If you’ve ever been to New York, I’m sure there’s one thing you’d agree with me on; I never knew that so many buildings could exist in such a small space! But despite all the towering metal structures, there are enough beautiful green spaces to slow down the pace in the City That Never Sleeps. Nestled amongst the busy blocks are some beautiful parks and gardens, which creates the perfect contrast. Whether you’re simply grabbing a coffee with friends, soaking up some artsy culture or want to enjoy the stunning city views, you’re sure to find a great green space in New York which captures your imagination.
No list of parks around New York, or the world for that matter, is complete without Central Park. It’s like a little world of its own, with dozens of different sections perfect for everyone from music fanatics to literary lovers. Head down to the famous Strawberry Fields and get your picture taken with the ‘Imagine’ mural or lose yourself amongst the trees and discover the well-loved Alice in Wonderland sculpture. The park is fantastic to visit any time of the year, with festive additions like the ice rink in winter. Admittedly, one of my favourite things about the park itself is the Express Café in the Loeb Boathouse. Here, you can take a seat and grab a hot dog, burger or tasty deep-filled sandwich for around six dollars, which is pretty much unheard of for Manhattan!
The High Line
It might technically be a park, but I like to think of the High Line as a landmark in its own right. The High Line was once an active train line which transported food throughout New York State, but was transformed into a public park after being left abandoned for nearly 30 years. I visited the High Line in October last year and was completely amazed the different perspective it gives you of the city. The mile-and-a-half-long walkway in the Meatpacking District runs alongside the blocks, far above the streets below, meaning you get a much better view of all your surroundings; it reminds me of all those iconic city panning shots in US sitcoms like Friends. The High Line’s also an Instagram addict’s dream, complete with sculptures, billboard art and carefully-designed agriculture. It’s the coolest park in town.
Okay, it’s not quite a park. It’s even better; it’s an island! The Hills, found on Governors Island, started life as a military outpost which was closed off to the public. These days, the case is quite the opposite, with hundreds of families, couples and groups of friends sailing across on the free ferry during its open season. Bring your bike if you’d like, or hire one at Bike and Roll; there’s a two-mile promenade that offers stunning views across lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty. The Hills are also home to the longest slide in New York, at 57ft long and three stories high. Wander up Discovery Hill and Outlook Hill to take in that famous New York skyline from a fresh perspective. How high will you choose to climb?
Have you ever visited New York before? What was your favourite park or garden? I’d love to hear what you think below.