I’m always trying to remind my wife that New York City has the best things to do in terms of vacationing ideas. While vacation isn’t a thing which has entered our lexicon lately, there have been times when just ‘going somewhere else’ has been a relaxing change of pace for us. There are other places within a short distance which Manhattan which are good ‘staycation’ opportunities, however for this piece we’ll focus on things to do in the five boroughs which are not your typical New York City vacation destinations.
Coney Island: Most native New Yorkers don’t have cars. So for the benefit of these folks we’ll keep the New York City staycation ideas along the subway service and bus routes. One of the first staycation ideas you can use in the five boroughs is Coney Island. Many New Yorkers have already been to Coney Island but there are other things to do besides ride the Ferris wheel and the roller coasters. There is the boardwalk, New York Aquarium, Seaside Park, and Marine Park with the Marine Park Golf Course if you like that sort of thing.
Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge: For a more natural look at the world you can stop in to the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Just east of Coney Island the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge has a wonderful array of birds which come through seasonally. Your trip to this marshy place requires water resistant shoes or boots and the trials are open from sunrise so sunset so plan accordingly. Once you’ve seen all you want of Jamaica Bay head south to Rockaway Park, Rockaway Beach, Fort Tilden and you’ll get to see some of the most secluded and remote beaches in New York as well as several former military buildings.
Fort Washington Park & Cloisters: For something totally different, take the A train the other way to 181st street and hop off and explore Fort Washington Park. Home to Manhattans only lighthouse, the Little Red Lighthouse you read about as a child, Fort Washington Park has all kinds of fun things to do as part of your New York City staycation. Tennis courts, basketball courts, baseball grounds, and an outdoor athletic field, Fort Washington Park is a great place to enjoy. Once you’ve gotten out and gotten to play, wash up and head north further still to the Cloisters to check out some wonderful and hidden works of art in Northern Manhattan.
Of course we’d all like to be able to hop on a jet plane and take off to the stars but with the TSA screenings driving a nation to drive (or stay home) a New York City alternative staycation may be the next best bet.