Despite its skyscrapers, subways, and pedestrian-packed avenues, New York City is actually home to numerous green spaces and parks, from the meadows in Central Park to the elevated, urban High Line greenway. To help you find an oasis in the bustling city, here are our picks of New York's best parks.
Central Park is one of New York's top attractions. Be sure to visit the seasonal flower displays in the Conservatory Garden, and stop by the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir for skyline views. Plan to explore the park on a walking tour, or take a bike or e-bike tour to cover more ground in less time.
Located at the southern tip of Manhattan, this 25-acre (10-hectare) park is known for its elegant flower displays, New York Harbor views, and ferry terminal. Visitors should hop on the ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island and then enjoy a walking tour of this waterfront expanse.
Situated in the middle of Brooklyn, Prospect Park is an expansive green space offering visitors the chance to relax in meadows, explore cobblestoned walkways, and check out the family-friendly zoo. There are more than 500 acres (202 hectares) to explore, so a park walking tour can ensure that you hit the highlights.
Bryant Park is all about activities. Visitors find everything from a carousel and winter ice rink to gaming tables and ping pong. The Reading Room is a great place to sip a coffee and read a magazine, and the Bryant Park Winter Village market is perfect for last-minute holiday shopping.
The High Line
One of New York's newest parks, the High Line is situated in Manhattan's trendy Chelsea neighborhood. This elevated park is a testament to urban renewal—built on an old rail line, the park is a tourist hot spot replete with public art, cultivated gardens, and comfy seating areas. Take a High Line walking tour to learn about the park and history of nearby neighborhoods such as the Meatpacking District and Greenwich Village.
Gramercy Park is a private park in the heart of New York City, only accessible if unlocked by one of the 400 keys in existence. Passing through Gramercy Park's wrought-iron gates is an experience reserved for New York's wealthiest residents, but travelers can still walk around (and peek in) the park on a Gramercy Park neighborhood walking tour.