7 Seriously Cool Hudson River Activities You Need to Try This Summer

The Big Apple isn’t exactly known for its outdoor recreation, but New Yorkers—especially those of us itching to get out of our one-bedroom apartments—know how to make the most of the warm weather. One of the most underrated parts of the city? The scenic Hudson River. Here are all the ways you can make a splash this summer.

Editor’s note: Please remember to follow all local health and safety guidelines.

12 Awesome Places to Go Glamping in the New York Area

hudson river activities boat cruise
Classic Harbor Line

1. Go Boating

For a fun brunch cruise around Manhattan or a romantic sunset champagne and cheese pairing cruise on the Hudson, Classic Harbor Line is just the ticket. If you’re looking for a more festive boat trip, Circle Line offers an exhilarating 4th of July fireworks cruise as well as “The Beast,” a thrilling jet-powered speedboat ride full of splashes, twists and turns galore.

2. Jet Skiing

For those of us with a need for speed, New York Harbor Jet Ski has three different jet ski tours to fit the bill—a harbor tour, a tour that goes under the George Washington Bridge and a sunset tour—which all let you reach speeds up to 55 m.p.h. For an even more picturesque adventure, Sea the City offers jet ski tours that include the city’s biggest attractions: Ellis Island, Statue of Liberty, Freedom Tower, Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, Governors Island and more. Hurry, summer bookings are filling up quickly!

hudson river activities cat
Lynda Shenkman

3. Kayaking

Take your water adventure into your own hands with a kayak trip. To get your paddle on, Manhattan Kayak Co offers lessons, private tours, trips after dark and more for all ages (meaning kiddos as young as 3+) and experience levels—some even invite you to bring your pup aboard! Hudson River Expeditions offers slightly more strenuous trips for teens and adults while Kayak Hudson has a lovely Sleepy Hollow kayak tour if you’re looking to head a little further up the Hudson.

4. Canoeing

If you’re interested in a more challenging water activity, don’t think we forgot about you. Go canoeing with New York Outrigger canoe paddling at Hudson River Park’s Pier 66 Boathouse. They offer free novice lessons of the ancient sport for strong swimmers ages 14+ at the only place designated for launching in NYC, while Hudson River Expeditions has daily canoe rentals all summer long out of Peekskill, just north of the city.

hudson river activities sight seeing
Circle Line

5. Sight-seeing

There’s no better way to see New York City’s biggest attractions than via boat. Whether you’re a local or a tourist, enjoy Circle Line’s liberty cruise and brand new liberty super express that get up close and personal with the beloved Statue of Liberty, guaranteed to make your Instagram followers beyond jealous. Classic Harbor Line offers several tours that highlight the city skyline, statues and unique architecture, while those looking for a more intimate trip can opt for a private charter cruise around Manhattan with New York Harbor Tours.

6. Rowing

For spontaneous New Yorkers looking for a water sport that isn’t too strenuous, Village Community Boathouse at Pier 40 is free and requires no registration—just walk right up every Sunday. Row New York also offers rowing classes at Hudson River Park for adults and teens, from beginners to more seasoned rowers, perfect for finding the program that’s right for you.

hudson river activities kayaking
Manhattan Kayak Co

7. Stand-up Paddleboarding (suping)

Try something new this summer on a stand-up paddleboard, otherwise known as a SUP. Manhattan Kayak Co offers beginner lessons, trips, SUP yoga classes, rentals in the cove, and even doggy yappy hours for pup lovers. Up the river, Hudson River Expeditions also offers lessons, rentals and instructions for beginners and advanced paddlers alike. (Warning: it’s harder than it looks!)

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purewow author

Freelance PureWow Editor

Quinn Fish is a Brooklyn-based freelance writer covering all things New York City, from the tastiest espresso martinis to the best amusement parks to the perfect weekend getaways...