NYC is one of my favorite cities and no stranger to the Hood family. Jeff and I went for a Yankees game years ago, three years ago I took Colt on (what would become) our first Mommy & Colt Adventure, and just last winter we went during Christmas for the first time and had the traditional NYC Christmas experience — Rockettes and all.
I’m certainly not declaring we’ve done “it all” but when we made plans to get up there this summer for a Mets game weekend — I made it my mission to find something different. Something we’d never done in the city before.
The first time I mentioned kayaking in the Hudson — Jeff was understandably skeptical. Who knew? You can just paddle around the eastern seaboard?
Manhattan Kayak — walking distance from our hotel in Times Square — was wonderful. I sent them a single email including our kayaking/paddling experience level and when/what we were looking for — and we were set up. Next thing I know, we’re meeting Alejandro at the Pier 84 boathouse and dropping boats in the Hudson River. Tour times strictly depend on the tides and he watched it closely. We got a quick overview of our intended route and we were off!
We did the hard work — against the current — on the way out with intentions to cruise a little on the way back down. In all, we paddled about 2 miles up and back from our pier.
Heading back, we were able to chill a lot more and float with the current. Heading north we had inched along, hiding behind each pier as we reached them — getting a respite from the current. But heading back south we cut across to the center of the river to get a better look at Jersey and the paddling was much easier.
Seeing the city from the water was definitely the different experience we were looking for. It was a little surreal to be doing something we enjoy back home in Arkansas as an unplugged, off-the-grid activity — but with the Manhattan skyline as a backdrop.
A Few Tips if You’re Ready to Kayak Manhattan:
- You’ll get wet. This feels DUH, but don’t underestimate it! We didn’t get IN the water, but we wore swimsuits, quick-dry clothes and water shoes (KEEN is our fave!)
- It’s harder than it looks! We’ve done a ton of kayaking and canoeing — but mostly in the current of a river. This was much more difficult, especially paddling against the current at first. Our guide tethered Colt to his kayak for the first leg so he could tow him and share the workload. That made a huge difference.
- Check out the Intrepid when you’re done! The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is next door – like RIGHT next door on the next dock. We wore our swimsuits and Colt still had his life jacket on but we had to check it out. Super cool stop if you’ve got a science fan like mine.
- Tip within a tip: Get an ASTC Membership if you go to more than one science museum a year. I know I sing its praises every chance I get — but the ASTC is worth every penny. The ASTC is the Association of Science-Technology Centers and if you’ve got a membership to one of the ASTC museums on this list you get benefits (like free admission!) to museums all over the country. We used our Amazeum (Northwest Arkansas museum) membership to get free admission to the Intrepid (which saved us over $100) and let us jump the General Admission line (which probably saved us 45 minutes). We’ve now used our one membership to get free admission to museums in 7 different states!
Two perspectives: Intrepid’s Fantail from the water, and from the ship itself.