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Best Parks in New York

By: Cityseeker
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Zuccotti Park

Zuccotti Park occupies a special place in New York's history. The epicenter of the Occupy Wall Street movement that swept political discourse in 2011, this humble square has been cleared of the protest signs and tents, once more becoming a sleepy little location at the tip of Manhattan. Two sculptures add a little color to the mostly gray park, Mark di Suvero's Joie de Vivre contributing a splash of orange across from a bronze businessman statue which reclines on a bench. A tiny square dense with history, Zuccotti Park has become one of New York's most recent landmarks.

New York, NY, United States
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Brooklyn Bridge Park

Brooklyn Bridge Park is an 85-acre stretch of green space that lies between two of New York's greatest landmarks: the bustling Manhattan Bridge and the gorgeous Brooklyn Bridge. There are stunning views of the New York Harbor, the glittering Manhattan skyline and the beautiful Brooklyn Heights Promenade. Pier 1 of Brooklyn Bridge Park opened in the spring of 2010 and has been one of the most frequented tourist spots ever since. A plethora of parks, piers and waterfront attractions are in the vicinity. The sheer beauty of the place makes it worth a visit!

New York, NY, United States
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Hudson River Park

Hudson River Park is a huge open space stretching from Pier 97 to Battery Park City, replete with grassy expanses, paths, and fields. You can fish, swim, relax, run and walk your dogs in the designated areas, or just enjoy refreshments or sit and read a book. This is the perfect place to spend your day with your family, or to enjoy a little walk or jog after work to relax.

New York, NY, United States
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Urban Meadow

Urban Meadow is a community park in every sense of the word. This is not a simple green patch or a picnic spot, but this is the place where variety of cultural and social events are hosted. It touches base with a wide spectrum of avenues and involves the entire community. Urban Meadow plays host to a variety of events including the annual Red Hook Jazz Festival, fund-raising plant sale, gardening workshops, special competitions for kids and local festivals. Be it a simple evening stroll or a community meeting, Urban Meadow is always the preferred choice.

Brooklyn, NY, United States
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Fort Greene Park

Rich in history, Fort Greene Park’s beginnings emerged in the form of Fort Putnam, which is today located within the park. In 1812, the fort was christened in the name of Major General Nathanael Greene and since there was not any actual worry of conflict or a war at the time, the fort was used by the locals as a recreational space. In the park, there is also a famous memorial, the Prison Ship Martyrs’ Monument, which honors the lives of thousands of Americans who died as a result of imprisonment aboard a ship by the British. A visit to this park gives all its visitors a broader perspective of the history of the city and its residents. The hugely-popular Brooklyn Flea on Saturdays is right across the park.

Brooklyn, NY, United States
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Madison Square Park

Offering a much-needed green environment to the urban headaches before you reach Midtown, Madison Square Park is a lush green patch at the beginning of the Flatiron District. All through the year, the park plays host to various cultural events, exhibitions and concerts, all of which are attended in large numbers. Throughout the park, visitors will find a burst of color within its well-manicured flower gardens. Tiny tots and four-legged friends will also have lots to do at Jemmy's Dog Run and the playground. Another perfect addition to the park is the original Shake Shack, the beloved burger place; it can't be missed.

New York, NY, United States
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High Line

The High Line is an urban oasis filled with beautifully manicured landscapes. It sits above the city on old train tracks that were installed as part of the West Side Improvement Project back in 1929. The line was primarily used to transport goods along the Lower West Side, but with the advent of vehicles in the 1950s and more accessible routes elsewhere, the last train eventually ran in 1980. Thereafter, the elevated tracks fell into disrepair, and the whole structure was nearly demolished. It was instead converted into an innovative public park, delighting locals and visitors alike. Today, the High Line is a cherished sanctuary away from the bustle of city life.

New York, NY, United States
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Bryant Park

New Yorkers love this small park in the heart of Midtown. With its French benches, colorful flower gardens, green lawn and numerous cultural events, Bryant Park is a peaceful place to take a moment to watch the world go by. Named after poet William Cullen Bryant, the site of this historic park has played an important role in New York City. After being officially designated a public park, the site's fortunes rose and fell with the times. A brilliant restoration in the 1990s transformed the space into the beautiful midtown oasis it is today. The park's March hours vary throughout the month, so be sure to check the website before visiting.

New York, NY, United States
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Prospect Park

This beautiful Brooklyn park was created by the same architects responsible for the splendid Central Park in Manhattan. Unlike its more famous cousin in Manhattan, Prospect Park sits pretty amidst a primarily residential area and is not surrounded by skyscrapers. Many Olmsted fans dub this 526 acre (212.87 hectare) park his crowning achievement. It features horseback riding, ice skating, tennis, paddle boats and a carousel, as well as the Prospect Park Wildlife Center. There is a band shell for concerts, and Prospect Lake is often teeming with ducks, geese and swans.

Brooklyn, NY, United States
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Brooklyn Botanic Garden

This small but beautiful botanic garden features a Japanese garden, as well as the Cranford Rose Garden, herb garden, the Children's Garden, and the Steinhard Conservatory of indoor flowers and plants. In all, there are 52 acres and 12,000 varieties of botanicals, ranging from the tiny bonsai to the towering oak. Self-guided tours, individual classes and certificate programs are all available. Students come with your valid id cards, if you want to avail of a discount.

New York, NY, United States
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Central Park

An emerald expanse in the thriving, concrete jungle that is New York City, Central Park lies in the heartland of the Manhattan borough. It commences its labyrinthine stretch from Midtown, all the way to Harlem. It was created in 1857 by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, who envisioned a sprawling green space in the center of the island. The park spans 843 acres (341.15 hectares) and bustles with life throughout the day, even as the layered, multi-hued fold of the city's skyline unfolds at its hem. The park's 21 playgrounds are speckled with ornate fountains, sculptures, myriad bridges and arches, together forming an urbane respite where several come to find peace from the city's chaotic pace. Attractions within the park include the Bethesda Fountain, the Conservatory Garden, Belvedere Castle, and Central Park Zoo.

New York, NY, United States
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Riverside Park

Upper West Side joggers, rollerbladers and dog owners love this four-mile long park beside the Hudson River. Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, the same architects behind Central Park and Prospect Park, Riverside Park boasts excellent views of the river and New Jersey. Park attractions include Grant's Tomb, the Civil War Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, and a statue of Eleanor Roosevelt. Early morning may be the best time to visit or exercise, as this park can become fairly crowded.

New York, NY, United States
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