Things to Do in Downtown New York

Things to Do in Downtown New York
There are plenty of places in downtown New York City to stretch your legs and breathe deeply. Many visitors are surprised to find out about its miles and miles of bicycling trails that are inaccessible to automobiles, as well as boulder climbing in Central Park. No matter what time of year you're in New York, there are outdoor activities you can enjoy on land or at sea.

Bike Governor's Island

It's the closest point on land to the Statue of Liberty. This abandoned island functioned for 200 years as a military base, and was expanded by the deposit of soil and rocks from subway excavations. Ninety-two acres of historic district with 18th century houses and buildings make visitors feel like they've stepped back in time. The lack of automobile traffic makes biking easy and safe. The ferry ride from Manhattan or Brooklyn to Governor's Island is free. During the summer, Bike and Roll offers free Governor's Island bike rental on Fridays. They have several types of bicycles, from road bikes to cruisers and even quadcycles big enough for six adults and two children.

Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation
10 South Street
Battery Maritime Building, Slip 7
New York, New York 10004

Bike and Roll NYC
10 South Street Battery Maritime Building
New York, New York 10004
(866) 736-8224‎

Kayak the Hudson River

The New York Kayak Company not only has a huge store and a kayaking club, but it also hosts group tours and gives lessons. The "Uptown Paddle" tour begins against the current, taking visitors along the waterway to see the sights of New York from the river's perspective. It's a view of the cityscape that's much different from the street-level hustle and bustle. If you forgot to pack your kayak, the New York City Downtown Boathouse offers complimentary kayak rental, in an effort to share the beauty of the Hudson River.

New York Kayak Company Inc.
Pier 40, South Side
New York New York 10014
(212) 924-1327

Downtown Boathouse Inc
241 W Broadway
New York, New York 10013
(646) 613-0375

Central Park Adventures

Walking and bicycling trails weave in and out of Central Park, which offer a surprising variety of scenery, right in the middle of the city.

Climb Rat Rock
No joke, that's the nickname for Central Park's Umpire Rock. It's a "very large" boulder that features two separate climbing faces, and it's the most difficult climb in the park.

Cross-Country Skiing
When there's at least 6 inches of snow, Central Park visitors can cross-country ski at The Great Lawn or Sheep Meadow. Pilgrim Hill and Cedar Hill are popular places to go sledding in the winter.

Article Written By Lisa Russell

Lisa Russell has been a freelance writer since 1998. She's been published in "Rethinking Everything Magazine," "Playdate" and "Home Educator's Family Times." She has a professional background in education, cosmetology and the restaurant industry. Russell studied early childhood education at Antelope Valley College, and is pursuing a degree in law.

Keep Me Informed

Weekly newsletters, announcements and offers from to your inbox.

Sign me up!

We HATE spam and promise to keep your email addresses safe and secure.