New York in the Spring: best parks in Manhattan

July 21, 2016
Jefferson Park Garden in Greenwich Village, New York City.

Springtime in New York and the city is lush and green.

Central Park is at its blooming best and dotted throughout Manhattan are dozens of beautiful parks offering a welcome escape from the hectic, noisy streets.

It’s another side to this busy, built-up skyscraper city – a place of peaceful parklands where you can grab some me-time and enjoy some mindfulness amongst the madness.

Here are some of the best parks you can escape to in Manhattan:

Bryant Park, Midtown

Bryant Park is next to the New York Public Library and in fact the library’s vast collection of books sit six feet under the lawn of the park! While the park is extremely popular with locals and visitors, you still feel cocooned from the chaos of midtown. There’s an outdoor reading room, restaurant, cafe, tables and chairs scattered throughout so you can sit down, relax and chill out. A great place to revive after a Fifth Avenue shopping spree!

Bryant Park, New York City.

The very popular Bryant Park.

Jefferson Market Garden, Greenwich Village

This beautiful small garden (main picture at top of page) next to the Jefferson Market Library on Sixth Avenue is probably my favourite of all the parks we discovered. It’s the site of a former women’s prison and the location of Miranda and Steve’s wedding on Sex and the City. Take a peek inside the library then have a bite of lunch at the Italian restaurant Olio E Piu across the street.

Flowers in Jefferson Market Garden, Greenwich Village.

We spotted these gorgeous purple flowers in parks and gardens all over the city.

Washington Market Park, Tribeca

This is a fantastic playground for kids with lots of equipment and open space. Plus it has a Free Little Library box, a community book exchange designed to promote the love of reading.

Washington Market Garden, a great kids playground.

Washington Market Park, a great kids playground.

91st Street Community Garden, Riverside Park, Upper West Side

Riverside park is a very large public open space that runs for miles along the Hudson River. The 91st Street Community Garden sits inside the park and is beautifully cared for by the locals. Wander a few streets up to the Joan of Arc park at 93rd Street.

91st St garden

91st St garden.

Battery Park

At the southern end of Manhattan this peaceful park has great views of the Statue of Liberty and a lovely outdoor cafe. Join the locals on their lunch break or stroll around the foreshore. A great spot to soak up the stunning views of New York Harbour.

Battery Park overlooking New York Harbour.

Battery Park overlooking New York Harbour.

Washington Square Park, Greenwich Village

Washington Square Park is the gateway to Fifth Avenue. You can sunbake, listen to the live music or just find a quiet space to zone out. It’s a beautiful part of town surrounded by New York University.

Washington Square Park.

Washington Square Park.

Christopher Park, Greenwich Village

This park has enormous historical significance. The sculpture of two couples in Christopher Park honours the gay rights movement which started in Christopher St in 1969 when riots broke out following a police raid at the Stonewall Inn, a popular gay establishment, across the street.

Christopher Park, Greenwich Village.

Christopher Park, Greenwich Village.

High Line Park, Chelsea

I loved the High Line Park. Its wonderful sculpture, the gorgeous gardens, the elevated position with views of the Hudson and Chelsea. The High Line is about 2.5km long, built on old disused rail tracks on the west side of Manhattan. It can get very busy so go early to beat the crowds.

High Line Park.

High Line Park.

Central Park

You can walk, run, ride, even hide in Central Park – one thing’s for sure, you’ll never be lost for things to do! Horse and carriage rides and pedicabs are extremely popular with tourists – be careful of the cost, unless you book in advance the pedicabs charge by the minute.

Central Park

Central Park


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