Chelsea Piers, New York City
I have a friend who is a member of the Chelsea Piers sports complex, and she invited me to work out with her there. I always wondered how those who live in a sea of concrete managed to enjoy outdoor activities; now I know. Chelsea Piers has everything you can imagine: sand volleyball, climbing wall, golf range, basketball courts, baseball, skating, golf, gymnastics, even a film studio. The complex covers 30 acres of waterfront on the Hudson, and it is absolutely amazing.
After our workout, we went running on the running/cycling path alongside the piers, and even though I was hesitant to run at night for safety reasons, I felt pretty safe.
I'm not sure how far we ran, but it was all the way to Battery Park. (My friend is training for the Iron Man; and even though we didn't run that far, she nearly killed me...) I've heard that the path goes uptown, too, to W 57th St.
Beside the path is a structure inclosed in netting where trapeze lessons are given. I felt like I lost my stomach every time someone would miss grasping the other trapeze artist's arms. We also saw Donald Trump's Yacht (he was having a party on it that night) docked at one of the piers. Quite lovely.
Equipment: Bring your running shoes and a friend who is already a member. Towels, shampoo, hair dryers, and soap are supplied.
Getting there is half the fun--and most of the workout. From the Web site are these directions:
"The M23 bus crosses Manhattan on West 23rd Street and stops directly in front of the northern entrance to Chelsea Piers. The M14 bus crosses Manhattan on 14th Street and stops at 18th Street in front of the southern entrance to Chelsea Piers. The M23 and M14 buses connect with all of Manhattan's north-south bus routes and subway lines.
N, R - Fifth Avenue
F, PATH - Sixth Avenue
1, 9 - Seventh Avenue
C, E - Eighth Avenue"
If you could understand all that, you wouldn't need directions. You'd already know where this place is.
If you can't refrain to play some golf and you're trapped into the city, you may try the Chelsea Piers, not an 18 hole, but may suffice to feel the irons again in your hands :-)
There are also some gyms, but didn't check if they admit casual visitors... neither the entrance fee :-)
...and I really mean anything. Pick a sport, and sport! There is rock climbing, soccer, gymnastics, ice skating, roller-blading, basketball, simming, boxing, baseball, ice hockey, skateboarding, and so much more at Chelsea Piers Sports & Entertainment Complex. It also includes a bowling alley and arcade!
Equipment: Equipment depends on what sport you play, but there is always things to rent for a small fee.
Chelsea Piers is a giant sports complex on the West Side of Manhattan. You can play just about any sport here. NYU offered a discount prices to the piers for its students but I never took them up on it as the prices were still way too high.
Chelsea Piers Sports Club has a wide range of sports available, including rock climbing, swimming, bowling, basketball, and fitness classes. You're free to wander round, check out the place, and watch the kid's soccer and gymnastics. I went with a kid, who was happy just to watch what was going on and run around.
Overall: A good place for sports for long stays in NY, otherwise, take your kids bowling or ice-skating if you have the time.
For those travellers missing their golf you are in luck. There is a large Golf Range overlooking the Hudson River, we saw it when we took the ferry cruise around Manhattan.
It is great fun to hit balls on the piers towards the Hudson river. Huge nets prevent the balls from actually hitting innocents boaters. Once you're done, just have a cold one on the pier