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.
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.
Located in Washington Heights, Fort Tryon Park and its 67 acres (27.11 hectares) of land are home to some of the best views in The Bronx, as well as a number of other worthy tourist attractions. Featuring one of the highest points in the city, Fort Tryon Park offers stunning views of the Hudson River, George Washington Bridge, and other magnificent vistas. Highlights of the park include the Alpine Garden and Heather Garden, as well as the full-service restaurant, New Leaf Cafe. Perhaps the most popular attraction of the park is The Cloisters, the medieval branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The park also contains two playgrounds and a gazebo, and visitors are welcome to picnic, run, or ride bikes through the 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 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.
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.
Opened in 1976 to celebrate the United States bicentennial, Liberty State Park features a beautiful, well-kept public space with spectacular views of the New York skyline, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Public arts events and concerts are held here regularly, and it is the home of the Liberty Science Center. You can take a New York Waterway ferry from the World Financial Center in Manhattan to the Liberty Harbor landing at Marin Boulevard.
Anderson Park, located in Montclair, is a beautiful verdant landscape sprawling over 14.85 acres (6 hectares). This park is administered by the Essex County and is a popular recreational spot among locals and tourists alike. It features picnic spots, paths for jogging and walking, as well as lacrosse and hockey fields. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Not to be confused with the actor Robert Wagner, this park pays homage to former NYC deputy mayor, Robert F. Wagner Jr. It's located in Lower Manhattan, just west of Battery Park. The park provides great views of the Hudson River, New Jersey, the Statue of Liberty and it serves as an entryway to the manmade enclave of Battery Park City. A couple of other highlights in the park are the Museum of Jewish Heritage and the Skyscraper Museum.
Located at the northern end of Bowling Green Park, Arthur Di Modica's 'Charging Bull' is made from bronze and was originally created as a guerilla art piece. When Di Modica finished the massive three-and-a-half ton statue, it was originally placed in front of the NYSE building at Broad, however the city moved it to the present location in 1989 where it has remained ever since. The bull is quite popular and it is oftentimes difficult to get a picture, unless you visit extremely late at night.
Clove Lakes Park is famous for its serpentine rock effects, lakes, ponds and woodlands. This protected site was built in the 1930s though plans were considered way back in 1897. Spread across nearly 200 acres (80.94 hectares), it has fish ponds, three lakes, trails, restrooms, the Staten Island War Memorial Skating Rink, athletic fields such as baseball, soccer and football, a basketball court, playgrounds, picnic spots. Boating opportunities are also available here. Its famous resident is the "Clove Lake Colossus", a massive, 300 years old tulip tree. Some of the fish species that you will see are the carp, pumpkinseed, brown bullhead, largemouth bass and bluegill. Bird-watchers can spot Canada geese, kingfishers, red tailed hawks and mallards. It is a dog-friendly park, so unleash your pets and let they them have a gala time.