Green Getaways: A Guide To NYC Parks
Skyscrapers and statues aren’t the only impressive landmarks that NYC boasts.
Despite New York City’s reputation as a concrete jungle, the island possesses numerous vast, lush parks that offer a respite from crowded sidewalks and subway cars. As the leaves turn from green to gold, Manhattan’s foliage is a tourist destination in and of itself. Enjoy a stroll, a picnic, some yoga, or a good book in one of these breathtakingly beautiful New York City parks.
1. Central Park
No list of NYC parks would be complete without Central Park. Spanning over 50 city blocks, Central Park plays host to numerous iconic New York activities: in the summer, it’s home to the Public Theater’s free Shakespeare in the Park shows, and in the winter, the park hosts ice skating at Wollman Rink. While the park’s appearance and activities shift with the seasons, there are also a number of attractions that are open all year round, including the Central Park zoo and a variety of colorful gardens.
Central Park is located in central Manhattan.
This breathtakingly beautiful park spans 550 acres along Manhattan’s west side — making it the longest waterfront park in the entire country. Located right next to the Hudson River, the park offers splashy events like an annual marine science festival, public education initiatives related to the river’s biodiverse ecosystem, and recreational activities like kayaking, boating, sailing, and swimming.
Hudson River Park spans from 59th Street to Battery Park in Manhattan.
Inwood Hill Park is chock full of Manhattan history. Boasting the last natural salt marsh in the borough and large swaths of forest, the park is a gorgeous wilderness of largely non-landscaped verdure. It also contains Native American caves, playgrounds, and the best spot from which to see bald eagles in the city. To explore the history and greenery of Inwood Hill Park, take advantage of the park’s well-maintained hiking and biking trails.
Inwood Hill Park is located in Inwood, Manhattan.
The uptown neighborhood of Harlem isn’t just home to amazing culture and food; it also houses the community-oriented Marcus Garvey Park. Initially called Mount Morris Park when it was established in 1840, it was renamed Marcus Garvey Park in 1973 after the prominent black activist of the same name. Two playgrounds can be found on the park’s premises, one of which is accessible to children with disabilities. The park also has an amphitheatre where public performances and interactive events like swing dance nights are held.
Marcus Garvey Park is located in Harlem, Manhattan.
Prospect Park, located in Brooklyn, is well worth the short subway ride over the East River. Considered the Central Park of Brooklyn, 526-acre Prospect Park is vast, multifaceted, and full of scenic walking and biking trails. The park also offers a plethora of attractions and activities to make a day out of it: visit the zoo, the Smorgasburg food festival, or the year-round Greenmarket, or opt for horseback riding, boating, or seeing a concert at the Prospect Park Bandshell.
Prospect Park is located in south Brooklyn.
Extending your stay in NYC will give you the chance to see the city’s green spaces, shops, and more. Affinia Hotels has a special deal letting you do just that: book four nights for the price of three, or three nights for the price of two — that’s a whole day free!