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15 Lovely Spots For A Relaxing Summer Bike Ride In NYC

Claire Leaden Claire Leaden

15 Lovely Spots For A Relaxing Summer Bike Ride In NYC

Spending time outdoors has been one of our few escapes during the pandemic. Safely, of course!

So we were looking for some perfect summertime activities you can do without taking a trip out of NYC…and what’s better than a lovely (not to strenuous) summer bike ride?

We asked the true experts: New Yorkers themselves (aka you, our readers and followers!) for their best spots on Instagram, and as usual, you didn’t disappoint!

Of course, you can bring your own bike or rent one locally, but grabbing a Citibike may be the easiest bet. You can see where they are located nearest to where you want to ride on their website here.

Here are the perfect spots in NYC for a casual summer bike ride:

The Top Voted

1. West Side Highway/Hudson River Greenway!

This is the recommendation we received the most. And it’s not that surprising. The Hudson River Greenway spans most of the West Side of Manhattan — clocking in at 12.9 miles starting uptown at Inwood Hill Park and ending at Battery Park at the bottom of the island. You can join it wherever, but some highlights include the mighty Intrepid at 46th St. and Freedom Tower and 9/11 Memorial down at the final portion. At the very end, you’ll be able to take in views of the Statue of Liberty.

Insider tip: Start at the tippy top and ride out to the Little Red Lighthouse under the George Washington Bridge for a stunning sight that dates back to 1880!

You can score an awesome deal on bike rentals there here.

The Parks

2. Central Park, specifically Bethesda Terrace

72 Terrace Dr., New York, NY

3. Prospect Park, Brooklyn

Prospect Park W, Parkside Ave. bet. Flatbush Ave., Ocean Ave. and Prospect Park SW

Bicycling is allowed on the Park Drives, which includes a 3.35-mile loop. You can rent bikes from the LeFrak Center at Lakeside; more info here.

4. Madison Square Park

11 Madison Ave, New York

5. Washington Square Park, Greenwich Park

5 Ave, Waverly Pl., W. 4 St. and Macdougal St.

Bicycles must be walked within the park itself, but the surrounding streets near NYU make a nice campus-like ride as well.

6. Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, Queens

Grand Central Pkwy., Whitestone Exwy. bet. 111 St. and College Point Blvd., Park Drive E.

1-mile bicycling greenway.

7. Brooklyn Bridge Park

Furman St.,Water St. and John St. bet. Atlantic Ave.,Old Fulton St.,Main St.,Adams St., and Jay St., Brooklyn

The scenic bike-friendly waterfront greenway traverses the park from Pier 1 to Pier 6. Cycling is permitted only on the designated bicycle path. More info here.

The Streets

8. South Street Seaport

Fulton Street and the East River

10. SoHo

Houston to Canal Streets between West Broadway and Lafayette Street

11. 34th Ave in Jackson Heights, Queens

Right now 34th Ave in Jackson Height is closed off to traffic as part of the Open Streets program, so one reader said it made for an especially calm bike ride!

Water Views

12. Governors Island

New York Harbor 

Governors Island offers 7 miles of car-free biking. Bring your own bike or rent one from Blazing Saddles near Liggett Terrace or Citi Bike at the ferry landings. Heightened cleaning and safety protocols have been implemented for all rentals. More info here.

14. Jacob Riis Beach, Rockaway, Queens

157 Rockaway Beach Blvd, Rockaway Park, NY 

15. Randall’s Island

East River

Randall’s Island boasts 10 miles of wide bike and pedestrian pathways, which are paved and primarily flat, are free from cars, trucks and buses. They are three different routes at all different lengths depending on the how ambitious you’re feeling! More info here.

See also: Beat The Heat With These Summertime Cruises Around NYC

Things To Do Wellness & Nature