12 NYC Parks With a Front Row Seat to Nature
12 NYC Parks with a Front Row Seat to Nature
New York City is much more than just a concrete jungle. When tourists visit the City That Never Sleeps, popular go-tos are the jazz clubs in NYC and NYC mansions– even the best dessert NYC is known for tops the typical itinerary or things to do and experience list. But believe it or not, NYC is also home to more than 1,700 parks! When visiting NYC, you’ll definitely want to make time to check out some of the gorgeous green spaces that the city has to offer.
Central Park NYC
Central Park is almost synonymous to New York City. The 843-acre park located above Midtown and between the Upper East Side and Upper West Side is the ultimate escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and the best way to enjoy Mother Nature in her glory. There are tons of things to do in Central Park, you may even stumble on the best view of the New York City skyline here.
From the Central Park Zoo with over 130 different species, serene water views and the Conservatory Garden to Bethesda Fountain, Bow Bridge, Central Park Reservoir and so much more, no visit to NYC can begin without starting at this iconic park! Keep reading as we dive into the other 12 NYC parks with a front row seat to nature!
1 | Riverside Park | Stretching four miles, Riverside Park sits along the edge of the Hudson River in Manhattan. Take in beautiful views of the Hudson River while you enjoy the greenery. If you visit the park before the evening, you may be able to see the peaceful view of the sun setting behind the Hudson River.
Where: Riverside Blvd, New York, NY 10069 | Who: 212-639-9675
2 | Washington Square Park | Another one of Manhattan’s most iconic parks is Washington Square Park. Named after the historic George Washington, Washington Square Park is home to the famous arch. The Park is full of history and should be on any history buff’s itinerary. If you visit the park, you may see a number of artists or performers. You may even see some chess players! Washington Square Park is located in Lower Manhattan’s Greenwich Village.
Where: Washington Square, New York, NY 10012 | Who: 212-639-9675
3 | Bryant Park | Conveniently located only a few minutes walk from Grand Central Station, Bryant Park is always full of fun activities and events. The park hosts over 1,000 things to do all year round. If you visit in the summer, check out the Spring Up Market. In the winter, the park hosts Holiday Shops. Walk around and visit the vendors or try some local food. Bryant Park also hosts activities nearly every day. From juggling classes to game nights, there is always something fun going on!
Where: 110 W 40th St, New York, NY 10018 | Who: 212-938-1150
4 | Inwood Hill Park | Inwood Hill Park is a piece of history preserved. Aside from NYC history, Inwood Hill Park houses prehistoric history. This park is home to prehistoric caves, valleys and ridges. There is even evidence that the park was used by Native Americans during the 17th century. To this day, the park continues to preserve its historic nature.
Inwood Hill Park is located on the upper end of the Island of Manhattan and is home to a hiking and bike trail. With plenty of trees, forests and greenery, Inwood Hill Park is a great NYC park with a front row seat to nature.
Where: Payson Ave. &, Seaman Ave, New York, NY 10034 | Who: 212-639-9675
5 | Tompkins Square Park | Tompkins Square Park is a popular destination in Manhattan’s East Village. Located in an eclectic neighborhood, Tompkins Square Park is full of life and beauty. The park hosts a number of events throughout the year including The Howl Festival and The Charlie Parker Jazz Festival. Though the park is in a lively neighborhood, it also offers a sense of peace and serenity within the concrete jungle.
Where: E 10th St, New York, NY 10009 | Who: 212-639-9675
6 | Prospect Park | If you’re in Brooklyn, you have to visit the borough’s iconic Prospect Park. The 526-acre park features wetlands, trees and various attractions. Prospect Park features a zoo, a carousel, a number of playgrounds, a tennis center and much more. Throughout the year, Prospect Park hosts various events so there’s always something to do or see. If you’re staying in a Westgate Grand Central Hotel, you can easily take the Subway from Manhattan to Brooklyn to get here.
Where: 450 Flatbush Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11225 | Who: 718-399-7339
7 | The Battery | Located in Lower Manhattan, The Battery is known as NYC’s “birthplace park”. This waterfront park features breathtaking views of the harbor, a carousel, bike paths, a woodland and gardens. The Battery is the place to be if you need an escape to nature.
In addition to the gorgeous nature scenery this park has to offer, The Battery also holds a lot of New York City history. The Battery’s land was once used by Manhattan’s earliest inhabitants for hunting and fishing and is also home to Castle Garden, America’s first immigration center.
If you want to explore nature, soak up history and experience a unique attraction, The Battery is definitely something to add to your NYC itinerary.
Where: The Battery, New York, NY 10004 | Who: 212-344-3491
8 | Flushing Meadows-Corona Park | If you plan on taking the subway to Queens, be sure to make time to visit Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. This is one of NYC’s most iconic parks. Flushing Meadows-Corona Park features historical sites, breathtakingly scenic walks and various other activities. Walk along one of the park’s many trails and take in the beauty of the wetlands. If you’re a Mets fan, be sure to catch a game at the nearby Citi Field when you’re done!
Where: Between Grand Central Pkwy and, Van Wyck Expy, 11354 | Who: 718-760-6565
9 | Pelham Bay Park | In the NYC borough of the Bronx, you’ll find the beautiful Pelham Bay Park. Larger than Manhattan’s Central Park, Pelham Bay Park is NYC’s largest park and home to Orchard Beach, golf courses, hiking trails, playgrounds and plenty of nature. With beautiful waterfront views and a great beach area, this a must-visit park for the summer. Easily make your way up to Pelham Bay Park on the subway from Grand Central Station.
Where: Middletown Road & Stadium Avenue, NY 10465 | Who: 718-430-1891
10 | Brooklyn Bridge Park | You’ve probably heard about the famous Brooklyn Bridge - but what do you know about Brooklyn Bridge Park? This East River waterfront park features absolutely gorgeous views of the iconic Brooklyn Bridge. In addition to the bridge views, the park has art installations, multiple piers, sport activities, a carousel, plants and wildlife, gardens and numerous events annually. Take a step away from the park and you’ll be an easy walk away from the Brooklyn Bridge. While you’re on the bridge you’ll be able to see The Statue of Liberty in the distance. This park is absolutely beautiful and should be on your list of things to do in NYC.
Where: 334 Furman St, Brooklyn, NY 11201 | Who: 718-222-9939
11 | The Hill at Governors Island | If you’re looking to escape the island of Manhattan for another island, consider taking the ferry to Governors Island. The island is only a mere 800 yards from Lower Manhattan and offers gorgeous views of the city. Governors Island is home to The Hill Park. The Hill provides stunning views of The Statue of Liberty and the rest of the New York Harbor. Opened in 2016, this fairly new addition to the city is a unique destination where visitors can experience nature, waterfront views, art and so much more. Ferries to the island run seven days a week from Lower Manhattan and on weekends from Pier 11/Wall Street.
Where: 946-950 Craig Rd N, New York, NY 10004 | Who: 212-830-7700
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Final Tips on NYC Parks
Be sure to check out at least a few of these beautiful parks during your next trip to NYC. And if you’re looking for a place to stay that’s near these gorgeous green spaces and epic views, we shamelessly recommend Westgate Resorts Grand Central for its convenient location and outstanding accommodations.
Looking for vacation spots, tips, tricks and fun things to do? Be sure to check out our Travel Blog for the ins, outs and everything you need to make your vacation awesome!
At Westgate Resorts, when you Check-In, there’s a LOT to Check-Out! Your New York City vacation awaits! Explore our New York City hotel today or talk with a vacation planner at 888-852-2959 or 407-355-2690.
* Westgate Resorts is in no way affiliated with the attractions featured in this article. Items or places listed are current as of the publishing date of this article. Please call or visit the respective website for the most up-to-date offerings and details.
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