Although apartments can be small and houses expensive in NYC, one of the best perks about living here is the parks.
When it’s a beautiful day, you’ll find families outside enjoying the sunshine. There always seems to be laughter ringing through the air.
Most neighborhoods have at least one fantastic park where everyone gathers. When you want to visit only the best, here are the green spaces that should be at the top of your list!
What Parks Are the Best in NYC?
1. Central Park
Almost every list of NYC parks starts with one that almost everyone recognizes. It offers 843 acres to explore in the heart of Manhattan. What makes it such an exceptional experience is that this one is also one of the first to utilize landscape architecture. Almost everyone has a favorite space that feels like an extension of one’s home
2. Bryant Park
Office buildings might surround this Midtown staple, but it also hosts over 1,000 activities throughout the year. You’ll find free movies in the summer, ice skating in the winter, and plenty of pop-up performances. Since it is only a few steps from Grand Central Station, you’ll have a nice spot to relax if you have a little time to kill.
Although this spot was never meant to be a park, it has become one of the most treasured places in the city. NYC originally invested in elevated rail lines to protect pedestrians from the freight trains that used to rumble through the urban areas. Once trucking replaced train cars for transportation, the space sat vacant for two decades until it was transformed into a pedestrian park.
You can walk from Gansevoort to West 34th Street on this route, passing through some of NYC’s most historic neighborhoods over the 1.5-mile course.
If you love to see Mother Nature in its authentic glory, this NYC park delivers everything you could ever want. Most of the area has remained the same since European settlers arrived in droves in the 17th century. You’ll find lots of hiking and cycling opportunities, along with some incredible views of the river.
This beautiful space covers nearly 600 acres in Brooklyn, making it one of the borough’s top spots to visit. The same team that crafted Central Park worked on this one, and you can certainly see the similarities. From Long Meadow to Grand Army Plaza, this stunning oasis has lots of different spaces to explore. Once you’re finished, you can enjoy the century-old brownstones or a performance at the Bandshell.
When your goal is to enjoy river views during your time in NYC, you won’t find a better park than this one to visit. It’s one of just eight scenic landmarks in the city. It stretches from 59th to 158th, providing four miles of greenery, monuments, and playgrounds to explore. This spot is also where Grant’s Tomb is located.
Anything that gets people talking in New York City likely has an origin story that includes this 10-acre park. You can’t miss the massive arch that honors George Washington when you’re here. It’s a unique stop because it used to be a potter’s field for the city. It’s not a central meeting area for New York University. If you love to play chess, this stop is the place to be.
Although it isn’t very large, this historic park has gone through a renaissance in recent years. During the higher crime era in the 1970s, this spot lost its glory. Now that renovations are happening, small cafés popping up, and vintage boutiques to explore, it’s one of the best spots in NYC. You can pack a picnic lunch to enjoy, pick a bench to relax, and enjoy being in this historic spot.
NYC’s oldest suspension bridge serves as the backdrop for a lovely little space with open grassy areas, a small beach at Pier 4, and other places to play. Take the seasonal ferry over to Governors Island, which offers 172 acres and two former military fortifications to explore if you want to make a day out of it.
New York City offers dozens of different parks to enjoy, and each of them has charm and sophistication in its unique way. Do you have a favorite place that you visit when visiting or living here?