Top Thrilling Activities To Do In The Empire City


Usually, when people think of New York, the things that first come to mind are the iconic cityscape of skyscrapers, the neon lights of Times Square, Broadway shows, and the impressive greenery of Central Park. However, what many visitors to the city don’t know about are all the adventurous activities somewhat off the regular tourist track. 

If you are looking for adventurous and thrilling things to do in New York City that will provide you with plenty of memorable and unique experiences, then you should read our list of recommendations below. 

Cycle Around New York

Opting to cycle around New York is a great way to explore the city as it provides you with the opportunity to go off the beaten track and visit some lesser-known attractions and neighborhoods. There are many affordable bike tours and rentals to choose from when visiting NYC making it easy to get around and stumble across hidden gems and the best local restaurants. Some of the best places to enjoy amazing views of the city away from the traffic of busy streets are the Hudson River Park Bikeway, the Old Putnam Trail, and the East River Greenway. 

Go White Water Rafting On The Hudson River

The exhilarating 17-mile long rafting adventure starts on the Upper Hudson River in the scenic Adirondack Mountains and features a combination of fast-moving class III-V rapids and calm sections so you still have time to take in the surroundings. Full-day white water rafting trips generally cost between $$65 – $110 per person. 

Take a Jet Boat Ride on the Niagara Falls River

For those who have enough time on their holiday to New York, a trip to Niagara Falls is well worth visiting. The falls are located in the Finger Lake area of New York which can be reached via a short flight or two-day bus tours that stop at other scenic locations such as Glen Canyon and Seneca Lake. However, the most thrilling part of a trip to Niagara Falls has to be the jet boat ride on the class 5 rapids of the river. 

Stand-Up Paddle Boarding

Stand-up paddleboarding on the Hudson River provides a unique view and experience of the city. Paddleboarding around the waterways of New York gives you the freedom to explore and take in the epic skyline in your own time. Some popular spots for paddleboarding in NYC include Manhattan’s waterways, Shipyard Marina in Hoboken, Brooklyn Bridge Park, and Jamaica Bay, and the Rockaways in Queens. A full-day SUP board rental in New York will set you back around $100.

Bouldering in Central Park

Rat Rock located on the Upper West Side of Central Park South is a popular spot for bouldering often used by experienced climbers and adventurous tourists alike. The outdoor climbing wall is around 10 feet tall but is in fact more challenging than its height suggests. 

Go On a Speedboat Tour

An exhilarating adrenaline rush can make any holiday memorable, so why try a thrilling 45 mph plus speedboat ride along the Hudson River. The speedboat tours in New York City vary in duration and cost, although all of them will provide life jackets and stop regularly so passengers can admire the views and take photos of iconic landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan Island. The average ticket price for a speedboat tour is $30 for adults and $25 for children. 

Explore Highbridge Park by Mountain Bike

Even though New York City is a built-up urban area, there are still many secret spots in the city with plenty of nature and excellent trails to go mountain biking on. For some of the best mountain biking trails in New York, head to Highbridge Park which has routes suitable for both beginners and experts such as the Hellfighter trail featuring various challenging drops and turns. For visitors who prefer more gentle cycle trails, check out Cunningham Park in Fresh Meadows and Wold’s Pond Park in Staten Island.

Visit the Catacombs

In addition to the fantastic skyscrapers and scenic public parks on the surface, New York City also has interesting places to visit underground such as the catacombs located under the Basilica of St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral. Organizing a candlelit evening tour of the catacombs is easy with a local guide who will tell you all about the history of the church, its catacombs, and the famous American laid to rest in its crypts. 

Although New York City has a wealth of famous and often visited landmarks and tourist attractions, it also has a great range of more adventurous activities suitable for visitors looking for excitement and unique experiences such as white water rafting, mountain biking, speedboat rides, and bouldering.