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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.