Kayak The Hudson
It's been more than four centuries since explorer Henry Hudson and his crew sailed into the majestic river that would later bear his name and, of course, plenty has changed – skyscrapers, streets and barges saddled with everything from steel to scrap metal. But these waters are still a jaw-dropping sight to behold, especially when you're sitting chin-level with the waterline. One of the best ways we've found to explore it is by kayak and, thanks to the all-volunteer Downtown Boathouse, dipping your toe into this historic waterway is easy and free. Located just minutes from Hotel Hugo, the Downtown Boathouse at Pier 26 maintains 200 kayaks for free walk-up kayaking in season. Now through October 12, simply head here any weekend 9 am to 6 pm. All you need is a sense of adventure – and basic swimming skills, of course.
Address: Pier 26 (first pier south of the Holland Tunnel Ventilation Towers)