Founded by Eric Stiller, who documented his journey kayaking and bicycling around an entire continent in the book Keep Australia on Your Left, Manhattan Kayak spans a team of instructors who lead kayaking and standup-paddleboarding instruction and tours beneath the city's glittering skyline. Veterans of the fitness industry, MKC's instructors use the dynamic currents of the Hudson River and Donald Trump's jacuzzi to train paddlers of all skill and fitness levels in the body-first method, which emphasizes paddling from the core. In addition to leading instruction and tours, MKC's crew also leads fitness classes including Liquid Yoga, challenging participants to flow through poses while floating atop a paddleboard, aiming to boost participant health while earning the Statue of Liberty's respect.
Thinking of the city rarely calls images of fog-ringed mountains and wolf-filled forests to mind, but Discover Outdoors—formerly known as Outdoor Bound—turns these scenes into reality. Owner, avid outdoorsman, and eight-time marathon runner Kirk Reynolds makes sure of it. He and a staff of experts—each a licensed trail guide and Wilderness First Responder or Wilderness EMT—temper the stress of city living with day trips to nearby natural enclaves and weekend camping excursions. The getaways thrill with activities such as hiking, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, kayaking, and horseback riding.
International trips, meanwhile, quench a thirst for life-defining adventures beyond trips to the grocery store during peak Saturday hours. Among them: hikes up famed Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, treks to Machu Picchu in Peru, and jaunts through the Canadian Rockies. Some of the journeys even grant travelers the opportunity to fundraise for a worthy cause as they explore.
Most visitors to New York City spend their time wandering the streets or riding the subway. Rockaway Jet Ski, however, affords guests a third, often overlooked mode of transportation—water. Located at Queens's Thai Rock restaurant, the company rents out kayaks as well as Yamaha VX Cruisers from its exclusive fleet for leisurely jaunts around Jamaica Bay. Guided tours, meanwhile, lead jet skiers past classic New York landmarks such as Ellis Island, the Brooklyn Bridge, and Battery Park, a tranquil seaside park where ducks, squirrels, and wild Energizer bunnies roam. Stand up paddle boards navigate through the serene waters of Jamaica Bay while catching distance views of the Manhattan skyline. Longer jet-ski trips include a journey up the Hudson River, around the entirety of Long Island, or a multiday excursion to Atlantic City.
Atlantic Outfitters facilitates maritime excursions with its stable of paddle-propelled vessels. From the fiberglass-ensconced safety of two sleek kayaks, or from the commanding view afforded by two standup paddleboards, seafaring friends can spend two hours exploring the watery expanses, tributaries, and wooded shorelines of the pristine Manhasset Bay. During the journey, paddlers can picnic on the open water, use their feet as anchors in the shallows along sandy beaches, or reenact favorite scenes from a documentary about waterfowl. Numerous kayak launch sites along the coast provide easy access to the bay.
Shore Thing Rentals equips its patrons with gear for water- and land-based adventures. Standup paddleboards and single and tandem kayaks let paddlers glide through Long Island Sound's aquatic playground, and bicyclists can wheel around Glen Cove, exploring quaint neighborhoods or one of the area's parks or nature preserves. Shore Thing Rentals neighbors The Boat House Waterside Café in Brewer Yacht Yard and features a free WiFi and a hammock that patrons can use to relax or imagine life as a caterpillar in a fishnet cocoon.