Skip to main content

All work and no play isn’t good for anyone, even artists who are living their dreams on the stages and in the studios of New York City. For visual artist Andrea Arroyo, whose work has been featured on the cover of The New Yorker; dancer Paul Hamilton, who studied at Alvin Ailey School of Dance, The Martha Graham School, and Dance Theatre of Harlem; and photographer Clay Williams, who has shot the books 111 Places in Queens That You Must Not Miss and 111 Rooftops in New York That You Must Not Miss, getting a regular dose of the outdoors is an essential aspect of their creative practice. So if you’re in need of your own outdoors-inspired recharge, the three artists suggest heading to these places to #OptOutside in and around New York City.

Inspired to make some environmental change after reading about these outdoor destinations? You can join REI on Black Friday to #OptOutside for a nationwide day of action and kick off a year of change. REI will be co-hosting cleanups with Leave No Trace and United by Blue all across the U.S. You can find your nearest cleanup at