The greater Manhattan area has several quaint spots to enjoy nature amidst city life. Here are 10 parks in and around Lower Manhattan where you can go for a stroll and take in the breathtaking sites that will make it hard to believe you are in the city:
Brooklyn Bridge Park
Image via Flickr by Shinya Suzuki
Brooklyn Bridge Park is located just over the Brooklyn Bridge from Lower Manhattan. This park has beautiful waterfront views of the Brooklyn Bridge with the Manhattan skyline as its backdrop. You can take a stroll along the promenade, picnic and sunbathe on the Empire Fulton Ferry Lawn, or wander through one of the park's several garden spaces that change with each season to benefit the surrounding ecosystem.
Tompkins Square Park
Image via Flickr by jschauma
Tompkins Square Park is located in Alphabet City, part of Manhattan's East Village neighborhood. This park has 10 1/2 acres of greenery, walking paths, and vibrant floral displays in the warmer months. You can also attend a number of outdoor events here each year, including the Howl Festival, Wigstock, and the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival.
Image via Flickr by (vincent desjardins)
Columbus Park is located in the upper west part of Manhattan in Chinatown at the corner of Columbus Avenue and Amsterdam Avenue. At this park, you can grab lunch at the Columbus Park Snack Bar, go for a run on one of its pathways, or have a picnic on one of its open green spaces.
Image via Flickr by Jeffrey
Bryant Park has a little bit of everything to keep you entertained year-round. Located in midtown Manhattan, it consists of a large patio space with a seating area that looks out onto a 9-acre grass field. Manhattan's skyscrapers stretch high above the park, giving you the feeling that you are in a unique oasis of open greenery in the middle of Manhattan. While you are here, you can grab a bite to eat and a coffee at Bryant Park Grill and Café, take a beekeeping class, or take part in a giant bingo game.
Washington Square Park
Image via Flickr by Bex. Walton
Washington Square Park, located in Greenwich Village in Lower Manhattan, is a beautiful sight to behold. At the park's northern entrance, the iconic Washington Square Arch is set against the backdrop of Manhattan buildings. Just beyond the arch is a large paved pavilion area with a magnificent fountain meant for wading in on hot summer days. The park has several green spaces and paved walking paths for you to enjoy as well.
Fort Greene Park
Image via Flickr by James. McDowell
Fort Greene Park is located in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, just a nine-minute drive from Lower Manhattan and about a 30-minute train ride. This park has a Revolutionary War past, making it an emblem of history just as much as it is now a magnificent Brooklyn park. You can take pictures and observe the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument, which towers above the surrounding trees and rolling green hills. Take a stroll on the tree trail to forget you are in the city, or stop at the Revolutionary Garden.
Owl's Head Park
Image via Flickr by xxxANDISxxx
You will forget you are in New York City as you wander through Owl's Head Park. Only the waterfront views will remind you that you are in fact in Brooklyn, just a short journey from Lower Manhattan. From the top of the park's lush green hills, you can see Staten Island, and you can also catch amazing views of the Verrazano Bridge that connects Staten Island and Brooklyn.
Hudson River Park
Image via Flickr by correa_alex
Hudson River Park offers over 500 acres of greenery and waterfront space. As its name implies, you'll get spectacular views of the Hudson River as you enjoy the park. Stroll along one of its riverside promenades, or sunbathe on one of its many green spaces. If you get hungry, Hudson River Park also has several eateries for quick bites and long meals. Sweet Love Snack Bar, located at Pier 25, has your fix of ice cream, burgers, fries, and refreshments, while City Vineyard, located at Pier 26, allows you to sample a selection of wines as you take in the city views and enjoy a meal.
Image via Flickr by wuestenigel
Battery Park is 25 acres of greenery located at the very tip of lower Manhattan. Enjoy the waterfront views as you admire the Perennial Gardens, which add seasonal interest and color. You can go for a bike ride on the Battery Bikeway, or go on the Monument Walk to view statues and monuments dedicated to influential people and movements. Battery Park is also the gateway to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. You can take the water taxi over to get yet another unique view of New York City.
Image via Flickr by yonijrj
Prospect Park, located in Brooklyn, is a 585-acre oasis for wildlife. There is a zoo inside of the park for added interest, not to mention the 250 species of birds that make it the perfect spot for birdwatching. On nice nights, you also can enjoy outdoor concerts at the bandshell nearby. Rent kayaks or pedal boats from the LeFrank Center to get out on Prospect Park Lake.
If you are fond of horseback riding or want to learn, Prospect Park has that, too. You can rent horses or take classes at Kensington Stables before setting out in the park on horseback. But if you simply want to relax and enjoy the weather, there are plenty of open green spaces where you can soak up the sun, barbecue, and lounge with family and friends.
While you are out exploring one of these great parks near Lower Manhattan, stop by Martin Busch Jewelers. We have a wonderful selection of new and vintage jewelry to choose from so you can take your memories of Lower Manhattan with you wherever you go.