes or scooters.

This is a list of my favorite spots that you can visit when you decide to rent.

  • South Street Seaport
  • New York Botanical Garden
  • Brooklyn Bridge
  • New York Harbor
  • Hudson River Greenway
  • Plaza State Park
  • Socrates Sculpture Park
  • Governor’s island

Helicopter Experience ($$)

Helicopter flight, NYC
Helicopter flight

I remember the first time I saw a picture of the view you get from a helicopter from above. Going on a helicopter ride across New York City is an absolute bucket list item that I added to my own the moment I saw it — a fellow traveler dangling their feet outside the helicopter with an insane view of the city from above. The feeling of being up in the air and getting a bird’s-eye view of the city is something you need to experience at least once in your lifetime. In my eyes, there are two ways to approach it. The first option is the cautious, laid-back option, which will give you the mesmerizing view, and the amazing history behind the city’s structure while taking you around all five boroughs. 

The second option is my personal favorite because it’s so unique. If you are feeling extra adventurous you have to try the doors-off experience. I recommend doing it on a nice sunny day, but you will get the best view during fall. East coast fall foliage is unmatchable, and the view of Central Park in all its golden glory is beyond belief.

City Cruises ($-$)

Cruise evening view, NYC
Cruise evening view

To top off your ideal outdoor adventure in the city, I would wrap up my day with a relaxing cruise around the city. City cruises are such a nice way to relax and sightsee all at once, whether it’s in the morning or in the evening — it’s a view you will never forget. It is also another perfect place to catch the sunset, but bring an extra layer as it can get breezy out on the river.

As someone who grew up speaking Spanish and English, it became very important to me to identify multi-lingual adventure options that would allow other travelers to be welcomed to new experiences surrounding different cultures. This is another thing I love about New York, it has a very diverse culture, and if you need a tour in Spanish, you don’t need to miss out on the fun.

The most convenient thing about NYC Cruises is that they can be experienced during any time of the year. I personally love the east coast because of its four seasons, and New York City adapts so well to each one of them. I would say the Holiday Cruise and Drink is one of my favorite activities in the winter to get me enjoying the outdoors without catching a cold.

Lara’s mission is to inspire you to take action and guide you through the process of elevating your life.
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