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Parks and Recreation

If you’re looking to head outside and explore, Murray Hill is a good place to be. The area’s parks offer plenty of courts and fields, as well as scenic river views.

Beloved by families for its wide open spaces to play, St. Vartan Park is an unexpected surprise. Here, you’ll find basketball and handball courts, baseball and football fields, playgrounds, and plenty of greenery. The East River Esplanade is also in the area, forming the edge of Murray Hill as it meets the East River. There’s a constant flow of locals here — and it’s no mystery why. With uninterrupted views of the river, the path is a tranquil place for a refreshing walk or jog.

Murray Hill is also the home of New York City’s first peace park, Ralph Bunche Park. Named for Ralph Bunche, the first African-American to win the Nobel Peace Prize, the park is a calming retreat, and sits just across the street from the headquarters of the United Nations.

St. Vartan Park

A long-time favorite of families, St. Vartan park provides wide open spaces to play. You’ll find basketball and handball courts, baseball and football fields, playgrounds, and plenty of greenery.

1st Ave & E 35th St, New York, NY 10016
212.639.9675
http://nycgovparks.org
Distance from hotel: 0.6 miles

East River Esplanade

The East River creates the eastern edge of Murray Hill, and along it you can find the East River Esplanade. With uninterrupted river views, it’s a popular place for a tranquil walk or jog.

FDR Dr. bet. E. 36 St. and E. 41 St.
https://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/east-river-esplanade_36-to-38
Distance from hotel: 0.3 miles

Ralph Bunche Park

Named for Ralph Bunche, the first African-American to win the Nobel Peace Prize, Ralph Bunche Park is New York City’s first peace park. The park was built in 1948 during the construction of the United Nations headquarters, which can be found just across the street. At its center, visitors can glimpse a tall obelisk sculpted by Daniel Larue Johnson and dedicated to Ralph Bunche.

1st Ave. &, E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017
212.639.9675
https://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/ralph-bunche-park
Distance from hotel: 0.7 miles

Rooftop Park

Overlooked by many — visitors and residents alike — this small rooftop garden is a hidden oasis. Perched atop a building on East 40th St. and 3rd Avenue, you’ll find an abundance of benches and even a soft drink stand. It’s a prime spot to relax, so long as the temperature is moderate. The park can be reached via stairs on 3rd Avenue, or by an elevator.

600 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10016
Distance from hotel: 0.3 miles

Madison Square Park

Sitting smack in the middle of several busy streets, this park offers an oasis for shoppers, office workers, and tourists alike. Opened in 1847, the park has now become a well-known destination for ambitious, rotating art installations and sculptures, several food and drink festivals, and even a summer concert series. If you’re stopping by, don’t forget to visit Shake Shack, New York’s premiere homegrown fast-casual burger chain.

11 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10010
212.520.7600
http://madisonsquarepark.org
Distance from hotel: 0.8 miles

Central Park

Lush meadows. Enchanting footbridges. Tranquil ponds. Cast-iron lamps. Picturesque from nearly any angle, New York City’s most iconic urban sanctuary is a must-visit for jogging, picnics, or a simple leisurely stroll. Though its ambience is always magical, Central Park imparts an especially mesmerizing experience as the seasons change.

North to South from 110th Street to 59th Street
West to East from Central Park West to 5th Avenue
https://www.centralparknyc.org/
Distance from hotel: 1.5 miles

Union Square Park 

Named simply for being the convergence, or union, of Broadway and Fourth Avenue, the tree-lined Union Square Park provides a natural gathering place for folks coming north from the East and West Village, or south from Gramercy and the Flatiron District. On weekends during warmer months, find a bustling Greenmarket hawking vegetables, fruits, and other edible goods. Come winter, there’s an adorable festive holiday market with gifts, hot cocoa, and Christmas lights aplenty. In the summer, there is a concert series for kids.

14th St to 17th St between Union Square W and Park Ave S, New York, NY 10003
http://unionsquarenyc.org/
Distance from hotel: 1.5 miles

Herald Square 

Once home to the now-defunct New York Herald newspaper, from which it derives its name, this crossroads area offers food, drink, and respite from the dizzying avenues of Midtown shopping nearby, including the sprawling, 1,250,000-square-foot Macy’s flagship store. If you’re in town during Thanksgiving, you’ll want to visit Herald Square for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

West 34th St at Broadway, New York, NY 10001
https://www.nycgovparks.org/parks/herald-square
Distance from hotel: 0.6 miles

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