Best Parks to Visit in Manhattan

Madeleine Ray

The hustle and bustle of metropolitan New York City can get overwhelming at times, but if there is anything that New York does well it is providing a small oasis of nature throughout the seemingly endless concrete jungle. Here are some of the best parks to sit down and take a break surrounded by beautiful scenery in the big apple.

Elizabeth Street Garden, The High Line, Madison Square Park, Union Square, Central Park, Tompkins Square Park, Abingdon Square, Washington Square Park

  • Elizabeth Street Garden in New York, United States

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      While New York has sprawling parks, the city also has many hidden public gardens amongst the skyscrapers. Elizabeth Street Garden is a beautiful garden located in the fashionable neighborhood of SoHo, just off the busy shopping streets. Elizabeth Street Garden has incredibly maintained nature, with a collection of sculptures and structures to be the perfect place to snap a picture and enjoy a cup of tea. I included Elizabeth Street Garden as it never failed to leave me shocked at how there can be such beautiful and healthy nature in the center of an industrialized world. The garden itself is also struggling, as the city would like to build an apartment complex in the lot where the garden is located. Stop by for a fundraising event or even sign up to receive newsletters and contribute to protecting this well-loved area of the city.

  • The High Line in New York, United States

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      The High Line is a renovated old railroad track to be an elevated park walkway in Chelsea. This park provides picturesque nature, with places to sit and art installations, with the backdrop of the New York skyline. This popular spot is also alongside tourist destination Hudson Yards shopping mall and the famous architectured vessel of Hudson Yards.

  • Madison Square Park in New York, United States

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      At the intersection of fifth ave and broadway, Madison Square Park is a beautifully maintained park surrounded by famous buildings including the flat iron building. Madison Square Park houses public art installations, as well as the first-ever Shake Shack.

  • Union Square in New York, United States

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      Located just above the busy Union Square Station, Union Square Park is in the middle of a bustling shopping and business district in Manhattan. The park is beautifully maintained as well as has a seasonal green market with fresh food, vegetables, and other goodies to pick up for a delicious lunch underneath the trees.

  • Central Park in New York, United States

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      How could I write a list about parks in New York and not include the actual heart and life of New York that is Central Park? This expansive park expands throughout upper Manhattan and each section has its own character. Visit the dreamy Alice in Wonderland statue, or stroll along across bridges overlooking a quaint stream,. In Central Park, you can try tasty New York pretzels and other street food, and take a breath away from the shopping and culture that surrounds the well-maintained park that is quintessential to the New York experience.

  • Tompkins Square Park in New York, United States

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      A cultural icon, Tompkins Square park located in Alphabet City, is equipped with basketball courts, chess tables, and a dog run. Nearby to St. Marks street and in the center of East Village, Tompkins Square offers refuge along with access to much of New York culture. Bordering the park is one of the best bagel spots in the city, Tompkins Square bagels.

  • Abingdon Square in New York, United States

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      Abingdon Square is one of the smallest and oldest parks in the city. This park is located in Greenwich Village, and the sight of it will immediately calm and draw you inside the peaceful, sometimes overlooked but beautifully maintained park area. Spending the afternoon at Abingdon Square with coffee from the nearby deli and a good book is a perfect hideaway from the busy city.

  • Washington Square Park in New York, United States

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      Washington Square Park, in the heart of Greenwich Village, is at the heart of culture in New York City. The park is mostly open space and features a huge fountain which is an incredibly popular spot for both tourists and locals alike.