There is a common misconception about NYC, about it being a sophisticated city full of skyscrapers and some big landmarks. In actual fact, this place boasts of a large mass of greenery, spanning almost 14%.
For tourists who are tired of the city’s hectic traffic, viewing sights and other activities, the various parks offer them respite.
There are some awesome parks and gardens which are a must see when you are touring NYC!
[dropcap]1[/dropcap]Brooklyn Botanic Gardens
At times it is lovingly referred to simply as ‘BBG.’ This site occupies 52 acres and its history goes back to the early 20th century. It is easily accessible from New York Central Hotels and provides some very attractive vistas and individual gardens.
The Japanese Hill and Pond garden are definitely worth a visit. This garden brings a touch of Japan in the middle of New York. In the Cranford Rose Garden you are treated to the awesome sight of more than 1,400 types of roses.
[dropcap]2[/dropcap]The New York Botanical Gardens
Located in the Bronx, these gardens occupy about 250 acres. This is a global centre of distinction in horticulture study and provides an amazing tour experience. There are many individual gardens which provide the chance to study some plants which are very rare and unique.
Of special interest, is an old forest which occupies 50 acres which is ideal if you are fascinated by history and can let your imagination run wild! Since the period of the initial European settlers, this forest has not been logged or forested.
This provides a rare glimpse of how New York City would have appeared before the first Dutch settlement and thereafter, English and British settlement.
This old mansion is interesting in an extraordinary way. It was begun in 1840s and rests on the edge of the city, near the Hudson River. Some very scenic woodland walks and gardens are available, which surround the mansion. You have a chance to attend some exhibitions held there regularly.
The informal atmosphere, not found in other gardens, enables you to feel like you have escaped from the hustle and bustle of the city and are in the center of the countryside!
Apart from Central Park being the main attraction in the city, Brooklyn also has its own large green section. Prospect Park occupies 585 acres and is a bit smaller. However, its Long Meadow is recognized by many as one of the country’s largest urban meadows.
Prospect has its own zoo where porcupines, red pandas and sea lions reside. One attraction which is very unique however, is Edwyn Clark Litchfield’s former house, the breathtaking Italiante Mansion or Litchfield Villa.
Battery Park is situated in lower Manhattan and is without a doubt the most ideal place to see New York’s popular monuments like the Statue of Liberty. You can also take a ferry ride to Ellis Island.
Fredrick Law Olmstead, the brain behind Central Park, is the one who designed Prospect Park. So, similar features such as rolling hills, large lawns and a public section for holding concerts and rinks for skating are available.
On average, 7 million tourists visit each year. It gains its popularity because of its Grand Army Plaza where yearly New Year’s Eve is celebrated with thrilling exhibitions of fireworks!
[dropcap]6[/dropcap]Flushing Meadows – Corona Park
In NYC, this is the fourth biggest park which is situated in borough of Queens. It is also known as Flushing Meadows. It has the popular USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, which is home to the U.S. Open tennis match.
The other outstanding attractions found in this park are Queens Museum of Art and the Queens Wildlife Center. A skating section and boating lake are available also.
Byrant Park is another park in New York which is worth a visit. This park, like different parks in the city, enables you to have unforgettable moments with your family. The park spreads over nine acres and in Manhattan, it features the longest stretch of green grass. The most popular attraction in the park is the Statue of William Cullen Byrant.
Each year, different events are held in this park and the most famous event is Byrant Park Summer Festival held in this park since 1990s. When you visit the park in July and August, you have the pleasure of attending the great event ‘Broadway in Byrant Park’.
Kids can have a great time riding on La Carousel while you enjoy a game of chess, ping pong or backgammon. You can read different books as well in the Reading Room, where you do not need to be a member or provide any identification.
[dropcap]8[/dropcap]Pelham Bay Park
This is actually the biggest public park in NYC which covers an area of 2, 772 acres. It is situated in the northeast corner of Bronx borough. It is literally three times bigger than the popular Central Park and you really need to have a lot of time to be able to explore each part!
The major appeal in this park includes Pelham Bay Golf Course, Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum and Orchard Beach. In the south east section of the park, there are baseball fields, an area for picnics, trails for biking and a section for kids.
You have the chance to enjoy riding horses at the park’s Bronx Equestrian Center. People who love nature find tranquility in Thomas Pell Wildlife Sanctuary which is home to wild animals such as egrets, raccoons and hawks.
In New York City, this is the only park which is private. In the state, it is one of only two where people who live near the park are required to pay a yearly fee and possess a key. Generally, the public is not allowed to go there. However, the surrounding street sidewalks are popular for jogging, walking the dog and walking.
[dropcap]10[/dropcap]Union Square Park
This park is normally used for regular New Yorkers for meetings and a greenmarket is available each week for several days.
[dropcap]11[/dropcap]Washington Square Park
For a long time, this Park’s fountain section has been a famous spot in the city for tourists and residents. Many of the buildings which surround the park are now owned by New York University, although most of them were once used by artists as studios and homes.
[dropcap]12[/dropcap]Madison Square Park
If you are looking for a break from the congestion and rush when in NYC, Madison Square is the answer. It has a large area with grass and enough space for dogs to run and a scenic area. The enchanting artwork which occupies the park’s ground section, keeps you captivated for a long time.
The above is just part of the city’s green areas…we are yet to mention Central Park!
This is of course the most visited and popular park in NYC. Central Park encounters millions of people throughout the year. This area offers you a variety of entertainment and recreational facilities which includes riding horses in a carriage, boating, looking at wildlife, etc.
There are many programs for entertainment and functions at specific times of the year. Another big appeal for visitors is an open air ice rink.
The next time you visit New York, make sure you visit the above beautiful parks, for a memorable experience!