When you’re in New York you’re never far from water. Whether we’re talking about the East River, the Hudson or the harbor itself, water is everywhere—and New Yorkers know how to make the most of it. Here’s your guide to New York City on the water.
One of NYC’s most historic landmarks also boasts one if its best water views. Bridging the gap between downtown Manhattan and downtown Brooklyn since 1883, it’s one of the oldest bridges in the entire United States. From its midpoint you’ll be able see landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, One World Trade Center and even as far north the Empire State Building and Midtown’s skyscrapers.
Brooklyn Bridge. New York, NY.
Located just a few hundred yards from the southern tip of Manhattan, Governors Island is the perfect place to spend the day on the water. After a quick ferry ride you’ll have the opportunity to picnic on the lawns, lounge in the hammocks or admire the up close and personal views of the Statue of Liberty in the harbor. If you don’t feel like packing your own picnic, don’t worry—there are two food courts on the island housing some of NYC’s hottest eats like Carl’s Steaks and Brooklyn Soda Works.
Governors Island. New York, NY. (212) 809-3299
The city is always a beautiful sight by boat. But it’s an even better sight by jet ski. Companies like Jettyjumpers and Sea the City offer comprehensive tours of the city via the Hudson and East Rivers. Pack a GoPro and buzz around NYC’s waterways next to landmarks like the Intrepid, Statue of Liberty and of course the most iconic skyline in the world. While it isn’t cheap (tours usually start around $200) it’s an experience you won’t soon forget.
Various locations in New York City and New Jersey.
While the Hudson River Park gets most of the love when it comes to Manhattan’s waterside parks, East River park is no pushover. With views of the city’s most famous bridges (Manhattan and Brooklyn) it’s an especially lovely place to be during blue hour, when a misty haze on the horizon turns the sky into a lush shades of orange and red while the highrises begin to light up in preparation for the night ahead.
East River Park. New York, NY.
This former coast guard lightship docked at Pier 66 on the Hudson River is one of New York’s favorite warm-weather bars. The big red floating vessel is home to a lively deck scene and plenty of boozy cocktails and bites like white sangria, Mahi Mahi tacos and the classic sirloin burger. The best time to visit is at sunset, when the sun sets over the towers of Jersey City across the river and lights up the rippling Hudson water in a dazzling display.
The Frying Pan. 207 12th Avenue, Big Red Boat in Park, New York, NY. (212) 989-6363