We New Yorkers are surrounded by water, constantly going over, under and around it. But most of us — with the exception of many Staten Island commuters, of course — don’t really spend a lot of time on the water. Taking a boat ride, be it big or small, powered by wind, feet, or diesel fuel is a great way to enjoy the city with kids. Here are some of the coolest ways to go boating in NYC, for all kinds of reasons. Click through to see our seafaring picks!

To Keep it Classic: The Circle Lines

So you want to do the classic.  You can take a number of NYC highlight tours, harbor tours and, of course, the trip around Lady Liberty with Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises at W. 42nd Street, or Water Taxi/Circle Line Downtown at South Street Seaport.  While the two companies may blur together in your mind, they are in fact different entities offering different tours, including packages with local attractions, so be sure to check them both out and not confuse the two. (If passing the statue while eating a prepared lunch sounds appealing, Spirit Cruises has several options that depart from New York and New Jersey.)

photo: Adam Riggall via Flickr 

Where is your favorite place to explore the seas around the Big Apple?

—Gretchen Kunz