A city that has over eight million people should have plenty of space to explore, exercise, or to just plain relax. New York City’s inhabitants have options like no other city in the world. This city’s five boroughs are big on parks and recreation with an astounding 1,700+ parks and playground areas. The city offers perhaps the most famous and iconic park in the country – Central Park, which has been seen in countless movies, TV shows, and advertisements. No matter the size, the parks in New York offer each borough and neighborhood a place for all to enjoy. Here are 25 of the best parks in New York City.
Located next to the Hell Gate and Triborough Bridges in Astoria, Astoria Park encompasses more than 59 acres, running parallel to the East River. The largest and oldest swimming pool in New York City resides inside this stately park that covers over 54,000 square feet. The park also boasts a bandstand that is prominently displayed on Independence Day with the Queens Symphony Orchestra playing during the fireworks display. Astoria Park features a host of amenities like its fourteen tennis courts, spacious, contemporary skatepark, two playgrounds, and numerous basketball courts. With benches along the perimeter of the East River, Astoria Park has plenty of shoreline views.
19 19th Street, Astoria, NY, Phone: 212-639 9675
A planned residential community, Battery Park in New York City is situated on Manhattan’s southern tip. It features Castle Garden, the first immigrant depot in the world. Well before Ellis Island was constructed, millions of immigrants were ferried to the Battery to be processed at Castle Garden. The park, east of the West Side Highway and the Hudson River to its west, offers expansive views from the shoreline of the Hudson. Battery Park provides ferries for tourists visiting Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Being located on the waterfront, the park provides an idyllic place for those wanting to hike or bike along the trails here.
New York, NY, Phone: 212-344 3491
Home to world renown New York Botanical Garden and the Bronx Zoo, Bronx Park offers a diverse setting in one of the nation’s most iconic cities. This idyllic park provides tourists with ecologically diverse outdoor space that is second to none, with a plethora of animals and plants that call this majestic park home. With the Bronx River running alongside it, the Bronx Zoo has a number of trails that traverse the grounds and showcase native fauna and flora. The park also features wide bike paths, a baseball diamond, playgrounds, and football and soccer fields.
East Tremont, Bronx, NY, Phone: 718-430 1800
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Within eyesight of one of of New York City’s most iconic buildings, the New York Public Library, Bryant Park in centrally located in Manhattan. It offers tourists an opportunity to see the many surroundings this area has to offer like the theatre district and Times Square. The park features what is said to be the first major monument dedicated to a woman in New York – the Josephine Shaw Lowell Memorial Fountain. Bryant Park is also home to Bank of America Winter Village, featuring the only free ice-skating rink in the city. The Village is open daily October to March, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Manhattan, NY, Phone: 212-768 4242
5.Carl Schurz Park
Overlooking the waters of Wards Island and Hell Gate, Carl Schurz Park in New York City is home to Gracie Mansion, the Mayor of New York’s official home. Offering a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of New York City, the park provides expansive green space to picnic, sunbathe, and read when the weather is nice. The park also provides visitors with beautiful vistas of the river. Carl Schurz Park is a dog-lover’s dream park, with two extraordinary dog runs that allow furry friends to frolic about and mingle with other dogs.
East 86th Street & East End Avenue, New York, NY, Phone: 212-459-4455
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Central Park is a manmade wonder that is perhaps one of the most famous and iconic parks in the country. Situated in Manhattan, it was America’s first public park dating back 150 years. It’s centrally located in the Manhattan borough and receives more than 25 million visitors per year. The park is said to be the world’s most filmed location, despite being New York City’s fifth-largest park. It has a mind-numbing number of spectacles, including 21-official playgrounds, almost 50-fountains, sculptures, and monuments to gaze upon, along with 36 arches and bridges. Central Park also offers ample space for athletes to run, musicians to practice, and visitors to people-watch.
North 110th Street, Manhattan, NY
7.Clove Lakes Park
Situated on Staten Island in the Sunnyside neighborhood of this beautiful borough, Clove Lakes Park offers picturesque scenery and fresh air. The park is a designated Forever Wild site to protect its indigenous wildlife and valuable ecological assets. Clove Lake Park provides a treasure trove of eye-catching beauty including a tulip tree that is over three hundred years old and is the oldest living thing on Staten Island. This iconic park has soccer fields, several baseball diamonds, playgrounds, and basketball courts. The park also features the Staten Island War Memorial Ice Skating Rink.
1150 Clove Road, Staten Island, NY, Phone: 718-390-8000
8.Coney Island Beach and Boardwalk
Offering tourist and locals almost three miles of shoreline, Coney Island Beach and Boardwalk provides an idyllic getaway from the hustle and bustle of New York City. The park offers guests a wide variety entertaining activities and sites to see, such as the Abe Stark Ice Skating Rink and the New York Aquarium. Baseball lovers will thoroughly enjoy the home of the Mets minor league affiliate, the Brooklynn Cyclones, who play at MCU Park. Perhaps one of the world’s most iconic boardwalks, Coney Island features views to crashing waves, sandy shores, and amusement rides and games. The park also has basketball and handball courts.
1208 Surf Avenue, Brooklynn, NY, Phone: 718-372-5159
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Crotona Park in the Bronx, a fixture in this community since 1888 when purchased by the city, offers a blend of wildlife and manmade structures that will pique the interest of any outdoor enthusiasts. Offering a lake that spans 3.3 acres, trails run along the lake offering romantic strolls while taking in the water views that showcase fish, ducks, and turtles. Crotona Park is also known for its potpourri of tree species said to be 28 in all. Its manmade structures include 20 hardcourt tennis courts, 11 playgrounds, five baseball/softball diamonds, and a 300-foot swimming pool. This majestic pool is the largest pool in the borough.
1700 Crotona Avenue, Bronx, NY, Phone: 212-639-9675
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Providing over 350-acres of spacious land, Cunningham Park in the Queens borough of New York, was originally called Hillside Park but the name was later changed to its present name in 1935. A park that promotes barbecuing, Cunningham Park has designated areas for this fun-filled event but does prohibit from using propane and barbecuing next to trees, branches, and buildings. The park also has several unnamed trails that provide park goers with means to see this expansive park. Cunningham Park provides a diverse ecosystem that helps support wildlife and showcases Kettle Ponds with numerous species of frogs.
196-10 Union Turnpike, Fresh Meadows, NY, Phone: 212-639-9675
11.Flushing Meadows Corona Park
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Home of two world fairs in the 20th Century, Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens, enthralls visitors with its abundance of space and scenic trails. Hosting the 1939 and the 1964 World Fairs, it showcased to the world how wonderful and idyllic the park is with the Willow Lake Trail. The trail provides hikers with a path that passes through expansive habitat with lush trees that hang over parts of the path. This spacious outdoor haven offers park goers a list of athletic fields and courts. The park has three-baseball/softball fields and a football field. A permit is required to use facilities for league play.
11th Street and Corona Avenue, Queens, NY, Phone: 718-760-6565
Forest Park in Woodhaven offers visitors a number of options of things to do and see inside its over 500-acre playland. This idyllic park provides tree lovers with land that covers more than 165 acres and features an abundance of different species of trees. With the park being as spacious as it is, park goers may hire horses from a private stable and trail ride to a higher elevation for epic views. Forest Park has a plethora of amenities for the outdoor enthusiasts, such as bocce ball courts, basketball courts, softball/baseball fields, soccer fields, and a golf course.
Myrtle Avenue, Woodhaven, NY, Phone: 718-235-0815
13.Fort Greene Park
Named after American Revolutionary War hero, Nathanael Greene, Fort Greene Park in Brooklyn, provides park goers a historical perspective of where Continental Armies built their fortifications. This iconic park, the first park in Brooklyn, provides guests with the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument. The monument pays homage to the men and women, some 11,500, who were buried close to the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Though not as large as other New York parks, consisting of just 30 acres, Fort Greene Park offers majestic trees, sloping hills, and wide paths to walk on. This park also has several basketball and tennis courts as well.
100 Washington Park, Brooklyn, NY, Phone: 212-639-9675
14.Fort Totten Park
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Located on the peninsula of Willets Point, off Long Island’s north shore, Fort Totten Park, a once active United States Army installation, offers visitors a stretch of pristine shoreline and historic buildings. Offering a multitude of outdoor activities for all ages, the park showcases the Long Island Sound as its signature piece. The sound allows park goers to sunbathe on the grassy edges or canoe its blue waters. Fort Totten Park provides guided tours of the iconic fortress and of the surrounding wildlife area. The park offers several amenities like an outdoor pool and playgrounds with universally accessible swings.
Totten Avenue & 15th Road, Bayside, NY, Phone: 718-352-4793
15.Fort Washington Park
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In Upper Manhattan’s Washington Heights neighborhood, Fort Washington Park offers visitors 160 acres of expansive space including views of the George Washington Bridge and New Jersey Palisades. The park features a Little Red Lighthouse, the only lighthouse in Manhattan, which served as the Palisades and Hudson River’s lookout spot. The park has an array of amenities to help visitors enjoy their time here, like designated barbecue areas. The barbecue areas are meant for smaller groups, a party of more than 20 requires a special events permit. The park also has dog-friendly areas, baseball/softball fields, handball, basketball, and tennis courts, plus playgrounds.
Hudson River Greenway, New York, NY, Phone: 212-639-9675
16.Inwood Hill Park
Home of Manhattan’s last natural forest, Inwood Hill Park offers 196 acres of salt marsh and primordial green space that has been around since the nation’s colonial days. This iconic park has evidence of prehistoric life here resulting from shifting glaciers. The glaciers left behind ridges, valleys, and dramatic caves that have been largely untouched. The park also provides hiking and biking along the Hudson River Bike Trail. This scenic route offers natural beauty, including a chance to witness a bald eagle in New York City. More modern amenities include a dog run, athletic fields, and a barbeque area.
Payson Avenue & Seaman Avenue, New York, NY, Phone: 212-639-9675
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With over 500 acres of precious salt marsh and grasslands plus a protected Forever Wild Preserve, Marine Park is Brooklyn’s largest park. Nestled in a marsh, the park features the Salt Marsh Nature Trail. This trail showcases the many regional fauna and flora. Marine Park also provides outdoor enthusiasts with an array of amenities, including the Gerritsen Inlet, a landing and launch area for kayaks and canoes. Other amenities this Brooklyn park has to offer are a number of baseball/softball fields, a golf course, bicycle paths surrounded by trees, multiple playgrounds, bocce courts, and a field to fly and land model aircrafts.
Avenue U & Stuart Street, Brooklyn, NY, Phone: 212-639-9675
18.Pelham Bay Park
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Spanning more than 2,700 acres, Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx is the city’s largest park. It offers park goers an expansive outdoor area that will suit anyone’s fancy. The park, once unused land in the countryside surrounded by a forest, showcases the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum. The Museum, a Greek Revival-style home, offers tours, field trips, and private events. The park is an ideal venue for equestrians with miles of scenic bridle paths, along with trails for hikers and bikers. The splendor of the park continues with Orchard Beach, two-golf courses, and numerous sports fields.
Watt Avenue & Middletown Road, Bronx, NY, Phone: 718-430-1891
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The second largest public park in the state of New York, Prospect Park in Brooklyn spans more than 500 acres, while providing an eclectic array of activities for its many visitors. The park’s majestic wonders include an indigenous forest in this Brooklyn neighborhood and an intricate, manmade watercourse. The park also features an Audubon Center, the nation’s first in an urban area, a band shell, ice skating rink, a carousel, and a zoo. Prospect Park showcases historic houses like the Dutch Colonial farmhouse, a house that has survived in Brooklyn since it was built in the late 1770s.
West Parkside Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, Phone: 718-965-8951
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The Hamilton and Morningside Heights neighborhoods of Manhattan have the privilege of having Riverside Park right in their backyard. This stunning waterfront park spans four miles between Riverside Drive and Henry Hudson Parkway. The scenery the park provides is not just on the water. This park offers visitors the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, a monument that pays homage to the sailors and soldiers who fought in the Civil War. Amenities at Riverside Park are aplenty with wide paths for walking and biking, a wide array of sports fields and courts, and a public marina large enough for 110 boats.
Riverside Drive, Manhattan, NY, Phone: 212-870-3070
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21.The High Line
This once hidden piece of land on the west side of New York, now dubbed The High Line, has been transformed into a contemporary, hybrid, public place. Built on a raised, historic freight line, The High Line has become a mecca for those wanting a different take on the usual New York City parks. Nestled between rail tracks, weeds, and gravel, this unique space provides visitors with a place to come and enjoy over 100,000 plants, plus the 18th Street Plaza – a plaza that features trees and a curved garden bed. Unlike most parks, The High Line prohibits bikes and skateboards.
Gansevoort Street and Washington Street, New York, NY, Phone: 212-500-6035
22.Theodore Roosevelt Park
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Honoring the youngest man at that time to serve as President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt Park in Manhattan, pays homage to this iconic New Yorker. The site of this historic park was first destined to be a botanical garden or zoo because of the size of the space. The American Museum of Natural History is housed on the grounds of the park, showcasing several exhibits and programs. Located across the street from Central Park, TRP offers shaded pathways and walkways, lush grounds for lounging, picnicking, or sunbathing, and a large area for a dog run.
200 Central Park West, New York, NY, Phone: 212-639-9675
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23.Van Cortlandt Park
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Spanning more than 1,100 acres and being larger than the famous Central Park, Van Cortland Park in the Bronx, once a bustling plantation, provides residents of this community a number of ways to enjoy the great outdoors. This spacious park offers hikers the Putnam Trail, a trail that encompasses more than 45 miles atop the New York & Putnam Railroad rails. While hiking or biking in the park, visitors may run across the oldest surviving building in the Bronx, the Van Cortland House, which was built in 1748. This park also features a golf course, tennis courts, and baseball/softball fields.
Broadway and Van Cortland Park S, Bronx, NY, Phone: 718-430-1890
24.Washington Square Park
Encompassing less than 10-acres, Washington Square Park in Lower Manhattan, is an ideal hub for those who are culturally active. This iconic park is ideal for the avant-garde like chess enthusiasts, painters/artists, and musicians. The park features an arch, paying homage to the man the park is named for – George Washington. Washington Square also has a large fountain, that has been featured in many movies and magazines, a space that is ideal for hot days, with its spigots spraying water for all to enjoy during the summer months. The park also provides one of the largest playgrounds for children and four-legged friends as well.
New York, NY, Phone: 212-639-9675
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24 Best NYC Parks
- Astoria Park, Photo: James/stock.adobe.com
- Battery Park, Photo: Rosana/stock.adobe.com
- Bronx Park, Photo: Vadim/stock.adobe.com
- Bryant Park, Photo: Brad Pict/stock.adobe.com
- Carl Schurz Park, Photo: Casual-T/stock.adobe.com
- Central Park, Photo: robert cicchetti/stock.adobe.com
- Clove Lakes Park, Photo: Charles/stock.adobe.com
- Coney Island Beach and Boardwalk, Photo: CooDude/stock.adobe.com
- Crotona Park, Photo: New Africa/stock.adobe.com
- Cunningham Park, Photo: New Africa/stock.adobe.com
- Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Photo: Stuart Monk/stock.adobe.com
- Forest Park, Photo: TippyTortue/stock.adobe.com
- Fort Greene Park, Photo: James/stock.adobe.com
- Fort Totten Park, Photo: Mr Twister/stock.adobe.com
- Fort Washington Park, Photo: Byelikova Oksana/stock.adobe.com
- Inwood Hill Park, Photo: randimal/stock.adobe.com
- Marine Park, Photo: Dmitriy/stock.adobe.com
- Pelham Bay Park, Photo: Linda Harms/stock.adobe.com
- Prospect Park, Photo: demerzel21/stock.adobe.com
- Riverside Park, Photo: James/stock.adobe.com
- The High Line, Photo: alon/stock.adobe.com
- Theodore Roosevelt Park, Photo: New Africa/stock.adobe.com
- Van Cortlandt Park, Photo: eddie toro/stock.adobe.com
- Washington Square Park, Photo: bennnn/stock.adobe.com
- Cover Photo: SeanPavonePhoto/stock.adobe.com