As salty breezes blow in from the ocean and Jamaica Bay, they intermingle with the scents of contemporary Thai cuisine on the outdoor deck at Thai Rock. Specialties include the Poh Taek, a hot-and-sour hot pot filled with a combination of shrimp, mussels, squid, and whitefish. Chefs also stir-fry rice noodles with egg and dark, sweet soy sauce to create pad see-ew, available with a choice of protein such as chicken, certified Angus beef, pork, duck, or tofu.
As far as party spots go, Thai Rock lives up to its name. Live music rocks the indoor dining room year round, while tunes echo onto the outdoor deck and bar during warmer months. The eatery frequently hosts events, from karaoke contests to outdoor Zumba classes on the deck. The deck, with its panoramic view of?and direct access to?Jamaica Bay, is definitely a highlight of Thai Rock, allowing for warm-weather fun including pre-dinner jet skiing thanks to Rockaway Jet Ski at Thai Rock.
Canoes float under a sunny sky, kayakers speed along lush riverbanks, and standup paddleboards engage core muscles in adrenaline-pumping workouts. With dozens of watercraft for rent and sale, BayCreek Paddling Center's team brings aquatic adventures like these to life. Their staff members, which range from young enthusiasts to 30-year industry veterans, launch customers into Irondequoit Creek, where they can float amid an orchestra of bird songs and opera-trained fish. In addition to rentals, the staff guide activities. Aboard their various watercraft, certified instructors lead lessons and nature tours that wind through glacier-carved terrain and former Seneca Native American lands.
Enclosed by the dense circle of trees that surrounds Oneida Lake, Stone’s Marina Kayak Club seems so far removed from the bustling life of the city that one might never guess it’s just down the road from Syracuse. The marina’s staff equip kayakers of all levels with life vests and paddles before guiding them into the waters that lap gently at the lake’s shoreline. Before sending first-time paddlers off to explore the lake, they dole out lessons in steering and proper safety etiquette, such as keeping two hands on the paddle and never picking up hitchhiking crocodiles. In addition to their fleet of kayaks, the marina also furnishes visitors with pavilions, grills, and campsites for multiday excursions.
The Lake House’s chefs create innovative seafood plates and hearty steaks as diners take in lakeside views from the interior of an historic hotel built in 1843. Scan the menu before electing upscale eats such as pumpkin-seed-encrusted trout filets in sherry cream ($16.99) or pan-seared hunter’s ducks dressed in a pear-and-peppercorn au jus ($22.99). Chefs stuff the Lake House bone-in pork chop with an autumnal mélange of apples, onions, blue cheese, and cloud bacon before tossing it on the grill and drenching it in an apple-cider glaze ($17.99). Dinner diners sink meat fangs into a New York strip steak’s side ($19.99), and luncheon guests peruse burgers and sandwiches such as the grilled-chicken cordon bleu, which sports ham, swiss cheese, and a jaunty monocle atop its grilled roll ($8.99). Lounge on the patio facing the lake or illumine meals indoors with the light of Tiffany-style stained-glass table lamps.
In addition to outfitting aquatic adventurers with necessary equipment, Buffalo River Canoe and Kayak Outfitters sends groups of paddlers splashing downstream during guided explorations seven days a week. Headlining an assortment of trips, the Buffalo River Urban Trails tour unveils some of the city's historic waterfront sights, highlighted by industrial-area businesses and grain elevators that stand as towering links to an agrarian past or prophesies to an apocalyptic future where morsels of homogenized chicken byproduct no longer exist. The Outfitters' other point-to-point adventures—ranging from 2.5 to 6 miles apiece—also provide varying launch points, such as Red Jacket River Front Park and Seneca Bluffs.
Pushing off from from Waterfront Park, paddlers in kayaks and on standup boards from Freeport Kayak Rentals can go exploring in the surrounding bays. Traverse the waterways to Wampum Island, where you can stop to search for shells or practice etching S.O.S. into the sand. Duos can share rowing duties in tandem kayaks, scoping the waterscape for local wildlife such as egrets, gulls, and other shorebirds. Each rental includes lifejackets and paddles, as well as a brief orientation and safety tips for your journey.