Central Park in New York City
Central Park. Image by Pixabay

New York City has absolutely everything you can think of, whatever you’re into, you got it. So although rightfully nicknamed the concrete jungle, nature lovers should not fear because there are pockets of greenery all over the city. Across all five boroughs, you can find beautiful parks and green spaces to go to for a breather when the city becomes too much to bear. Here are five best escapes for nature lovers in the Big Apple.

1. Riverside Park

Riverside Park is located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and stretches from 59th Street to 155th Street. The 330 acres park overlooks the Hudson River and is one of the eight officially designated scenic landmarks in New York City. 

At this park, you can enjoy the shade provided by the lush trees that form a tunnel-like shape during the hotter seasons. During winter, the park looks beautiful blanketed by snow and you can enjoy sledding down the steep sloping hills in the park.

Riverside Park

2. The High Line Park

The High Line Park is one of the most interesting parks in New York City. The park was built on a historic elevated freight train line that started operating in 1934. In the 1980s, the trains stopped running and there were plans to demolish the rail but the public petitioned against it. In 2006 a part of the park opened to the public and grew in size as the years went by.

The High Line Park is maintained and operated by a group called Friends of the High Line and is funded by supporters (the public). You can enjoy art, experience performances or just enjoy the city from a cool point. There are benches where you can sit and eat or simply catch up with friends and family.

The High Line Park

3. Central Park

What other parks are as famous as Central Park? Many of your favorite movie scenes have been filmed in Central Park, and recently a heart-wrenching movie about the Central Park Five.

Central Park is a tourist attraction that hosts nearly twenty-five million visitors each year. There are so many things to do in this large public urban park. You can enjoy a beautiful picnic, watch a performance, join a yoga class, rent bikes, take a horse and carriage tour or even rent a boat in the summer. In the winter you can enjoy the magical views or attend events that are listed on the park’s event calendar on their website.

Central Park in New York City
Central Park. Image by Pixabay

4. Carl Schurz Park

Situated in the Yorkville neighborhood of Manhattan, Carl Schurz Park can be a really good gem for nature lovers in the city. It is one of the city’s secret parks that has a promenade overlooking the Hudson River. The public can enjoy the space and read, eat or sunbathe if the weather allows. There is also a playground for the kids to enjoy while you take in the beautiful greenery the park has to offer.

5. The Botanical Gardens

There are botanical gardens all over the five boroughs that offer picture-perfect views and a calming ambiance. Some of these gardens include the New York Botanical Garden, Brooklyn Botanic Garden and 6BC Botanical Garden.

The New York Botanical Garden is open from 10 AM to 6 PM from Tuesday to Sunday. Adults pay $23 on weekdays and $28 on weekends for the all-garden pass. Located in the Bronx, the park offers beautiful exhibitions, farmers markets, performances, lectures and classes to name a few.

The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is open from Tuesday to Sunday at 8 AM – 6 PM on weekdays and 10 AM – 6 PM on weekends. The admission fee is $15 for adults and that gives you access to all the events, exhibits and beautiful scenery the garden has to offer. The garden is located in Mount Prospect Park in Brooklyn.

Cranford Rose Garden in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

All these listed places surely will not disappoint if you feel like taking a breather and want to be surrounded by greenery. Learning about the history of all the little pockets of nature in the concrete jungle will also be a fun activity in itself.