New York may be known as a concrete jungle but there are more green spaces than you think crammed on former railroads and even on the doorstep of the world’s most famous financial district.
So whether you’re planning a day on the lawn in a major space like Central Park, Manhattan or Prospect Park, Brooklyn, or need a spot for an impromptu picnic in a place you won’t be at risk of getting lost, there’s plenty of New York parks to take advantage of the good weather in.
From the Bronx to Staten Island, here’s where to unwind in the Big Apple and make the most of the great outdoors.
1. Wave Hill, Bronx
Escape the tourists and head up to Wave Hill in the Bronx for views of the Hudson River and New Jersey Palisades. The 28 acres of greenery sits on a slope in the Hudson Hill neighbourhood for some of the best views around.
2. Washington Square Park, Manhattan
Washington Square Park is set in the stylist Greenwich Village, Manhattan, making it the perfect urban spot to enjoy an impromptu picnic with friends and rest those legs after traipsing the streets checking out cool boutiques. Visitors are likely to spot a few characters here; whether its chess enthusiasts meeting to take each other down or the local bird man
3. Transmitter Park, Brooklyn
Transmitter Park in the Greenpoint neighbourhood of Brooklyn is 6.61 acres of firing fresh air and gorgeous East River views. Step out here for a look at the Manhattan skyline from a totally different angle.
4. Snug Harbor, Staten Island
Snug Harbor on Staten Island was originally built for retired sailors and contains a botanical garden and cultural center within its seven acres. Check off another one of New York’s five boroughs with an afternoon here when the weather’s good.
5. Prospect Park, Brooklyn
Prospect Park in Brooklyn can be compared to a second Central Park. Whether you’re after food trucks, markets, concerts or a look at fabulous architecture, there’s always something to do here. Much like its Manhattan rival, there’s even a zoo and ice skating in the winter.
6. Highline Park, Manhattan
Highline Park provides a much-needed injection of green to the concrete jungle. Along 1.45 miles of the former New York Central Railroad there’s art, performances and a completely different perspective of the Big Apple. Those who walk the line get a unique look between the quaint streets of Manhattan’s west side.
7. Fort Greene, Brooklyn
Fort Greene is another Brooklyn gem that may be small at only 30 acres but has plenty to discover. For instance the park established in 1847, and named after the neighbour its in, is home to the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument for the 11,500 who gave their lives in the Revolutionary War. Of course, it was once home to a fort and now a place to get some zen in between frequenting the great restaurants and bars in the area. Check out the Revolutionary Garden for gardening workshops and the Greenmarket for fresh produce.
8. Central Park, Manhattan
Central Park, Manhattan is one of the most famous parks in the world. Located in upper Manhattan, there’s so much going on here with various meadows and gardens, boathouses, etc. Attractions include a zoo, Bethesda Fountain, and a even the opportunity to go rowing on the water. Take a horse and carriage ride through the sprawling area when it’s time to rest your feet and check out the Alice in Wonderland or Balto statues. Hop off at the American Museum of Natural History or sit on the steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art on your way out.
9. Brooklyn Bridge Park, DUMBO
Brooklyn Bridge Park is an absolutely stunning spot to see the Manhattan skyline from across the water. Located in DUMBO, visitors lounge on the grass and take advantage of the cool spot or go for a jog to take in the sights if you’re feeling fit. The 85-acre space provides a top shot of the Brooklyn Bridge, is home to public art exhibits and has a pier surrounded by great dining outlets. Take a ride on Jane’s Carousel for a great Instagram picture.
10. Battery Park, Manhattan
Located next to the Statue of Liberty cruise meeting point, Battery Park is where you’ll find water vehicles also set sail to Ellis Island but before that site was set up for immigration, Castle Garden in the park was the first immigration depot in the world. Nowadays it hosts many events and is an easily accessible point to enjoy the great outdoors while also being just a stone’s thrown from the busy Wall Street One World Trade.