If you're in New York City and you want to take advantage of the water, but you don't particularly like swimming at the beach, then you have lots of alternatives. You can head out on the water and have fun on a raft, canoe, kayak, or even a sailboat. Lucky for you, New York City is surrounded by water, and you have lots of different options. 

Sailing Up The Hudson River

If you're looking for a nice sightseeing trip on the water and don't feel like doing too much physical activity, then you will love a sailboat trip. There are companies that you can find that will take you on a sailboat trip up the Hudson River. They tend to originate on the West Side of Manhattan, around one of the large piers. You will take a dingy out to one of the sailboats and then be taken up the river. The short tours will take you north past the Tappan Zee Bridge and then circle back. You don't have to know anything about ropes, knots, how to rig a sail, or anything else—you're simply a passenger.

Some sailboats are small, and you and your friends could charter one for a private trip, or you could jump onto a larger boat cruise that is designed for multiple parties. If you're looking for a romantic trip for you and your partner, you might look for a small sailboat trip that leaves late in the day and will have you out on the water at sunset.

Kayaking Down The Bronx River

If you prefer to get out there and do-it-yourself, then you might like to kayak. This is a cool and fun way to explore the local waterways. While you can take a kayak out onto the Hudson River, you might also consider a trip down the Bronx River. This river is a bit tamer than the Hudson, so if you're hesitant about being out in the open water, it's a fantastic alternative. The Bronx River also takes you through some really beautiful scenery, including the Botanical Gardens in the Bronx where you will paddle past a gorgeous waterfall.

Whitewater Rafting The Delaware River

If you're looking for something more exciting than a kayak trip or a leisurely sailboat trip, then you should look across the Hudson River to the Delaware River. You can find a whitewater rafting outfit in the Tri-State area and hit the rapids. Matamoras, Pennsylvania is not far from NYC (about 2 hours by car). This is a town located in the Tri-State region that's close to lots of whitewater outfits. This section of the Delaware River has some cool rapids and whitewater, including the famous Dingmans Falls. You can find a whitewater outfit that will supply everything you need, including the inflatable rafts and life preservers. The whitewater on this stretch of the Delaware River is not too rough, so you won't need a helmet. However, if your group doesn't feel comfortable going solo, you can get a guide to go with you.