In case you haven’t see me tag my location 100x on Instagram, I’ve been living in New York City this summer and have truly gotten to know the area. As a girl from the south, be it Austin, Texas, the home of everything outdoorsy, I’ve especially loved exploring the great outdoors — a.k.a. parks — here in the city. If you’re ever in New York City and need to see trees, you have to check these places out!
THE HIGH LINE
The High Line is an elevated public park built on an old freight rail line and it runs down the west side of New York City. It’s basically a 1.5-mile-long walkway from West 30th Street all the way down to Gansevoort Street, where it conveniently drops you off at the Whitney Museum of American Art. The High Line is filled with greenery, modern artwork, murals, lots of seating, and breath-taking views of the city from a mere 30 feet high. As you get closer to the south end, you’ll find pop-up shops with popsicles, beer, knick-knacks, artwork, political buttons — you name it. Whether you’re craving some nature or simply need a relaxing spot to have lunch, The High Line will not disappoint!
WASHINGTON SQUARE PARK
Located near New York University, Washington Square Park is my favorite place to sit and read a book. The walkways are mostly shaded, there are benches galore, and you may even hear a musician or two performing in the distance. While the surrounding area can be touristy, I find this park the perfect getaway for lazy afternoons in the city.
They also have these little chess boards built into tables for people to come and compete — how cute is that!
HUDSON RIVER PARK
The Hudson River Park runs down the west side of Manhattan, parallel to the Hudson River (hence, the name). It’s a great place to exercise because of bike and jog paths that stretch from 59th Street all the way south to Battery Park — but I’ll admit sometimes it’s nice to relax on one of the many piers, sit on a bench and admire the view.
In the center of Midtown, Bryant Park is said to be a “local’s” park. It’s quite smaller than the others I’ve mentioned but has more seating and restaurant options. They also host interesting events throughout the year, like movie nights and juggling classes. Lots of people who work in the area will take a lunch or coffee break here to sit back at a table, look up at the Empire State Building, and get some fresh air amidst sky-scrapers.
How could I leave this one out?! Central Park is the largest park in the city and one of the most filmed locations in the world. Literally, think of any movie you’ve seen that was set in NYC. 99% chance there’s a scene in Central Park!
Central Park can be overwhelmingly large, especially when you’re lost in the middle of it (a.k.a. me the other weekend and it was 90 degrees, people). My favorite spots within the park are the Loeb Boathouse (which has a restaurant, bar, and paddle-boat rentals) and the Bethesda Fountain. Great photo-ops!
Thanks so much for reading! Hope you enjoyed this post and that this list is helpful to you, whether you’re visiting NYC soon or are simply curious about the city.