Whether you’re stressed or overwhelmed by the glorious spectacle of NYC’s tourist experience or want to cool off all of your travel, sometimes you just need a little time and space to catch your breath.
NYC is the most exciting place on earth. But with the bustle of 8 million people, the roar of traffic, and the pounding of constant construction, it may also be the loudest. The good news is that the city offers numerous havens from the chaos — if you simply know where to look.
Inwood Hill Park
Travel back to a time before garbage trucks and subways at the Inwood Hill Park. Located on the Hudson River, this park boasts caves, forests, and a salt marsh that recalls the area’s pre-colonial past. Traditional park facilities such as barbeque areas, hiking trails and dog areas are also available to complete your outdoor experience.
Gardens at St. Luke in the Fields
If you prefer secret gardens to pristine wildlife, then you shouldn't miss the Gardens at St. Luke in the Fields. This Greenwich Village retreat is enclosed by brick walls that allow diverse plants and flowers to flourish while maintaining the Gardens’ serenity.
If you'd rather stroll than sit, Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery’s 478-acre expanse makes an intriguing setting for a long walk. In addition, its 180-year tradition of American burials makes this cemetery a treasure trove of history and legend.
If you’re ready for another horticulture fix, then make your way to the Bronx’s Wave Hill. Once a private estate whose beautiful surroundings inspired the awe of artists, naturalists, and other imminent historical figures, Wave Hill now presents breathtaking overlooks, gardens, and a conservatory for public admiration.
New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building
The Stephen A. Schwarzman Building in the illustrious New York Public Library is the quintessential quiet place and so much more. This building houses the massive Rose Main Reading Room, which is currently under renovation. However, there are plenty of other reading rooms, to find some quiet. In addition to reading, the Schwarzman Building also hosts many intriguing events throughout the year. This knowledge sanctuary is open seven days a week.
The Frick Collection
Find not only quiet, but beauty and culture as well at Lennox Hill’s Frick Collection. This wonderfully restored Gilded Age mansion is a lush sanctum for enjoying the works of artistic masters of paint, textile, sculpture and porcelain. Visitors are admitted to the Collection every day but Monday, but children under 10 years of age are not allowed.
If you crave further intellectual pursuit, head to Tribeca to visit the quaint Mysterious Bookshop. Fans of intrigue will be thrilled to spend hours perusing this collection of mystery novels and periodicals.
The Temple Bar
Head Downtown to cap off your day of seeking serenity in the city with a soothing cocktail at the Temple Bar, where subdued lighting and ambient jazz music create the perfect atmosphere to de-stress and recharge.
If you like a little quirk with your quiet, then quaff a tasty beer at Burp Castle in the East Village. The bar maintains near-monastic noise levels with the help of the occasional abbot-impersonating bartender. Enjoy the peace while you select a beer from the Castle’s collection of Belgian ales, lagers and countless other brews.
(Image credits: Oliver Cox; ScotchBroom/flickr; NatalieMaynor/flickr; Oliver Cox; Kristine Paulus/flickr; Kevin O’Mara/flickr; t-mizo/flickr; Garrett Ziegler/flickr; mwms1916/flickr; Scott Beale/flickr)