Explore NYC: City Walks

Apparently in some areas of the country summer has forgotten to arrive – I’m looking at you Minnesota! Not so here in NYC. We’ve had some incredible weather and absolutely lovely weekends. Once the weather warms up I am like a kid who just got out of school, I want to be outside as much as possible. I love to pack the summer weekends with fun excursions – beach trips, picnics, festivals and tons of extremely long walks.

One of the things I love most about NYC is how incredibly walkable it is. Despite being home to more than 1.5 million people, Manhattan is only 13 miles long and  about 2 1/2 miles wide at its longest point.  Even Brooklyn, our home and favorite borough, is much smaller than you would expect. I know from experience that you can make it from the Brooklyn Bridge to Coney Island on foot in just a few hours.

A few years ago my Mom, one of my best friends and I decided to participate in a 3 Day, 60 mile walk for breast cancer. 60 miles in a long weekend is quite the feat and it requires a fair amount of training. Because neither of my teammates lived in NYC, I needed people to walk with. I stumbled across a group of people training for 3 Day events and began to walk with them on the weekends. Despite having lived in NYC for 6 years I felt like the city opened up to me. I figured out that nothing was really that far apart. If I was willing to strap on some tennis shoes and stay hydrated I could explore a ton on foot. One of my favorite training walks started at Penn Station and continued down the West side of Manhattan, across the Brooklyn Bridge and all the way to Nathan’s Hot Dog Stand on Coney Island. It was a whopping 21 miles and over the course of the day I got to see all sorts of New York neighborhoods I didn’t even know existed.

I’m no longer training for the 3 Day, but that summer changed me. I love to get out and explore NYC on foot. This last weekend Andy and I met up with our old 3 Day crew for a “short” training walk. This time we only walked from Penn Station across the Brooklyn Bridge, ending with pizza in Brooklyn Heights – a total of about 10 miles.

Along the way we explored the Highline, Manhattan’s elevated park located in Chelsea:

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Caught a glimpse of Lady Liberty (she’s little but she’s there!):

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And struggled through the crowds of tourists on Brooklyn Bridge – no matter how many times I walk across this bridge I never cease to be amazed.

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If you’re visiting NYC for a few days, just moved to the City or even if you’ve lived here for years I encourage you to take a half day and see how far you can walk – if you get tired out you can always grab a cab or jump on the subway, it’s like magic! Don’t forget comfortable walking shoes (As I’ve said before, I can’t recommend my Newtons highly enough!) sunscreen and a bottle of water. With those safety measures covered you should be all set for an amazing adventure.

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