by Michael Hsu, 03/18/2014
Photo: Laura Miller
USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center
Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, 718-760-6200
The USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center may be most famous for hosting the US Open, but for 11 months out of the year, there are roughly 30 indoor and outdoor courts (a few are currently under construction) available to the public for open play, private and group lessons and heart-pumping, tennis-inspired exercise classes like Cardio Tennis. All courts, including the ones the pros play on, are open from 6am to midnight. Rental rates start at just $24 per hour for early-morning weekday spots and junior and senior walk-ins and top out at $66 per hour for prime-time play. In addition to offering private lessons and all sorts of junior and adult programs year-round, the Center runs summer camps for young players of all skill levels, from 4-year-old beginners to top-ranked juniors. The venue is closed just three days a year: Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.