Escape The Concrete Jungle: Inside Tips On Boating In & Around New York City

New York Boating
New York City
East River, New York City

Take advantage of these summer days while they’re here. With the long, cold winters that take up so many (too many) months in New York, why waste any more time stuck inside?

Spend those summer Fridays, long weekends and late sunsets making memories with friends and doing something you’ll actually enjoy — like boating! Discover Boating has the inside scoop on how to make your summer boating dreams a reality not far from home.

Manhattan may be the most populated city in the U.S., but it’s just a small island off the state of New York. In and around the Big Apple are bodies of water begging to be explored. If you’re looking to escape for a weekend getaway or a romantic trip away, make the most of your summer and consider one of these scenic New York boating locations:

Marina, Sag Harbor, NY from Baron's Cove
Sag Harbor Marina from Baron's Cove


  1. Hudson River (Train, Cab or Walk from NYC): Beginning in downtown Manhattan, the Hudson River is the easiest way to get on the water from NYC. Cruise from lower Manhattan to upper Manhattan for beautiful happy hour views or on the weekend with friends. If you’re feeling adventurous and want to head further north, the Hudson River stretches more than 300 miles with plenty to offer boaters including fishing around the tributary mouths and in-river structures for largemouth and smallmouth bass. You can also head east to Long Island via the river if you prefer.
    • Insider Tip: If you don’t own a boat, check out SailTime, Boatsetter or North Cove Sailing to explore an hourly rental for powerboats, sailboats, sailing lessons and everything in between. You can even rent a boat that includes a captain!
  2. Island Park, NY or Long Beach, NY (35 miles from NYC): The village of Island Park has some of the best bays and boating locations in all of Long Island. You can spend a long weekend here and enjoy the waters and beaches of the nearby Long Beach, NY which is less than a mile wide from the ocean to the bay and about 3 ½ miles long.
    • Insider Tip: Hop on the orange line from Penn Station and in just 45 minutes, you and your friends will be at this amazing boating location. Once there, you can take watersport classes such as wakesurfing, wakeboarding or waterskiing from LB Wake & Watersports.
  3. Long Island Sound (65 miles from NYC): Stretches between Connecticut to the north and Long Island to the south offering beautiful scenery and multiple boating destinations, such as Oyster Bay and Cold Spring Harbor. Popular boating activities include cruising, fishing and sailing, plus Cold Spring Harbor offers a protected harbor great for watersports.
    • Insider Tip: Live nearby the sound and want to boat more frequently? Consider fractional ownership. Freedom Boat Club in Port Jefferson offers boating membership options and is in one of the hottest destination towns on Long Island, with fine restaurants and a mix of pristine beaches and marinas.
  4. The Hamptons: The eastern coast of Long Island is filled with a plethora of seaside communities that are ideal for summer weekend getaways. Some favorite spots in the Hamptons include:
    • North Fork (82 miles from NYC): The North Fork, the quiet finger of the victory sign that extends out to the Easternmost region of Long Island NY — 120 miles from Manhattan. Insider Tip: Learn how to shuck oysters like a pro at Little Creek Oyster Farm & Market. Dock your boat at the Mitchell Park Docks and stroll up to the nearby joint for lunch.
    • Hampton Bays (85 miles from NYC): Located in South Hampton, Hampton Bays is known as the “boat way to the Hamptons.” Insider Tip: From Shinnecock and Tiana Bays, boaters can reach the Atlantic Ocean through The Shinnecock Inlet. Plus, the area is great for watersports, fishing and more.
    • Sag Harbor (102 miles from NYC): Located in between East Hampton and Southampton, Sag Harbor’s 17 miles of shoreline are perfect for a boat outing. Cruise by the Sag Harbor Marine Park to catch a glimpse of the beautiful boats on display or take a trip up to Shelter Island for the day. This small town is filled with lots of charm and is ideal for sea lovers and beachgoers. Insider Tip: Stay at Baron’s Cove, a waterfront resort and walk across the street to the marina and find Global Boarding, where you can sign up for a watersports lesson or rent a vessel for a day.
    • Shelter Island (106 miles from NYC): Located at the eastern end of Long Island — right in between the North and South Forks. It is surrounded on three sides by Shelter Island Sounds and on the fourth side by Gardiners Bay — a short boat ride away from Montauk. A third of the island is owned by The Nature Conservancy and is to be preserved in a wild state. Insider Tip: Because of its location, those traveling to Shelter Island can only get there by boat, ferry or a small plane. If you’re feeling adventurous, take a train ride up to Greenport, NY and from there Shelter Island is just an 8-minute ferry ride.

Not sure where to start, or interested in a different location than one of the above? No worries — Discover Boating has got you covered. Visit our Go Boating Today tool, enter your destination and easily find rentals and charters in your area.

No matter where you go or who with, Discover Boating wants you to take advantage of the beautiful destinations and locations that New York has to offer.

Welcome to the water!