The spring season in NYC brings warmer temperatures, and Affinia is proud to share a roundup of the city’s iconic parks along with hidden outdoor gems.
NYC’s Most Iconic Parks
To feel truly out of the city, head to the 38-acre wilderness area on the west side of the park known as the Ramble. The winding trails, rocks and streams remain, seemingly waiting to be discovered. If you want plenty of sunshine and more of a social vibe, spread out a blanket at Sheep’s Meadow, where groups playing guitar and frisbee as far as the eye can see.
Situated behind the New York Public Library is Bryant Park, a well-cultivated retreat that hosts a dizzying schedule of free entertainment all season long. This beautiful park is always filled with locals sharing meals and laughs in the heart of midtown.
The Hills at Governors Island
As of 2016, the Hills on Governors Island are alive but not necessarily with the sound of music. Instead, you can hear the hum of parkgoers and their bicycles as they tool around the islandâ€™s two-plus-mile promenade, the gleeful squeals of folks slithering down one of the four massive slides and the delighted gasps of visitors ogling perfect views of the New York Harbor and Lower Manhattan
Washington Square Park
During the warmer months the parkâ€”which was once a potterâ€™s fieldâ€”is one of the best people-watching spots in the city, humming with musiciansâ€”from pianists to sax playersâ€”and street artists. Skateboarders clatter near the base of the iconic 1895 Washington Arch (a modest replica of the Arc de Triomphe), and children splash in the area’s fountain!
The High Line
The High Line came to life in 2009, when an old piece of elevated railway track on the Lower West Side of Manhattan was transformed into a verdant floating garden. Now plants and flowers flourish along the walkway, which stretches for almost two miles. Take your time strolling along it and stop to check out the sculptures and the food court and the view of the Hudson.
Off The Beaten Path
The Elevated Acre
Escape the chaos of the busy city streets with a trip to the Elevated Acre, a park in the sky. Between two skyscrapers you will encounter a grassy space resting above the busy streets of the Financial District. Situated on Water Street, this small park features astonishing views of the Brooklyn Bridge and Hudson River as well as a 50-foot light sculpture. This urban oasis has many unique features and world-class landscaping.
Secret Gardens of Rockefeller Center
This little green gem hidden high above the streets of NYC. Scattered about the rooftops of this art deco building, you will encounter 620 Loft and Gallery. This open space offers a gorgeous private garden that boasts perfectly-shaped greenery and incredible views of St. Patrick’s Cathedral. can also check out the scenic view in the original Spiderman movie.
Must See Midtown Murals
Usually art does not come to mind when thinking about the concrete jungle of Midtown, but head outdoors and see an impressive amount of street art in Midtown NYC , including the colorful and massive murals of a recent UN mural project. The project is titled #ILO100Murals, commissioned by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and created by world renowned street artists around the theme of “decent work” to inspire a better “future of work”. Be sure to stop by the Gardens Suites Hotel , showcasing a mural by acclaimed artist Rubin415 located at 215 E. 64th Street!
The Beauty Within The Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Those searching for a little peace and quiet would do well to spend a few hours at this verdant oasis. The garden—which abuts two other neighborhood gems: the Brooklyn Museum and Prospect Park—was founded in 1910 and features thousands of types of flora, laid out over 52 acres.
Each spring, crowds descend on the space for the Sakura Matsuri Festival, during which more than 70 trees bloom along the Cherry Esplanade. But equally impressive are serene spots like the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, the first Japanese-inspired garden built in the U.S., and the Shakespeare Garden, brimming with plants (such as primrose and crocuses) mentioned in the Bard’s works. Start your journey at the Visitor’s Center, an eco-friendly portal (it has a green roof filled with 45,000 plants) that opened in May 2012.
Eat at the recently opened, veggie-focused Yellow Magnolia Café (or the more casual canteen). Shop for trees, shrubs, flowers and more at the Garden Shop next to the visitors center, and ask for help with your green thumb. There’s also daily guided tours of seasonal flora, and the garden is a perfect place for families (but no picnics allowed, sadly).
Plus Check Out What’s Going On In The City This Spring!
- Macy’s Flower Show
- Children’s Museum of Manhattan
- Central Park
- Central Park Zoo
- New York Botanical Gardens
- Downtown – Seaport District
- The American Museum of Natural History
- Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
- The Met
- The New York Public Library
- The Oculus
- Brookfield Place
- Hudson Yards
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