City Without Limits

New York City

Be the ball: swing practice at Chelsea Piers     Photo: Fred George

1. RAISE A PADDLE to Lady Liberty, on Liberty Island, then cruise the coast of the financial district. Volunteers at the Downtown Boathouse will provide free kayaks and a guided tour of the choppy waters of the Hudson River and New York Harbor. (646-613-0375, downtownboathouse.org)

2. RISE, SHINE, AND SWEAT at a 5:30 a.m. Stacy's Boot Camp fitness class in Central Park. You'll do pull-ups on tree branches and leap over rocks and logs to build core strength, endurance, and flexibility. (212-531-3531, www.stacysbootcamp.com)

3. SOAR ABOVE the Empire State Building for a bird's-eye view of Midtown and the George Washington Bridge on a 12-minute skyline tour with Liberty Helicopters. (212-967-6464, www.libertyhelicopters.com)

4. GET A GRIP on the 15- to 20-foot Manhattan schist boulders scattered throughout Central Park. Start at Chess Rock, near Wollman Rink, before heading west to tackle Rat Rock, just below the ball fields at the Columbus Circle entrance. Rent gear at the ExtraVertical Climbing Center. (212-586-5718, www.extravertical.com)

5. TEE OFF in all five boroughs. Start at the driving range at Manhattan's sporting supercenter, Chelsea Piers (212-336-6400, www.chelseapiers.com), and then hit the 18-hole public courses in Brooklyn (Dyker Beach Golf Course), Staten Island (La Tourette), Queens (Clearview), and the Bronx (Van Cortlandt). (212-639-9675, www.nycgovparks.org)

6. SPIFF UP with an Alpha-Beta hydroxy acid peel at Nickel, New York's first men-only spa (212-242-3203, www.nickelformen.com). Or try the "full service"—a scalp massage, hot towel, haircut, manicure, and shoe shine—at John Allan's, a men's grooming club with a pool table and beer on tap. (212-406-3000, www.johnallans.com)

7. SAUTÉ gambas al ajillo (shrimp in garlic sauce) and other Spanish tapas with chef Michael Schwartz, formerly of Le Cirque. The Institute for Culinary Education offers hundreds of one- and two-day classes, many taught by the city's most respected chefs. (212-847-0700, www.iceculinary.com)

8. ACE LIKE ANDY at the National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, Queens, where 33 hardcourts are available for public play all year, except for a month around the U.S. Open tournament in September. (718-760-6200, www.usta.com)

9. MAKE TRACKS TO THE WAVES and join the Big Apple's diehard pack of year-round surfers in the Rockaways. In 60 minutes, the A train from Manhattan deposits you two blocks from the Atlantic swells that break on the south shore of Queens. (Rockaway Beach Surf Shop, 718-474-9345)

10. SHOOT AND SCORE at Chelsea Piers' Sky Rink, where hourlong hockey games are open to walk-in players weekdays at noon and Saturday nights at 11:30. (212-336-6100, www.chelseapiers.com)

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