There are a lot of boating opportunities within a day's drive. Check out the Northeast Paddlers' Message Board (www.npmb.com
) to get the scoop. One could make the argument that boating is better out there, since there are more rivers that run year-round, and there are ocean waves when the conditions are right.
Your biggest challenge, if you choose to live in the city, will be finding an apartment big enough for your gear, and affording parking for a car.