The Best Outdoor Spaces in NYC
Collected by Kirsten Alana, AFAR Local Expert
Explore NYC by taking advantage of its amazing outdoor public spaces. For people-watching, walking, and communing with nature and public art, these parks, paths, and viewpoints bring the beautiful city into a sharper focus.
New York, NY 10018, USA
Looking up from the lawn at Bryant Park, you get the feeling of being in canyons. I sometimes call the city, especially Midtown, a canyon because everything towers above you. I love spending time in Bryant Park, which is well known for being a...
201 Park Ave S, New York, NY 10003, USA
Union Square Park in NYC is usually bustling with markets, street performers, skateboarders, sidewalk chess, food trucks, and not a moment of silence or peace... until you take a quiet walk with Gandhi through the magnolia trees.
210 10th Ave, New York, NY 10011, USA
For much of its history, the western edges of Manhattan neighborhoods like the West Village and Chelsea consisted of small manufacturing buildings and warehouses that served the piers on the Hudson River. Over time, those factories were replaced...
FDR Dr., New York, NY 10009, USA
Work days in the 'concrete jungle' are hectic. Long hours are spent indoors, sitting at desks. It's easy to forget that we live on an island. The East River Walk, beginning at 34th street and the FDR, is where I go to get away from the hustle and...
11 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10010, USA
There are two main reasons to visit this small midtown park, which takes up the three city blocks between Madison and Fifth avenues from 23rd to 26th streets. The first is that its lawns, benches and temporary art installations all have views of...
Financial District, New York, NY, USA
Governor's Island in the East River, just 1 km from Manhattan, is an oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Catch the free ferry from downtown near Battery Park and enjoy gorgeous views of the city, car-free bike roads, picnics and...
East River Promenade, New York, NY, USA
Even in as city known as the concrete jungle, Manhattan offers a surprising number of opportunities to find a little peace and quiet and New Yorkers are masters at creating their own oases. Position yourself correctly, pop in your headphones and...
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, New York, NY 10128, USA
Central Park is a perfect urban oasis that in many ways represents the heart of New York City. Convenient location, lush natural beauty, and the diversity of people and activities is why it is a favorite of locals and tourists alike. And if you...
95 Prospect Park West, Brooklyn, NY 11215, USA
Patrick Dougherty's "Natural History" living sculpture made entirely out of trees and vines is a work of art in the truest sense. Stepping inside feels akin to what it must be inside the mind of Tim Burton yet with all the reverence that nature...
New York, NY 10012, USA
Washington Square Park is only a fraction of the size of Central Park, but it is as almost as much of an icon of New York as its much larger counterpart uptown. It's likely because it sits in the heart of Greenwich Village, and has thus served as...
Riverside, Dr To Broadway, New York, NY 10040, USA
Fort Tryon Park is a jewel. Much more off the beaten path for tourists and even locals, the 67-acre park is located in far northern Manhattan on towering cliffs with panoramic views of the Hudson River, the George Washington Bridge, and the New...
334 Furman St, Brooklyn, NY 11201, USA
Taking a nighttime stroll through Brooklyn, retracing George Washington's footsteps as he was engaging British forces in Brooklyn and Long Island who went on to invade New York City in the summer of 1776 during the American Revolution (I love a...
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