Unique and obscure ways to explore New York City


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Katherine Pappas, Contributor

The leaves begin to turn, the temperature starts to fall and the days slowly become shorter. As autumn arrives in New York, take some time to go explore everything the city has to offer! New York City is home to some of the most popular, historical and aesthetically pleasing sights, so whether you’re looking for a cheap day trip or you have some cash to spend, below are some of The Pace Press’ unique ways to see the sights of NYC. 

Pier 26 Free Kayaking (Free

From now until Oct. 10, the all-volunteer nonprofit organization, Downtown Boathouse, is offering free kayaking at Pier 26. No reservations are needed, so just hop in line! Get some friends together and enjoy a free thirty-minute kayaking adventure on the Hudson River, on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

The High Line (Free

The elevated rail line that once connected trains to warehouses and factories is now a 1.5-mile-long park open for the public to enjoy. From Gansevoort St. to 34th St. on Manhattan’s West Side, take a stroll alone or with some friends before it gets too cold while overlooking the city, the water and the greenery planted along the track. 

Staten Island Ferry (Free

If you want to explore a different borough, the Staten Island Ferry might be your answer! Leaving from Whitehall Street every thirty minutes (at least, most of the time), enjoy a free 25-minute boat ride to Staten Island, with a perfect view of the Statue of Liberty on the way. With the ferry running 24/7, you have plenty of time to explore the local Italian restaurants and coffee shops in this borough, or just go for the ride and head back to the city. 

Roosevelt Island Tramway ($2.75) 

Running from 59th Street and Second Avenue, this aerial tramway takes you to Roosevelt Island for $2.75. Spanning over the East River between Manhattan and Queens, be sure to take advantage of the charming parks and elegant gardens with NYC skyscrapers in the distance! The trams run every fifteen minutes and only accept MetroCard payments. 

NYC Circle Line ($22+) 

The New York City Circle Line has been in business for 77 years, hosting over 80 million passengers. Starting at $22, you can select from a wide variety of cruises ranging from a 2.5-hour Best of NYC Tour to a 2-hour Sunset Harbor Lights Tour. Setting sail from Pier 83, see some of NYC’s most popular attractions: Ellis Island, One World Trade Center, Yankee Stadium, the George Washington Bridge and more!

Water Taxi ($31) 

While this one may be a little on the pricey side, for $31 the NYC Water Taxi is a quick and scenic route to get to some well-known tourist sights. Running from 10 a.m. through 6 p.m., the Water Taxi has three Manhattan terminals to choose from: Midtown 42nd St., Downtown Battery Park and South Street Seaport. From there, head over to the Dumbo terminal in Brooklyn, or ride all the way to Coney Island, as the possibilities are endless. 

NYC Big Bus Tours ($35+) 

NYC Big Bus Tours are a very effective way to get to see as much of NYC as possible. Top View Sightseeing offers a wide range of bus tours starting at $35. Go during the day or experience a Night Tour and drive through Times Square after the sun sets. Buy a ticket for a Hop On Off Tour so you can get off when you want–like at Central Park or The Metropolitan Museum of Art–then get back on when the next one comes. 

There are countless exciting ways to see the city, especially for first-year students. Whichever one you choose, be safe and have fun!