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Summer fun: NYC favorites and under the radar picks

Spend an afternoon in a row boat on

Spend an afternoon in a row boat on Central Parks Lake. No reservations required Photo Credit: Flickr / Bokeh & Travel

New York may be considered a city of blacktop, but there's plenty of outdoor space to explore and enjoy. Whether it's your first summer in the city or you've been around the block, we've got you covered on where to spend it under the sun.


Old standby: Coney Island

Nathan's hot dog, back-to-back rides on the Cyclone, a spin around the Wonder Wheel, sunbathing on the sand -- there's your checklist for a day at the southern Brooklyn beach.
Under the radar: City Island

This quaint, 1.5-mile-long town on the Long Island Sound in the Bronx is a destination for seafood and boating. There's the nearby Orchard Beach, too. Unlike Coney, multiple train lines don't go to City Island, so getting there is half the fun.


Old standby: High Line

Trek the full 1.5 miles of the elevated park, which spans from Gansevoort Street to 34th Street -- just watch out for selfie sticks.
Under the radar: Shore Park and Parkway

Enjoy views of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and Statue of Liberty, sunrise and sunset and 4.5 miles of pathways at the southernmost point of Brooklyn.


Old standby: Central Park

Picnic on the Sheep Meadow, pay your respects at Strawberry Fields, say hi to the Alice in Wonderland statue and explore the Conservatory Garden at this world-famous park. A stroll across the Bow Bridge will have to wait, though -- it's closed for the summer for repairs
Under the radar: Pelham Bay Park

The city's largest park is more than three times the size of Central Park and features miles of hiking trails, a beach (Orchard Beach), two golf courses and diverse wildlife -- it's a prime spot to view osprey especially.


Old standby: New York Yankees

Don your blue and make your way to the Bronx to take in a game at Yankee Stadium. Cracker Jack and a hot dog are a must. If you have $125 to spare, you can also take the Hands on History tour on select game days and hold baseball artifacts such as Babe Ruth's bat and Derek Jeter's jersey.
Under the radar: Staten Island Yankees

The Baby Bombers, which are affiliated with the major league Yankees, play in St. George, Staten Island, just a short walk from the free ferry with spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline. Opening day is June 19 against the Brooklyn Cyclones.


Old standby: Prospect Park

The nearly 3.5-mile loop around the park takes you past the lake, zoo and Long Meadow. On Sunday afternoons, take a break at the Drummeras Grove on the southeast side.
Under the radar: Cunningham Park

Pack your bike and head to one of the largest parks in Queens for a day on the trails and the car-free Vanderbilt Motor Parkway.


Old standby: Central Park row boating

Whether on a date or with friends, head to the Loeb Boathouse and spend an afternoon in a row boat on Central Parkas Lake. No reservations required.
Under the radar: Marine Park stand-up paddleboarding

Up your game and get paddleboarding on Gerritsen Creek, a salt marsh eco-system in southeast Brooklyn. Kayaks and pedal boats are also available to rent.







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