If you are planning to travel to New York, I recommend that you go to one of its multiple parks. Make time in your itinerary to take a walk, exercise or take a nap in between two visits.
NYC is not just skyscrapers; BIG APPLE offers parks too, to take a breath in the middle of this jungle.
New York’s public parks cover almost 14% of the city.
Top 10 parks in New York.
├ Brooklyn Bridge Park :
├ Central Park :
├ Flushing Meadows Corona Park :
├ Fort Greene Park :
├ The High Line :
├ Hudson River Park :
├ Inwood Hill Park :
├ Pelham Bay Park :
├ Prospect Park :
├ Riverside Park :
├ Top 10 parks of New York map
Right next to Brooklyn Bridge, the Brooklyn Bridge Park extends all along the East River with its 34-hectares. The park is divided in 11 sections; Pier 1 to 6, Fulton Ferry Landing, Brooklyn Plaza, Empire Fulton Ferry and John street. Brooklyn Bridge Promenade is part of it too.
This park has existed since 1642, and was totally renewed in 2008. Till this day it is the first urban activities park in New York City.
In this park, you will find lots of areas such as playgrounds for children in every corner.
One of its main attractions is Jane’s carrousel, recently renewed in Fulton Ferry Landing.
You will also find: restaurants, ice cream shops, picnic areas and BBQ’s.
Sports activities go from biking, courts, fields, and soon fishing.
For photography amateurs, Brooklyn Bridge Park offers a nice sight all over Manhattan. From the South of the park, you can see the New York’s harbor. From the North you can watch the Empire State Building and Midtown. New York looks amazing from the park, day or night.
In those two pictures, you can see Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge from Brooklyn Bridge Park (in the left side Jane’s Carrousel).
Central Park is one of the parks you have to visit. It covers 341-hectares in the middle of Manhattan.
You can do a lot of things: visit the zoo in Central Park; take the bicycle track where you can use you roller blades, run, or just take a walk. Go to the lake where you can paddle with your “honey”.
From October to April, there is an ice rink!
It is the perfect place to have a picnic or just take a break.
The good tip is to visit Central Park on Sunday, because it is when all New Yorkers go to the park and if you’re lucky you can see a baseball match.
Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Created in 1939 for New York’s World fair, Flushing Meadows is the 2nd largest public park in NY with 1.9 square miles (5,1 Square Kilometers).
This park is located in Flushing, Queens. I guess tennis fans already recognized what I’m talking about, because it is where the Tennis US Open takes place since 1978. It is from August’s last week until first week of September (see more information here).
You will recognize this park because of its big Unisphere at its main entry. You will also find the Queen’s Museum of Art, the New York Hall of Science, a zoo, a nautical lake, a skate park, picnic areas and BBQ’s.
There’s an aquatic center, an Ice hockey arena, and it is the home of the New York Mets Citi Field. You can find a fishing area too at the Meadow Lake. Recently a program to spread humid plants was elaborated to ameliorate water and fishing condition.
Fort Greene Park
Fort Greene is Brooklyn’s municipal park (12-hectares).
The Fort of the continental army built for Long Island’s battle in the firsts days of the American Independence War. You’ll see the Ship Martyr prison monument, a memorial with around 11,500 soldiers and civil American prisoners remains. It is on the highest part of the park.
You can find basketball courts, playground areas, and don’t forget the festivals, like the Fort Greene Park Summer Literary Fest. This event promotes young writers (7 to 18 years old) and famous writers. It is also where the Fort Greene Park Conservancy is held, a series of concerts in the summer time among other activities.
Watch the agenda here: http://www.fortgreenepark.org
The High Line
It is an urban park in Manhattan with almost 1 sq. mile area (2,3 sq. km) built on one of the oldest train tracks in the Lower West Side.
Those old tracks were restructured thanks to the support of an association. They built new gardens, sculptures, urban theatre, picnic areas, restaurants… with environmental friendly materials such as wood.
The first of the three sections, were inaugurated in 2009, and the second one in 2011.
The High Line is the “Biggest green roof of the world”. It holds rainwater (80%) provides oxygen, and works like a “natural habitat” for birds and insects.
You can visit this park in Gansevoort Street and Washington Street in 30th street. From there you will have a nice sight of New York and 10th Ave., Meatpacking District, New Jersey River and Hudson River.
There are so many free activities to do like Pilates, guided tours with Botanical specialists to know High Line’s plants and flowers or take urbanism classes.
You can find more info about the High Line by clicking here.
Hudson River Park
This park extends all along the Hudson River, from Battery Park to 59th street. It is the 2nd biggest park in Manhattan just after Central park with 223-hectare, you can see Miss Liberty from here.
It provides basketball courts, playgrounds for children, and a little water park during summer.
The park is full of flowers, and good benches. You can lie down on the grass, it is dog friendly and they use to have a lot of cultural events.
You’ll also find restaurants, coffee shops, paddling and sailing areas at the Hudson River.
Inwood Hill Park
It’s an old witness of New York history. The park extends all along the Hudson River from Dyckman Street ‘til the Northern point of the Island with 79-hectare. One of my recommendations is is to visit the northern section of the park to appreciate the last primary forest of the Island. The park was bought in 1916 with a commitment to leave the whole park as natural as possible. For the record, some areas are still the same as it was 500 years ago.
The park has modern infrastructures too like courts, playgrounds, pet area, BBQ’s and picnic areas, a food truck visits the park…
Pelham Bay Park
The Pelham Bay Park is the biggest park in New York, 3 times bigger than Central Park.
Located in the Bronx, you can find basketball and tennis courts, golf field, and handball… A track to run or for biking, and a Equestrian Center.
You can also canoe or kayak.
It has an area for BBQ’s, picnic, snacks, playgrounds and aquatic games.
The principal attractions are the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum and Orchard beach, the only public beach in Belmont.
The town planners Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, famous for having created Central Park, also designed Prospect Park, located in Brooklyn (213-hectare).
In Prospect Park, you can walk along Long Meadow (the longest meadow in the park), there is also a band shell. The Camperdown’s elm tree, planted in 1879, inspired poet Marianne Moore.
You can visit the bird’s sightings. Prospect Park is under the North Atlantic Migratory birds via and was named Ornithological important area.
You will also find a carrousel, a zoo, and an ice rink. The park has playgrounds too, basketball courts, baseball fields, fishing areas and equestrian tracks.
You can plan a picnic there, or go to the restaurants and snacks areas.
This park is on the seashore, it extends over 3.7 miles (6km) from 72th street to 158th street along the Hudson River in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. You will find many sportive facilities and a harbor in 79th street.
Riverside Park is attractive thanks to its statues and monuments: Eleanor Roosevelt Monument, Soldiers and Sailors Monument, Jeanne d’Arc Statue, there is a replica of Halicarnassus’ Mausoleum (one of the 7 world wonders) which is used as a grave for the ex President Ulysses Grant.