So many New Yorkers have “that friend.” You know – the one who’s always saying something like “We really need to get away.” Even the end of your friend’s statement trails off, as if they barely have the breath or energy to finish their sentence: “We really need to get away…”

The problem with “getting away,” of course, is that you just went to four weddings, two of them out of town, and your friend’s kid’s birthday party is coming up, as is your sister’s baby shower!

Take a deep breath, and make a little gratitude list. Remember that you live in the greatest city on earth, and the greatest city on earth is not about to let you have a dull and listless summer just because you’re overcommitted and can’t afford a month in the Hamptons. Here are a few affordable, feel-good ideas to keep you appreciating the beautiful blue sky and sunshine, right here at home:

The Hudson Really Rocks

So many locals forget that New York is a coastal city. You know – as in on the water. (And a fleeting glance at the Hudson while your cab is whisking you down West Side Highway doesn’t count.) One great way to dip your toe in the water is with Rocks Off Concert Cruises. Cruise the harbor, and enjoy panoramic views of the city while listening to one of your favorite bands rock out. Treat yourself to a Rocks Off Concert Cruise this Summer and watch all your big city stress wash away!

 

Take a Dip!

Next, try getting out there – literally. Do you even know what stand-up paddle boarding is? Are you the person who wouldn’t be caught dead in a kayak? Well, it’s time to try something new, because just a few blocks from the Great White Way, Manhattan Kayak Company will show you how to explore New York City in unique and thrilling ways. Get on the water and relieve stress with picturesque views of global icons, such as the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, Yankee Stadium and Wall Street. Take the unique opportunity to explore the sights, sounds and ecosystems just beyond the coastal boarders of the world’s greatest city.

 

New York to New England in Less Than an Hour

If the thought of any physical activity beyond climbing the steps to your fourth floor walk-up fails to excite you, try cruising through New York Harbor on a historic ship while enjoying a New England-style menu, craft beer, cocktails and wine. The Water Table lovingly brings quality food and beverage aboard The Revolution, a yard patrol boat that was built for the U.S. Navy in 1944. It is one of only three left in service from that era. The staff is described by locals as “super friendly,” the music is “awesome,” it “feels like you’re on a friend’s boat as opposed to one of those tourist liners,” and “the quality of the food is excellent.”

 

#WhatLiftsYou

Kelsey Montague is a pen-and-ink artist who’s made a name for herself combining street art with hashtags. She believes this will inspire people to interact with one other and to share what inspires them, thereby including everybody in the creative process.

Her newest piece, #WhatLiftsYou, is proudly displayed over a busy block in New York City’s Nolita. It’s a strong, positive statement that allows spectators to literally step into the piece and become a part of it. A pair of angel’s wings are filled with images of NYC, including pizza, brownstone apartments and other city iconography. The inclusion of the hashtag #WhatLiftsYou is meant to engage the Instagram community, and Montague wants everyone to express what New York means to them. So take a trip down to Kenmare and Mott, step in and pose with the wings, and then hashtag what’s in your heart.

 

Afro Punk Fest

How many times a week do we hear someone complain “Music isn’t what it used to be, and art has become too safe?” Well, crawl out from under that rock, and check out the Afro Punk Fest for a reawakening of everything fresh, new and artistic. Here’s how the The New York Times decribes it: “The most multicultural festival in the United States… the word AFROPUNK itself has become synonymous with open-minded, non-conforming and unconventional, placing the institution at the epicenter of urban culture inspired by alternative music.” Dedicated to promoting diversity, the festival stage is always fresh and new, featuring some of music’s most distinct acts. Described as a weekend of “vibrant art, live music and good vibes,” see up-and-comers, hardcore punk bands and hip-hop heavyweights all sharing the stage. The good vibrations happen August 23rd and 24th, at Commodore Barry Park, in Brooklyn.

 

Everybody needs to get away sometime, but taking advantage of the fruitful summer choices that New York City has to offer can often give you a better battery-recharge that almost any out-of-town vacation. So here’s to some summer fun, right outside your doorstep!