Sporty pursuits

Take a weekend getaway from NYC and try shooting in Connecticut, horseback riding in upstate NY or sailing off Rhode Island.

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  • Shooting, Wilton, CT

  • Photograph: Gilles Martin-Raget

    America's Cup World Series

Shooting, Wilton, CT


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Day: Shooting; Wilton, CT (1¼hrs from NYC by car)
After training in a classroom with certified instructors, 10 to 40 beginners spend the afternoon plinking (informal, recreational shooting). Participants can choose their weapon from several of the range’s vast firearms collection —anything from AK-47s to handguns, and even antique Civil War rifles. However, some excursions are themed; a recent course focused on firing automatic weapons like M-16s and Uzis. (212-749-2530, eliteshooters.com). Dates vary; next open excursions: May 26, 27. $265 (includes lunch and travel).

Weekend: Horseback riding; East Jewett, NY (3hrs from NYC by car)
Horse lovers who make the trip to Rough Riders Ranch get more than just a day of trekking through 30,000 acres of verdant terrain: Owner and licensed guide Joseph D’Acunto, who is also a Civil War reenactor and military vet, frequently leads the pack in side-by-side cavalry formation. With six horses, D’Acunto can take groups of up to five, and beginners are always welcome. (518-589-9159, blackdomeguide.com) 1hr $45, 90mins $60, 4hrs $150.
Where to stay: Camp in one of the ranch’s two platform tents, each equipped with cots, heating, a wood stove and a portable toilet. $50.

Long weekend: Sailing; Narragansett Bay, RI (4hrs from NYC by car)
The America’s Cup World Series (americascup.com), a multidestination event meant to stoke excitement for next year’s America’s Cup, sails into the bay on June 26, with daily fleet races through July 1. To try your hand on deck, enroll with Sail Newport (401-846-1983, sailnewport.org) for one of the adult group sessions ($170 per person) for newbies; capable sailors can rent J-22 and Rhodes 19 boats (half day $85, day $286).
Where to stay: Snag one of eight rooms at the Sanford-Covell Villa Marina, a Victorian bed-and-breakfast in operation since 1895, which has a heated saltwater pool and private pier. (401-847-0206, sanford-covell.com). Rates start at $250.

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