When you think fall, you think curling leaves, bundled layers, crisp mountain hikes, sweet trips to the apple orchard, savory candlelit meals out with friends. Consider mixing things up this season with six summery activities—like kayaking, swimming, and surfing—you don’t have to let go of come fall.
Ride Metro North one hour north of Manhattan to Cold Spring, where Hudson Valley Outfitters facilitates a spectacular kayaking experience on the Hudson River. Paddle out on your own to places like Foundry Cove and Bannerman Castle, or try a Fall Foliage West Point/Garrison tour or Yoga/Kayak Tour. Single kayaks rent for $25/hour and up to $65/four hours or take out a tandem recreational boat for $35/hour or $75/four hours. (hudsonvalleyoutfitters.com, 845.265.0221) New York Kayak Company at Pier 40 on the Hudson is a quick and easy way to get on the water for beginners or experts. There is a lot to learn about NY waterways so each participant must start off with the two-hour Fundamentals 1 to learn basic safety techniques of kayaking, offered Saturday and Sunday mornings and Tuesday nights ($100). Then sign up online for your next adventure from a hefty list of options, including kayaking trips for all levels, race training, morning and sunset kayaks ($50). All classes are offered at 6pm during the week to accommodate work schedules and mornings on the weekends. Bundle up and paddle out. (nykayak.com, 212.924.1327)
Wake Up on the Water
If you don’t have the time or the money to head out to Montauk for a fall beach getaway, rise to the sound of the ocean and the fresh chill in the air. Boatel, quietly tucked away in Marina 59 in Rockaway, is a fleet of retired boats transformed into a hotel and redecorated by 23 artists with mostly reclaimed materials. Each boat houses between 2-5 people, so gather some friends for a weekend stay—plus enjoy nearby Stand Up Paddleboarding, kayaking, BBQing, perhaps a movie projected off the dock onto a floating movie screen and a great beach within walking distance. Book now, it’s only open until November 1. (marina59.com, 718.945.4500)
Hop on the A train and head east to 60th Street in Rockaway, walk inland to Marina 59, where SUP New York City is based. Try a two-hour beginner lesson ($105), rent a board ($30/hour, $90/day), or even try yoga on the water. The leaders can often be found firing up the grill at the marina post paddle, and a grounded boat serves as a bar. Visit the website for more information. Reservations are required. (supnewyorkcity.com, 917.902.7793). NY Kayak Company also offers Stand Up Paddleboard rentals, lessons, and race training at $100 for a two-hour beginner SUP class. Go on a Wednesday for Try SUP night, 6-8pm; only $25 to take turns on a board as you learn the basics.
Avid urban surfers like to tow their boards on the LIRR to Long Beach, Long Island. Beginners, mindful of the local surf etiquette, can rent a board at unsOund surf shop. (unsoundsurf.com, 516.889.1112) For fewer crowds, pick an early morning and take the A train from Manhattan directly to 67th Street (about 1.5 hours) in Rockaway. Walk a couple blocks from the station to the sand and hop in. If you need to rent a board, stop by Boarders, just a short walk from the 91st Street subway stop. (boarderssurfshop.com, 718.318.7997). It’s a trek out to either beach, so make sure to check the waves before you go.
When there’s no time to get out to the beach, sometimes a pool will do. Most public pools have closed for the season, so unless you have a friend with a rooftop Jacuzzi, you might have to retreat to a hotel. Wear your bathing suit on the L train to Bedford Ave. and King + Grove Williamsburg for a dip in a warm outdoor saltwater pool. From Monday to Thursday, non-hotel guests can enjoy the pool for free until October 5. On weekends, non-guests must pay $35; the fee includes lounge chair, towel, wifi and poolside food and beverage service—we recommend The Bedford Daisy. (kingandgrove.com, 718.218.7500)
The East River Ferry is one of the quickest and easiest ways to get on the water and will zigzag you across the river between Manhattan and DUMBO, stretching from 34th St Manhattan to Governor’s Island—until September 30. Why not bring some wine and cheese on board, catch the cool breeze off the water, and get the best view of the skyline? Bring a bike for added adventure. (nywaterway.com, $4/one way) For more river rides in NYC, read this story.
About the author
Annie McBride, once a prideful Jersey girl, has moved into Brooklyn and fallen in love with the graffitied walls, tattoed artisans, juxtaposition of the crumbling and the new, and the limitless adventures that Brooklyn offers. She’s created surf blog NYC Urchin for the city dwellers that gravitate toward water and she looks forward to sharing water-based events with the Manhattan crowd.
Photos: ham and fleas, Amanda Coen, King & Grove