When we think of New York City, it may be the case that its iconic landmarks, world-famous attractions, and gleaming skyscrapers spring to mind first. However, no New York City experience is complete without a visit to one or more of its many fabulous parks. These outstanding public green spaces constitute an essential part of what makes New York City special, and they aren’t to be missed.
When it comes to New York City parks, there’s really only one place to start: Central Park. Consisting of some 850 acres smack dab in the middle of Manhattan, Central Park is perhaps the most famous park in the entire world—it’s certainly featured in as many movies and TV shows as any other park around! Home to the Central Park Zoo, Central Park Carousel, Belvedere Castle, Bethesda Terrace, and more gardens, monuments, walking paths, and enjoyable diversions than you can imagine, Central Park is an absolute must-see attraction for anyone visiting New York City for the first time.
As large as Central Park looms, though, it’s lightyears removed from being the only New York City park worth your time. Brooklyn’s beloved Prospect Park is one of the city’s largest, and it too contains a zoo and carousel, as well as plentiful playgrounds, hiking trails, and more. It’s also steps away from the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and Brooklyn Museum. Remaining in Brooklyn, there’s Brooklyn Bridge Park, one of New York’s newest green spaces. It’s got plenty of outdoor amenities and features breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline.
Whether you’re seeking a place for the kids to cut loose for a bit, somewhere peaceful to go for a walk or bike ride, or simply want a pleasant stretch of grass where you can sit enjoying a cup of coffee and a bite to eat in the midst of Manhattan’s concrete and asphalt, a New York City park has you covered. From pocket parks like Bryant Park that are perfect for a quick meal in the shadow of Midtown, to historic sites like The Battery that serve as gateways to unforgettable attractions like the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, New York City is full of diverse public park spaces just waiting to be explored.
Here are some of New York’s most popular parks, and a few basic details on each one.
The High Line
Washington Square Park
Union Square Park
The Battery Park
Madison Square Park
Hudson River Park
Brooklyn Bridge Park