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Best Outdoor Activities in New York

By: Cityseeker
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Liberty Helicopter Tours

Seeing New York City by air is a phenomenal experience, and Liberty offers you a great opportunity to do just that. The company features three different kinds of flights that are 15 to 25 minutes long and provide a glimpse of the Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty or other points of interest. Call for prices.

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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Manhattan Waterfront Greenway

This 32 mile (51.5 kilometer) route completely circumnavigates the island of Manhattan. Most of the route runs through scenic off-street parks or right along the waterfront, providing an excellent chance for nature lovers to survey the scenery Manhattan has to offer. Bike, walk, or run through a collection of sites and views, including, but not limited to: the Harlem River Waterfront, the Alexander Hamilton Bridge, Washington Bridge, and the beautiful Hudson River Park. For getting back in touch with nature, this route is hard to beat.

New York, NY, United States
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Governor's Island

A short ferry ride from Lower Manhattan takes visitors to the serene and verdant Governors Island, where the city seems as if it is a world away. The island showcases its picturesque self during summers; in fact, it only opened to the public after 200 years of restricted military usage. The island affords some incredible views of it surrounding waterscape, Red Hook, Brooklyn, the Verrazano Bridge and the Manhattan skyline. The island is also home to some stirring historical sites like Castle Williams, Liggett Hall and the Admiral House, which are an escape into the island's past. Having played an integral role in the American Revolution, this island is a coastal paradise par excellence.

New York, 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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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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McCarren Park Pool

McCarren Park Pool is one of the youngest entertainment destinations in Brooklyn. Although the pool has existed in McCarren Park in Brooklyn since 1936, it acquired its new identity in 2012. Next to the historic pool, a recreational facility was created, which has been the venue for several free and ticketed live music performances. Ample space and a well-designed structure make this open-air venue a great place to catch some fun with family and friends. Pool party shows by live bands are held every Sunday for free of cost. And there can be no better romantic setting for an outdoor film festival, that is conducted here for an entire month. The 37,950 square foot pool is a great way to beat the heat, with plenty of room for everyone.

Brooklyn, 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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Kensington Stables in Brooklyn

Kensington Stables in Brooklyn caters to horseback riding enthusiasts who wish to perfect their skills. Horses are available for all skill levels, as well as for riders who prefer either English or Western styles. Special summer club memberships are available for youngsters. Furthermore, you can rent a horse to tour the trails of Brooklyn's beautiful nearby Prospect Park. The stables also provide boarding, instruction, parties and more. Call or check the Web site for horse show listings. Call ahead for a reservation.

Brooklyn, 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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Astoria Park Pool

The largest pool in the city, Astoria Park Pool is a true New York treasure. This pool measures in at 330 feet (100 meters) and was designed to hold 3000 people. With a magnificent view of the Triborough Bridge sitting just along the horizon, a more scenic setting for a public pool is hard to imagine. During a scorching New York City summer day, there are few places more desirable to find yourself in.

Astoria, NY, United States
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