Why I Love Being a Tourist in My Own City of New York

In one of the most buzzing tourist capitals of the world, New York City, locals balk and mutter under their breath at the utter mention of—dun, dun, duuuun!—tourists. But why? Because tourists stand in the middle of sidewalks, lost and confused; and flock to over-wrought city sights that give tourists not the faintest a clue an idea of what the "real" New York City is all about.

 Yet, there are a few secret tourist activities that are actually so worthwhile that any local would be proud to admit they've done them. Enter the boat tour. I took a schooner boat tour a few years back, on Pride Weekend—the most jam-packed, fun-filled weekend for the local LGBT community. And this was the most amazing breather! Great views just before sunset, a hipster sailorman, and all I was missing was a nice light beer or wine. Those came after. But note that PLENTY of these boat tours include drinks, or at least have them on board for purchase. 


DO IT: There are a ton of ways to see the city by water, including Circle Line Cruises which start at around $35, Twilight Cruises, food cruises, Hop On Hop Off cruises, and more. They're incredibly affordable, many of them and you get an incredible view of the city skyline from your new favorite, yacht, schooner, speedboat, etc.  Two great sites to become your home base for boating research are Classic Harbor Line, which offers relatively affordable yacht cruises (A little Yacht Rock, anyone??), and Grey Line, a great one stop shop for cheap and splurgy boat cruises.


This is a tourist junket that I'd like to do every summer, but there's also the NYC Water Taxi/East River Ferry, which is only $4.00 per ride and takes you to from a Lower Manhattan stop; to DUMBO, Williamsburg, and Greenpoint Brooklyn; back over to Midtown Manhattan. A getaway every day after work even when I have to go into the office? Now that's my idea of the good life.

What touristy things do you enjoy in your home city? Share with us, so we can get great ideas for when we travel there!