When planning a trip to New York City, the first thing that comes to mind may not be to search for the best parks. While a trip to Central Park is bound to be on everyone’s NYC itinerary, visiting other parks may not have been on your radar. But visiting the best parks in NYC is one of the best ways to experience the city. These NYC parks allow you to sit back, relax, and enjoy the city. While the hustle and bustle make New York City so spectacular, sometimes it’s nice to grab a coffee in a park and watch the city go by.
Best Parks in NYC
Best Parks in Manhattan
Most of the New York City parks that you will want to visit are located in Manhattan. When most people refer to New York City, they are typically referring to the borough of Manhattan. That means most of the things to do in NYC are in Manhattan and that is where you will be spending most of your trip to the city. That being said, the best parks in NYC can be interchangeable with the best parks in Manhattan, as most of the parks worth visiting are in Manhattan.
Central Park is one of the most incredible city parks in the world, so obviously it tops the list as one of the best parks in New York City. Seen on various TV shows and movies, Central Park is one of the top sites to see in NYC. Occupying 840 acres and extending for 2.5 miles, Central Park may seem intimidating. But as a visitor, you don’t need to wander any further than the Great Lawn to get a feel for Central Park. Don’t miss the top sites in Central Park including Bethesda Fountain, Bow Bridge, and the Imagine Mosaic.
Bryant Park is one of my personal favorite parks due to its location and beautiful gardens. I would put this up there as one of the most beautiful parks in NYC. Tucked away behind the New York Public Library, this New York City park is such a relaxing space to enjoy the city. There is a beautiful restaurant, food kiosks, and plenty of seating within the park. Not to mention, various free activities are held in this park as well as a fantastic seasonal Winter Village. This is a great green space to retreat from the hustle of nearby Tims Square and 5th Avenue.
Washington Square Park
Washington Square Park always seems to be full of energy unlike any of the other parks in New York City. There tends to be a piece of music filling the air and studying students linger from nearby New York University. Additionally, Washington Square Park is extremely photogenic. The park features a beautiful fountain, the Washington Square Arch, and views of the Empire State Building.
The High Line
The High Line is a 1.45 mile-long elevated park that was built on a former railroad track. This is one of the most unique parks in New York City. Walking the High Line is a great way to walk through the city, without being on the busy city streets. Due to its’ elevated position, the High Line boasts amazing views of NYC. This is a great space to sit back, relax, and get a great view of the city below. The High Line starts in the Meatpacking District, passes through Chelsea, and finishes at Hudson Yards; so you will be able to see various neighborhoods on your walk.
Any first-timer trip to New York City is not complete without a visit to The Battery, formally known as Battery Park. The Battery is located on the Southern tip of Manhattan and is where you can see the Statue of Liberty. After meandering through the park, be sure to hop on a ferry for a closer view of the Statue of Liberty.
Maddison Square Park
Maddison Square Park is a charming park located near the Flatiron Building. It’s a quaint and cute park that has a very residential feel, except for one key feature. Maddison Square Park is home to the original Shake Shack. If you are going to try Shake Shack while in NYC, this is the place to do so.
Best Parks in Brooklyn
Visiting Brooklyn is an easy detour from NYC, so highlighting the best parks in Brooklyn is a must. After walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, you will have a plethora of riverside green spaces to enjoy.
Brooklyn Bridge Park
If you are in search of picture-perfect skyline views, Brooklyn Bridge Park is a must-visit. Located opposite the East River from Manhattan, is this 3.5-acre park. All those amazing New York City skyline photos featuring the Brooklyn or Manhattan Bridge were probably taken at this park. This waterfront park includes the piers, Fulton Ferry Landing, and Pebble Beach.