There’s never been a better time to grab your pals and take a trip to the Big Apple. Breathtaking sights, non-stop action, and captivating culture all make NYC a destination you’ll never forget. But what happens when you’ve already completed everything on your to-do list? It’s only logical to venture outside the city limits, going above and beyond with these five fascinating jaunts around New York.
1. Taste The History On Governor’s Island
Craving a break from the traffic? You can hop on a ferry and take a ride over to Governors Island, a car-free paradise open for the public to explore. Here you’ll be able to relax amid the seemingly endless greenery, exploring various art exhibitions and even partaking in some more adventurous activities if it suits your fancy.
Kayaking and biking during warm-weather months is always popular, as is ziplining and bike riding across the island’s massive man-made expanse of park. You can try rock climbing, or meander through the giant maze in an immersive puzzle game. Reserve a spot to barbecue with your friends, or check out a number of delicious treats and eats across the island. Those who don’t want the adventure to end can stay overnight on a glamping retreat by the gorgeous water’s edge.
Governors Island is open anytime during the spring and summer months from May until October. To arrive, head over to Manhattan’s South Street Seaport and take the ferry there for just $3. During the season, you and your crew can also take advantage of free ferry rides on Saturday and Sunday before 11:30 AM.
2. Hit The Tables On A Poker Tour
Nothing cements a friendship like a night of poker fun. In NYC you can head to the Resorts World Casino at Aqueduct to hit the tables with your buds, but only electronic table games are offered here. For a real-world casino experience, it’s a good idea to saddle up and head across state lines.
Atlantic City in New Jersey is considered the cream of the crop when it comes to poker tables near NYC. Here you’ll find an attractive and exciting poker experience and some half dozen casinos to choose from. Many of these venues are open at all hours, offering both beginner-friendly experiences and expert-level poker rooms where you can place bets of all sizes. Even if you’re a newbie when it comes to poker, you can still have a great time on the floor here.
A trip to the poker tables in Jersey is guaranteed to be a good time, but the action doesn’t have to end at the casino. Thanks to new regulations in the country, today you can play legal poker in the US, all you need is a cell phone or a computer. This will give you a much-needed break from pacing back and forth, and you can let the fun begin without worrying about a dress code or designating a driver.
3. Explore The Natural Beauty Of Fort Tilden
Fort Tilden is a place of desolate yet breathtaking beauty. In fact, the landscape here is so alien that you’ll be hard-pressed to believe these beaches actually lie on the outskirts of New York—but they do. A former military outpost, the fort is now part of a peaceful National Park gateway leading down to serene waters and magical maritime forests.
Caption: The long stretches of white sand around Fort Tilden resemble a tropical beach more than the far reaches of Queens, but you can visit this captivating outpost easily from the city.
Here you and your pals can take a stroll along beaches where you won’t see another soul. Relax under the starry sky at night or make a picnic by the water’s edge, listening to gentle waves lap up against the shoreline. Fort Tilden is located in Queens, and it’s easiest to reach by car. If you don’t have one, you can rent a bicycle and set out on an adventure to explore this rocky wonderland.
4. Relax And Get Artsy On Randall’s Island
Randall’s Island is a cultural hub, an environmental Exploratorium, and a gigantic recreational facility all rolled into one. Here you’ll find concerts, art exhibits, and sports games, with each event drawing in large numbers of people who prefer to have their fun in the sun.
Randall’s Park plays host to the Frieze Art Fair, family football games, and even Cirque du Soleil performances. You and your friends are guaranteed to have a rollicking good time exploring the premises and taking advantage of opportunities for tennis, golf, yoga, outdoor movie nights, and other events both free and paid.
Meander your way around freshwater wetlands, tidal marshlands, and miles of extraordinary waterfront trails before settling down with a snack at any of the three cafes. Check out the free drop-in art classes on Saturdays or Sundays, or visit during festival season to get your groove on. The Island is located in the East River between the Bronx and Queens, and is open from 5AM to 12AM daily. You can arrive via bus on the M35, or you can walk or bike there from a number of access bridges.
5. Get Your Hike On At Breakneck Ridge
If you want to get out of the city for an adventure through the rugged, natural beauty of New York, look no further than Breakneck Ridge. This challenging trail is not for the faint of heart, and it’s likely to take you an entire day to complete. Of course, that’s all part of the adventure at Breakneck, but you’re still advised to bring along some snacks to keep your energy up.
The trail rises over rocky, mountainous terrain to give you a gorgeous view of the Hudson River and Beacon Mountain across the water. The full hike is 8 miles long, but you can do smaller loops if it suits your fancy—just grab a map at the trailhead before you set off. This trail is also dog-friendly, so you can bring along pals and pooch to make the day memorable for everyone involved.
Hopefuls pining for a hike are in luck because this is one trail which has its own private train service. You can take the train from Grand Central Station and enjoy your 1.5-hour ride straight to the trailhead, or you can take your own car and arrive in a more leisurely fashion.
Now that you know all the best ways to play around New York, you and your friends can get started on the road to adventure today. These trips are a great way to have some fun outside the city, and you’re sure to have the time of your life as you discover everything there is to do around the Big Apple. Ready to get started? We can’t blame you. Your adventure awaits, so don’t hesitate to plan your trip today.