New York City’s waterfronts are constantly evolving as residents gain access to abandoned ports and dockyards that are redeveloped into public space and ferry service expands.

The city’s piers in particular are hotbeds of activity, whether for entertainment, recreation or just enjoying the sunset.

If you’re looking for an escape from the city — without actually leaving it — here’s where to go.

Manhattan

Pier A 22 Battery Place The city's last

Pier A

22 Battery Place

The city's last surviving historic pier, built in 1886, is now a destination for drinks, eats and scenic views at the tip of Manhattan. The three-story bar and restaurant venue Pier A Harbor House opened in 2014, and this summer, the new bar Blacktail is slated to open there, too.

Also in the area: Battery Park

View: New York Harbor, Statue of Liberty

Hudson River Park

Hudson River from 59th Street to Battery Park

This expansive park along the Hudson features more than a dozen piers that offer plenty of entertainment, from the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Complex (Pier 86) to skateparks (Pier 62) to the Chelsea Piers complex (Piers 61-59) to a trapeze school (Pier 40) to mini golf, beach volleyball and the oyster bar Grand Banks (Pier 25). This summer, a new restaurant, City Vineyard, is slated to open at Pier 26.

Also at the park: Tennis courts, dog parks, kayaking, sailing, swimming and more

View: Hudson River

Ferry connection: New York Water Taxi at Pier 79 -- West 39th Street and Pier 45 -- Christopher Street

East River Waterfront Esplanade

Along the East River from Broad Street to Montgomery Street

The 2-mile-long waterfront space has been undergoing a transformation since 2011, especially for its piers. Pier 15 reopened in 2014 and features two decks with greenery and benches, as well as the new Watermark Bar. Pier 17 is closed as it undergoes reconstruction for a new shopping mall with retail, restaurants and a movie theater, and is slated to reopen in 2017. Pier 35 is also currently being developed into a landscaped public space, expected to be completed in early 2017.

Also in the area: South Street Seaport, including the Seaport Museum and Smorgasburg; dog run

View: East River

Ferry connection: New York Water Taxi at South Street Seaport

(Credit: Linda Rosier)

Brooklyn

Louis Valentino Jr. Park and Pier 104 Ferris

Louis Valentino Jr. Park and Pier

104 Ferris St.

A jaunt in Red Hook isn't complete without a visit to this pier, which offers unparalleled views of New York Harbor.

Also at the park: Free kayaking with the Red Hook Boaters (June 5-Sept. 25), free movie screenings with Red Hook Flicks

View: Statue of Liberty, Governors Island, New York Harbor, Staten Island, Manhattan skyline

Brooklyn Bridge Park

334 Furman St., Brooklyn Heights

You could spend the day at any of the park's East River piers, from Movies with a View at Pier 1 to basketball, handball, bocce, shuffleboard, roller skating and kayaking at Pier 2 to fishing, picnicking and soccer at Pier 5 to volleyball at Pier 6.

Also at the park: Plenty of concessions, including Luke's Lobster and No. 7 Sub (Pier 1), Ample Hills Creamery (Pier 5) and Fornino (Pier 6); bouldering and playgrounds (Pier 6)

View: East River, Manhattan skyline

Ferry connection: East River Ferry at Brooklyn Bridge Park/DUMBO; New York Water Taxi at Pier 1 -- Brooklyn Bridge Park, DUMBO

Transmitter Park

West Street between Kent Street and Greenpoint avenues

This four-year-old park, the first new significant open space on the Greenpoint waterfront, features a recreational pier with opportunities for fishing.

Also at the park: Children's play area, spray shower, nature gardens; the new Brooklyn Barge bar is also nearby

View: East River, Manhattan skyline

Ferry connection: East River Ferry at India Street/Greenpoint

Canarsie Pier

Rockaway and Shore parkways

Part of Gateway National Recreation Area, this pier has long been a popular fishing destination and is surrounded by a protected shoreline and salt marshes.

Also at the pier: Kayak launch, kite flying, fishing demonstrations, picnic area, food trucks

View: Jamaica Bay

(Credit: Yeong-Ung Yang)

Queens

Gantry Plaza State Park 4-09 47th Road, Long

Gantry Plaza State Park

4-09 47th Road, Long Island City

This 12-acre park along the East River features four distinct piers: Overlooking Pier (Pier 1); Cafe Pier (Pier 2), with elevated tables and bar stools; Sunning Pier (Pier 3), with wooden chaise lounges; and Fishing Pier (Pier 4), with its own cleaning table.

Also at the park: Basketball and handball courts, playgrounds, a dog run and picnic tables

View: East River, Manhattan skyline

Ferry connection: East River Ferry at Hunters Point South/Long Island City

(Credit: Yeong-Ung Yang)

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The Bronx

Hunts Point Landing 2 Farragut St., Hunts Point

Hunts Point Landing

2 Farragut St., Hunts Point

For the past four years, this former dead end street -- and popular fishing spot -- has had a new fishing pier (with cleaning station). The revitalization is part of the South Bronx Greenway, which is opening up the waterfront and connecting parks via walking and bike paths.

Also at the park: Kayak launch, tidal pools

View: Bronx and East Rivers

(Credit: New York City Economic Development Corporation)