Non-Touristy Things to Do in NYC

Non-Touristy Things to Do in NYC
Generally, Manhattan tourist sites draw massive crowds. When visiting New York City, any normal human being will find that at certain moments the urge to be anywhere but in line for the Empire State Building will be too much to stand for. In these cases, opting for a less touristy site might be the solution.

Rockaway Beach

Ride the subway to Queens and surf some waves. While every other tourist in town is queuing up for entry into the Statue of Liberty, you can take the A train to its terminus along the Rockaway peninsula and hang ten. The neighborhood of Rockaway Beach has become popular with residents year-round for its surf and makes for a great alternative to the standard tourist trail. There are a few surf shops in town but Boarders is the best equipped for visitors. Surfboards, wetsuits, showers and space to stow your gear are included in the price of rentals. Surf lessons are also available. For beginners, the best time to surf is during the summer when the waves tend to be more gentle. Experienced surfers will find the fall and winter, where locals are known to wade through snow to get to the waves, offer the largest swells.

Boarders Surf and Skate Shop
192 Beach 92 Street
Rockaway Beach, New York 11693
(718) 318-7997
boarderssurfshop.com

New York City Department of Parks and Recreation
Rockaway Beach Information
The Arsenal
Central Park
830 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10065
(212) New-York
nycgovparks.org

Riverside Park

Head west to Riverside Park for something out of the limelight. Battery and Central Parks seem to be where most visitors spend their time. However, residents along the Upper West Side in Manhattan claim Riverside Park as their own. This thin sliver of a green space makes up for its narrow girth with great height. Running from 72nd Street north all the way to 158th Street, Riverside Park sits adjacent to the Hudson River with appropriately scenic sunsets. A boardwalk running the length of the park welcomes walkers, joggers, bikers and dog walkers and serves as a transit line to the parks many baseball fields, basketball courts, playgrounds, tennis courts and soccer fields. After all the exercise, visitors can cool off during the warmer months by having something to drink at the Boat Basin Cafe, inside the park at 79th Street.

New York City Department of Parks and Recreation
Riverside Park Information
The Arsenal
Central Park
830 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10065
(212) New-York
nycgovparks.org

Boat Basin Cafe
West 79th St. at the Hudson River
New York, New York 10024
(212) 496-5542
boatbasincafe.com

George Washington Bridge

Stroll across the George Washington Bridge and explore the Palisades. When it comes to city bridges, most locals and visitors head to the East River and the Brooklyn Bridge. For those who want something different, the George Washington Bridge is the only bridge that crosses the Hudson River from Manhattan. Locally known as the GWB, the bridge crosses the river far uptown in Washington Heights and can be accessed via 178th Street just west of Cabrini Boulevard. Take the A train to 175th Street, walk north three blocks to 178th Street and turn left for the easiest access. Also, on the far side of the bridge is New Jersey's section of the Palisades Interstate Park, a good place for a picnic where you can see wide-angle views of Manhattan.

George Washington Bridge
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Customer Relations
Tunnels, Bridges and Terminals
One Madison Avenue, 5th Floor
New York, New York 10010
(800) 221-9903
panynj.gov

Palisades Interstate Park
New Jersey Section
P.O. Box 155
Alpine, New Jersey 07620-0155
(201) 768-1360
njpalisades.org

Article Written By Mike Biscoe

Mike Biscoe has been writing since 2009. Focusing on travel, sports and entertainment topics, he has credits in various online publications including LIVESTRONG.COM and Trails. He often writes articles covering uncommon travel destinations from firsthand experience. Biscoe holds a Certificate of Completion in acting from the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts.

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