This summer a new era has begun in the transportation history of NYC: It’s never been easier, cheaper and more comfortable to explore the city by ferry! The NYC ferry has launched with brand new boats, routes and schedules, making it a pleasure to visit some of the city’s less well connected areas.
So if you’re visiting NYC next time, I highly recommend this service that beats the subway in many ways: At only 2.75 $ regardless of distance, the ticket costs the same as a single ride on the train – so go on board and catch the ocean breeze with some of the finest views! In the following I’ll share my favourite places that can be visited by ferry and if you’re looking for more summer tips in the city, see also here.
The same ferry service I mentioned above connects Manhattan’s Wall Street with NYC’s most popular beach destination: Rockaway Beach! Contrary to the long, boring subway ride, this journey is a pleasant one – you can either sit on deck or inside with AC, and there’s even a bar that sells beer and snacks. It feels like a mini vacation and once you hit the beach, you’ll almost forget that you’re still in NYC! The beach is so long that there’s a quiet spot for everyone even during the busiest day (you might have to walk further or take the shuttle bus provided) and the sand and water is incredibly nice for NYC standards. Don’t miss to grab the city’s best fish tacos (yes we loved them!) at the Rockaway Beach Surf Club, quite a cool joint with a Californian vibe! Check all routes and schedules of the NYC Ferry here.
Another summer hot spot is Governor’s Island just between Manhattan and Brooklyn. The small island is under US National Park management, completely car-free but even more popular to explore by bicycle. History geeks will find lots of historic buildings like a fort and Army settlements there, while foodies will love the food trucks lined up in the courtyard. And pretty much everyone will appreciate the fantastic views of Lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty, the events that take place there frequently, or the generous park areas. Governor’s Island is only open to the public during the summer season from May to October, so if you happen to visit NYC during these months – check it out! You’ll find more information on the Governor’s Island official website.
One of the best things to do when you either 1) look for the best view of the Statue of Liberty without actually visiting Liberty Island or 2) want to kill time for any reason – the Staten Island Ferry is oldie but goldie. Leaving from Whitehall Ferry Terminal on the southern tip of Manhattan, this ferry isn’t only a necessity for commuters but also a favourite among visitors. Simply because it runs 365 days a year, 24/7 and 24 hours – and it’s completely FREE! The boat is huge, has plenty of seating and provides great outdoor views, especially when it passes Liberty Island. The ride only takes about 25 minutes but most visitors get off the terminal at Staten Island and wait for the next ferry back. Take a good book and go back and forth as often as you like 😉 Find more information about the Staten Island Ferry here.
NY Waterway to/from Jersey
Another ferry service, the NY Waterway, is the main operator that runs in the Hudson River connecting various locations in New Jersey with The Big Apple. Why going to Jersey? Well, they’re lucky to have some stunning views of Manhattan from the “other side”. The ticket prices are a little higher than the ones from NYC Ferry and depend on distance, nevertheless for Jersey visitors it might be a good alternative to the buses or the PATH. Schedules, routes and tickets can be found here.
I hope you enjoyed that little ferry tour and found some useful information for your next trip 😉