New York City is a destination where the hustle and bustle never stops. With over 8.5 million people spread over the five boroughs and millions of visitors flocking to Manhattan each year, it can be hard to take a step back and escape the noise. That’s why so many New York City tourists are taking to the water.
Historically speaking, New York City has always been a major port, built to use the water to its advantage. By cruising the waterways, tourists are able to see many of their bucket list attractions while avoiding lineups, traffic and noise. Here are some of the best New York City views and experiences from the water.
The Statue of Liberty
If you want to see the Statue of Liberty up close, you have no choice but to do so from the water as it and Ellis Island are only reachable by boat (or helicopter, if you happen to have one). When you book your cruise to the Statue of Liberty, try to find a route that will take you alongside some of the other major attractions that you wish to see. At the very least, it can be breathtaking to see the skyline from the water.
The Brooklyn Bridge
The Brooklyn Bridge is another major tourist attraction in the Big Apple, with many tourists aiming to walk across the historic span. As a result, there is rarely a time to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge without huge crowds of tourists, including cyclists and pedestrians who are loathe to stay in their own lane. The walk, which is meant to be scenic and relaxing, can quickly become stressful and miserable.
Rather than walking across the bridge, take in this gargantuan span by cruising underneath. You still get to enjoy the incredible architecture without bustling around trying to get a photo without strangers in it. This cruise route is usually offered in conjunction with other popular tourist attractions, saving you both time and money by combining the trips.
Sparkling City Lights
Add a touch of magic and romance by cruising at night and viewing the city lights in all their splendor. These cruises often start with sunset on the water, before sailing along the East River and Hudson River as the city comes to life before your eyes. See the One World Trade Center and the Empire State building twinkle in the distance, while the Brooklyn Bridge lights up from shore to shore.
Battery Park is a gorgeous section of land in Southern Manhattan. The Battery is home to an urban farm, gardens, and a one-of-a-kind Seaglass Carousel. The Battery Park Esplanade is a long walking path that runs along the Hudson River, offering stunning views of the water and Statue of Liberty. From here, you can catch water taxis, cruise tours, and the Staten Island Ferry.
Alongside Battery Park is the Museum of Jewish Heritage, the architectural wonder which appears to look like a beehive due to its hexagonal shape. While the view of Battery Park is often overshadowed by the buildings surrounding it due to its proximity to the Financial District, this museum is worth viewing from the water.
Know Before You Go
The temperature on the water can be quite cooler than what you might find in the city core. Bring layers of warm clothing, as well as a waterproof jacket or poncho. The summer months in New York City are hot and humid. On the water, the air may feel cooler, but the sun is still powerful, especially when reflected off the surrounding river. Be sure to pack sunscreen and reapply regularly.
Seeing The Big Apple from the water will instill a sense of peace and wonder, and give you a new appreciation for the monolithic metropolis once you’re back on the streets!