New York City is a bustling epicenter, but it is also home to several amazing parks. With all the hustle and bustle on the streets, it is nice to be able to stop into a park for some relaxation and nature.
This list of the best NYC parks is made up of some iconic (think central park) and some lesser-known parks to sneak into for some true tranquility.
Our list of the best parks in New York City (and a few nearby)
Address: 1802 E 65th St, New York, NY 10065
Central Park is a lovely urban park that is ideal for an afternoon delight in walking and picnic in New York City. This beautiful park is situated on the sides of the great Upper Manhattan. It is known and ranked as the town’s largest park by area, covering a spacious land of about 843 acres.
In 1876, Central Park was pioneered and announced open to the general public, and it is still acknowledged to be the greatest innovation of the town for creating a park with a landscape created from artificial implementation.
Central Park’s grounds are filled with a flower garden and a field of rolling greens lawns, gentle hills, shades provided by the trees, shaded valleys, and jagged canyons.
The park is available for an interesting vista and walks at nearly every point. View a map of Central Park here. Central Park is filled with great amenities and lovely facilities to enjoy. There is also a zoo, a playing field, an ice skating rink every winter, children’s playgrounds, and athletic facilities.
There are also several fountains and a number of monuments and plaques scattered within the park. Like what you are hearing? Check out these best things to do in Central Park to plan a day of adventure and fun.
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Address: 1073 6th Ave, New York, NY 10018
Bryant Park is a spectacular park ideal for outdoor activities and community gathering spots. It has an area of 9.6 acres public and is located in the New York City borough of Manhattan.
The Bryant Park is an establishment that is privately managed and perfectly situated within Manhattan’s lovely neighborhood, and easily accessible to reach. That’s why we added it to our list of the best parks in New York City.
Bryant Park Corporation was established in 1980 to reclaim Bryant Park for New York City and become a wonderful land for the community to use.
Since then, the BPC board and staff have turned the park into the best public place for the city to rest and engage in leisure events thanks to the committee’s talent, commitment, and implementation.
Bryant Park is an outstanding spot in the town to relax, stretch out some muscle, bond with loved ones, an ideal place for kids to play, and a lovely spot to do a picnic.
It also offers an array of free and engaging recreational activities to the community wanting to have some challenging fun.
Main Street Park
Address: Brooklyn, NY 11201, United States
Another best park in New York City, located in the heart of Rolesville town, Main Street Park is a large spot for the community to enjoy and has an area of 3.5-acre green space.
The park features a nautically themed play area, trails, a dog run, a spectacular water view, and a space ideal for various park-goers’ activities.
Then the street was the first developed commercial and residential street that became home to a community that has a diverse culture, ideals and has various recreation activities to perform.
The creation of the park added to the great wellness of the community where everyone can interact and do what they love.
The Parks feature convenient amenities such as a charcoal grill within the park’s shelter, restrooms, picnic pavilion and grounds, and sports facilities. The park established and implements rules to persevere its beauty, such as prohibiting outside entertainment, alcohol and tobacco, and sidewalk chalks.
The park’s facilities were a set of free and rentable shelters, an open playfield, large playgrounds, and over one mile of greenway trails.
Pier C Park
Address: 340 Sinatra Dr, Hoboken, NJ 07030, United States
Located on the Hoboken lovely and charming western part of Manhattan, Pier C Park is an ideal spot that can be only be accessed by crossing to a fishing pier and crossing a path leading to the park mixed with the scenic views of the town’s skyline.
The park’s ideal location offers scenic views of NYC, featuring a charming fishing pier, fully equipped playground, water play area, and more scenery to behold. This is definitely one of the best parks in New York City.
Until the mid-20th century, The park was previously known to Hoboken’s waterfront, a largely industrial and inaccessible area. Today, Pier C Park is part of a new generation of publicly accessible recreational areas in Manhattan.
The park’s amenities include a mixture of landscapes and a water play area and ideal spots for sunbathing.
Pier C Park has a spot dedicated to games: a game area, a pier, shoreline trails for pedestrians and cyclists, lovely picnics, a lot of spaces used for growing park plants, picnic grounds, and another facility that makes the park more beautiful and functional.
Branch Brook Park
Address: Park Avenue and Lake Street, Newark, NJ 07104, United States
Branch Brook Park is a spectacular park and is acknowledged to be the nation’s first county park. Branch Brook Park is known for having the largest number of cherry blossom trees in the United States, and a part of the park is also found in the lovely town of Belleville.
It is conveniently situated in Newark’s North Ward, between the neighborhoods of Forest Hill and Roseville. This is one of the best parks nearby New York City.
Branch Brook Park is notable for being the first county park in the United States to open to the public. It was added to the iconic Historic landmarks list in 1980 and 1981, respectively.
The park is named after a wonderful branch brook that found a valley and into the Passaic River floating aimlessly, the stream that remains.
It is situated in an ideal spot where the park’s lot is filled with lovely sceneries, still retaining a natural appearance. The park also features more than 4,000 cherry tree blossoms that bloom beautifully during April with great varieties.
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Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms State Park
Address: 1 FDR Four Freedoms Park, Roosevelt Island, NY 10044, United States
A spectacular state park in New York City is a memorial dedicated to the late President Roosevelt and named the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms State Park.
This beautiful and magnificent park–one of the best parks in New York City–is located on the southern tip of Roosevelt Island in New York City, and it is the last project of the legendary twentieth-century architect, late Louis I. Kahn.
The park honors President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s famed 1941’s message from the State of the Union address, which he declared the Four Freedoms. These freedoms were all pertaining to speech & expression, worship, want, and fear.
The Four Freedoms that President Roosevelt legacy encourages, educates, and employs were also the park’s campaigns and ideals.
The Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms State Park does safeguard the monument as a place for inspired use, community building, and empathy in order to carry out the late President’s values.
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The High Line
Address: New York, NY 10011, United States
The High Line is a charming park that has an area of 2,3 kilometers long elevated lot of the lovely park. It is perched along with the land of greens and railroad path created from the old New York Central Railroad on the western part of Manhattan in New York City.
High Line Park was built beautifully on a historic and elevated rail line that makes the spot more unique. This lovely park was always intended to be more than a park that has picturesque sceneries to behold.
Visitors will take a relaxing stroll through the park’s grounds, see artworks, participate in various outdoor events, set up a picnic and enjoy delectable food, or interact with neighbors and friends while taking in a unique view of New York City.
The peaceful park of the High Line is surrounded by over 500 species of plants and trees.
Aside from public space and playgrounds, the High Line offers a wide range of free and open-to-all community gatherings, youth and teen activities, and world-class artwork and performances.
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Tyler State Park
Address: 101 Swamp Rd, Newtown, PA 18940, United States
Tyler State Park is an hour and a half from Manhattan. The park is an ideal open space for the community with 1,711 acres in Bucks County perched 33 miles away from the heat of Philadelphia City.
It is filled with wonderful views and spectacular park amenities offered to the public.
Tyler State Park features a vast path, a network of connecting walking and biking paths, and amenities thoughtfully placed within the original farm and woodland area. The park’s network of trails is well-kept, with over eight feet of width and a few picnic benches for a lovely afternoon park picnic grounds.
The park has the unique feature of having a bridle path ideal for horseback riding with the lovely scenery of Neshaminy Creek.
Cross-country skiing is permitted during the winter in the park, and fishing and canoeing are available along the creek throughout the summer.
Tyler State Park also provides disc golf, holds activities at its Center for the Arts, and offers environmental awareness services relating to hill slope tracks and rugged terrains.
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Bear Mountain State Park
Address: Route 9W North, Bear Mountain, NY 10911, United States
Bear Mountain State Park is a spectacular spot to admire the beauty of nature while performing outdoor and recreational activities. Although outside of Manhattan, we had to add this to the list of the best parks in New York City.
The lovely park is situated in jagged and rough mountains that are towering from the Hudson River. It is also nestled along the Hudson River, and the park was named because the mountain’s profile resembles a bear lying down.
The Bear Mountain State Park is filled with trails ideal for leisure biking, walking, hiking, or skating. The park’s spectacular trails initially opened and served as a great pathway and connected to the other trail or section trails within Bear Mountain State Park.
A spacious playground, a lovely swimming pool, sports facilities, shaded picnic grounds, fishing links and pier, Trailside Museums, and a variety of trails perfect for an array of recreational activities are all available at the park. Bear Mountain State Park is a place that possesses everything a community needs to gain great wellness.
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Address: New York, NY 10006
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Zuccotti Park is a spectacular park that is formerly known as Liberty Plaza Park. This lovely spot with a 33,000-square-foot open area situated in the Financial District of Lower Manhattan, New York City.
The park features the “Joie de Vivre” made with iron sculpture that is a 21 meters tall masterpiece created by the art pioneer Mark di Suvero and is located on the park’s southeast corner.
Another highlight of Zuccotti Park is the sculpture made with wonderful bronze artwork called “Double Check,” crafted by the spectacular artist J. Seward Johnson.
During the Occupy Wall Street campaign, Zuccotti Park was a refuge for the bulk of Occupy Wall Street activists, who camped out in tents and tarpaulins.
Aside from the fantastic sculptures perched in the park, it has other amenities too. It has an open area for games, a playground area filled with playground equipment, a picnic area, and a recreational center to enjoy.
Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park
Address: 72 McBride Ave, Paterson, NJ 07501
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
The Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park is a beautiful park located in the spectacular city of New Jersey, United States.
The park was established in New Jersey and America’s pioneered industrial city; thus, the design and the park itself are spectacular. It houses the Great Falls of the Passaic River which is also the center of the town.
The Great Falls of the Passaic River is a 77 feet high outstanding waterfall, and it is under the protection of the park. This spectacular fall is one of the highlights of the park. Visitors can perform a great recreational activity in the park, such as outdoor hiking, to reach and behold the majestic beauty of the falls.
It is not only the beauty of the park that can be seen; the background of the history of its main features can also be learned when visiting the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park.
The Patterson Park, also referred to as Patterson Environmental Park, is a majestic 93,000 square meter park that is owned by the town. Ideally, it is a delicately preserved area and spot with the wetlands area in New York State, the Great Swamp.
The park is situated on the remains of old and ancient rails still intact, giving a walk in the past ambiance. Many of the dwellings in Patterson are assumed to have been carved and shipped to the village using freight carts, balancing Patterson Park’s design and arrangement.
Along the entry road that has now become a trail, the traces of some large stones cut from the quarry can be seen within the park.
The park offers an excellent opportunity for hiking, canoeing, and ideal fishing as an outdoor recreational activity to spend with family and friends. Patterson Park’s features and amenities are convenient to all of its visitors.
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Address: Upper New York Bay
Rating: 4.6 out of 5
Liberty Island is a fascinating island and park owned by the central government. It is perched in the beautiful city of Upper New York Bay in the United States. Liberty Island was initially known as Bedloe’s Island, and it was renamed by an act of the United States Congress in 1956.
The park is one of the famous parks or spots in the town for it houses the most striking and well-known feature or icon in New York, the Statue of Liberty.
Liberty Island’s internationally recognized statue was built and created by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi in 1886. Many different cultures, including Native Americans, early explorers, and the United States Army, have portrayed this marvelous park as a special site.
It also has historical information and historical items that represent all the histories of both Liberty Island and Ellis Island. The ground of Liberty islands and the Statue of Liberty Museum and theater are some of the great spots to visit and perform various recreational activities.
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Overpeck County Park
Address: 40 Fort Lee Rd, Leonia, NJ 07605
Rating: 4.6 out of 5
Overpeck County Park, also known as the Overpeck County Park National Park, is a spectacular and rich inland area country park situated in the breathtaking town of Bergen County of New Jersey.
The park’s ample space of 811-acre with main area landscapes including various parks like Palisades and Ridgefield Park encircles the breathtaking areas of Overpeck Creek and Hackensack wetlands.
The park is filled with various pleasing trails that are ideal and delightful for hiking, biking, jogging, or skating. The park is blessed with the spectacular wonders of nature holding an extensive landscape that makes the park serene and a wonderful place to perform outdoor adventure.
As Overpeck County Park became Bergen County’s largest recreational venue, it becomes a popular spot for various community gatherings, a family bonding spot, a place to stretch, and an excellent area to relax and admire the beauty of nature.
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Address: Front St., John St., and, South St, New York, NY 10038
Rating: 4.3 out of 5
Imagination Playground is a recreational park open and created for kids located in the beautiful town of South Street Seaport, New York City.
The playground was designed by David Rockwell and opened the great playground to the public on July 28, 2010. The concept was a unique play space that was the product of Rockwell’s research, inspired by parenting his city kids.
The adventure-filled playground has a sign of a figure-eight shape that encourages creative play in distinct play areas that offer different experiences.
The design and purpose of Imagination Playground are to let children’s imagination run wild, and learn various skills and creativity by navigating through the park’s playground equipment.
A vast sandbox, enclosed slides, and swings are some of the playground amenities that kids can enjoy. The slide in the park leads to the great sandbox where kids can interact and play together. The Imagination Playground is a perfect place for kids to play and learn at the same.
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Lasdon Park, Arboretum & Veterans Memorial
Address: 2610 NY-35, Katonah, NY 10536
Rating: 4.8 out of 5
A bit outside of Manhattan, Lasdon Park, Arboretum & Veterans Memorial is a beautiful public park open for all ages located within the spectacular neighborhood in Somers, New York. It is well worth the drive.
The park is available and for free, where the community of Sommers can gather and do spontaneous recreation. The park was initially being referred to as Cobbling Rock Farm, but later on, rename into the name the park is continuously using today. It features excellent amenities and spectacular scenic views to behold.
Lasdon Park has excellent highlights of various spots to visit and step a picnic on the ground of tables, and it has pavilions, Historic Tree Walk, Dinosaur Garden, and more.
The lands on the park house the spectacular Westchester Veterans Museum that honors the great war veterans of the town. The park also houses the Veterans Memorial trail that is dedicated to the Westchester County veterans.
The trail is surrounded by pleasing sceneries and trees providing shaded pathways.
Tompkins Square Park
Address: E 10th St, New York, NY 10009
Rating: 4.3 out of 5
Tompkins Square Park is a lovely neighborhood public park that has over 0.5-acre of land in the charming town of Manhattan, New York City.
The Tompkins Square Park is a square-shaped park providing areas for various recreation activities: play areas, trails, picnic areas, and sports facilities or spots.
The park was initially envisioned by New York City planners as a market square but changed their minds and used the land to construct an ideal community park.
This wonderful recreation center is honored to Daniel Tompkins, who is a former U.S. President and Governor of the region. This popular park in the Middle East Village is an ideal park centerpiece for it is perched in a neighborhood in need of a recreation spot,
The park provided the community with a great recreation center and a spot to relax, unwind, and admire the beauty of nature surrounding the park.
Tompkins Square Park allows the community to gather on its fantastic location and grounds, let children play on its two playgrounds, play sports, and enjoy a delightful walk on its grounds.
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New York City is often called a concrete jungle, but these parks show there is a breath of fresh air hidden around every corner. Some parks take a little longer to get to, but the scenery is well worth it.
And you can enjoy most of these parks right in downtown Manhattan! Grab your bike and start exploring.