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.
Created out of the remains of an abandoned New York Central Railroad viaduct, the High Line is a nearly 1.5-mile-long public park on the West Side of Manhattan that contains scenic walkways, unique viewing platforms, art installations, hundreds of plant species, and more.
The heart and soul of New York’s Greenwich Village neighborhood, Washington Square Park is one of the city’s most iconic public spaces and a beloved gathering place for both locals and visitors. Its memorial arch and central fountain are prime attractions not to be missed.
One of New York City’s foremost meeting places, Union Square is a hub of activity. Home to numerous historic monuments, as well as Manhattan’s best farmers’ market, Union Square is smack dab in the midst of everything people love about the city that never sleeps.
Formerly known as Battery Park, this historic green space at the southern tip of Manhattan is famous for its ferry terminals, numerous memorials, and splendid views. The Battery is where you can catch a boat ride to Statue of Liberty National Monument.
Located just across the street from the iconic Flatiron Building, Madison Square Park is a popular Midtown destination. The park contains numerous monuments, a playground, dog run, and more, while world-class restaurants and fine shopping line the square.
After Central Park, Hudson River Park is Manhattan’s second-largest park. This 550-acre park runs along the Hudson River for almost five miles, providing locals and visitors alike a beautiful place to walk, run, bike, or relax in the midst of a remarkable setting.
Central Park is one of New York City’s most famous attractions, with tens of millions of visitors enjoying its many diverse charms each and every year. Here you’ll find Central Park Zoo, Wollman Rink, The Ramble, Belvedere Castle, Bethesda Terrace, and so much more.
Bryant Park is a four-acre oasis located in the shadow of the New York Public Library, just blocks from some of Midtown Manhattan’s most popular attractions. Its ice-skating rink is a winter favorite, and you’ll find good eats, fun activities, and more throughout the entire year.
Brooklyn Bridge Park is one of New York City’s newest (and most exciting) green spaces. Located along the East River, Brooklyn Bridge Park is 85 acres of shoreline that feature picnic areas, restaurants, playgrounds, ball fields, and more.