New York City - Top 10 Parks - Global Storybook

New York City: The Top 10 Parks

New York City, with its five boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx and the Staten Island, has a large number of very beautiful, scenic, recreational public parks.  Each park is quite unique on its own, and offers a number of interesting attractions.  Below is the list of the top 10 parks of the New York City, that includes all the handy information about each one of these parks.

Central Park, New York City - Global Storybook1. Central Park

Central Park is the most famous and iconic park of New York, located right in the middle of Manhattan.  It was opened in 1858, and it was designated as the U.S. National Historic Landmark in 1962.  It has several beautiful ponds, a number of bridges, pagodas, sculptures and monuments, bike and running lanes, scenic trails, picnic lawns, children’s playgrounds and even a secluded woods area (‘North Woods’).  There are a ton of activities that you can do in this park, depending on the season.  It is possible to spend an entire day here just exploring the park’s sights, so make sure to wear comfortable shoes and carry plenty of water.

  • Area: over 3.4 square km.
  • Address: between 59th and 110th streets; 5th Ave and Central Park West, New York, NY.

Central Park Map

– Top attractions –

  • The Mall”, or “The Literary Walk” (a famous, tree-lined passage, located between 66th and 72nd streets)
  • Belvedere Castle (a beautiful “castle” built in 1869, offering nice views over a nearby pond)
  • Central Park Zoo (a small, charming zoo located between 63rd and 66th streets, on the East side)
  • The Lake (a gorgeous lake with beautiful, iconic views of the San Remo apartments)
  • The Bow Bridge (the most iconic and popular bridge of the Central Park, located around 74th street, in the middle of The Lake)
  • Bethesda Terrace and the Fountain (one of the most popular and frequently photographed spots, located around 72nd st., in the center of the park)
  • The Loeb Boathouse (an iconic building with a cafe and a restaurant inside, from where you can also rent a bicycle, a rowboat, or even a gondola; it’s located between 74th and 75th streets)
  • The Pond (a small pond with great views over the famous Plaza hotel)
  • Sheep Meadow (a beautiful, wide lawn with great views of Manhattan’s skyline – located between 66th and 69th streets)
  • The Obelisk, or Cleopatra’s Needle (a 69-foot tall monument – a gift from Egypt, one of the oldest (1450 BC) in NYC)
  • Strawberry Fields (a memorial site dedicated to the Beatles’ John Lennon, located between 71st and 74th streets, on the West side)
  • Wollman Rink (an ice skating rink – opened seasonally)
  • Carousel (an amazing carousel from the early 1900s, located near 65th st., closer to the middle of the park)
  • Alice in Wonderland (a fun, bronze statue of Alice in Wonderland, located around 75th st., on the East side)
  • The Great Lawn (a beautiful, oval lawn, located right across from The MET)
  • The Reservoir (the park’s largest lake, re-named in the honor of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis)

2. Bryant Park

Bryant Park is another popular and iconic park, located in Midtown, Manhattan.  It is tiny compared to the Central, or the Prospect parks, though it is no less charming.  The park is famous for hosting the New York’s Fashion Week in the past, as well as for its beautiful ice skating rink, opened seasonally.  It is a popular spot to hang out with a newspaper and a cup of coffee, or even to eat one’s lunch at – due to its convenient location, in the heart of Midtown district, as well as its numerous public tables and chairs.

  • Area: 38,860 square meters.
  • Address: between 40th and 42nd streets; 5th and 6th avenues, New York, NY 10018.

Bryant Park Map

Bryant Park, New York City - Global Storybook

– Top attractions –

  • NY Public Library’s Main Branch – the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building (a gorgeous public library building, opened in 1911)
  • Le Carrousel (a charming fourteen-animal carousel, made in French style)
  • Josephine Shaw Lowell Memorial Fountain
  • The William Cullen Bryant Memorial (a beautiful sculpture of an American poet and journalist – William Cullen Bryant, in whose honor the park was named)
  • The Rink at Bank of America Winter Village (a seasonal ice-skating rink)
  • Reading Room (includes several stands with a number of free, donated books and magazines available for public reading)
  • Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Statue (a bronze bust of the famous German writer)
  • William Earl Dodge Statue (a bronze statue of the famous Wall Street businessman – William Earl Dodge)

 3. Prospect Park

Prospect Park is a beautiful, large park located in the heart of Brooklyn, on a quick 30-minute subway ride from Manhattan.  It can easily rival Central Park in its beauty and the number of beautiful and interesting attractions located within its area.  In fact, it was designed just a couple of years after the Central Park was opened, in 1867.

  • Area: over 2.1 square km.
  • Address: Prospect Park, Brooklyn, NY 11225.

Prospect Park map

– Top attractions –

  • Prospect Park Zoo
  • Brooklyn Botanic Garden
  • The Grand Army Plaza and the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Arch (a beautiful public plaza, with a gorgeous, historic triumphal arch – a memorial to the American Civil War)
  • LeFrak Center’s Skating Rinks (two beautiful, seasonal ice-skating rinks)
  • The Prospect Park Boathouse (a gorgeous, historic boathouse, built in the early 1900s)
  • Lefferts Historic House (an original, 18th century Dutch house – now a small museum with limited opening hours)
  • Carousel (a charming carousel carved by Charles Carmel, in 1912)
  • Prospect Park Lake (a gorgeous, large lake, home to numerous swans and ducks)
  • Long Meadow (a scenic, large lawn – a popular picnic spot)
  • The Bandshell (an open-air concert stage, hosting free concerts during the Summer)
  • Concert Grove (a really pretty alley with several fountains, sculptures, a nice pagoda, and numerous benches)
  • The Ravine (a small forrest)
  • Dongan Oak monument (a bronze monument marking the fighting site in the historic Battle of Long Island)
  • Tennis Center (a public tennis court, offering tennis lessons)
New York City - The Big, no... “HUGE” Apple

4. The High Line

The High Line is a long and narrow elevated strip of a newly designed public park (opened in 2009), built on top of an abandoned railway.  It offers incredibly stunning views over the Hudson river and several neighborhoods, including the Meatpacking District and Chelsea.  It’s one of a true gems of NYC.  It is usually much more peaceful and quiet than most of the other parks, and it is the only NYC park that does not allow any dogs inside.  It runs a number of interesting, temporary art installations, as well as numerous classes, small events, and some free guided tours – weather conditions permitting.

  • Area: 1.45 mile (2.33 km) long.
  • Address: starts on the corner of Gansevoort St and Washington St and ends between 34th St and 11th Avenue.

High Line map

The High Line Park, New York City - Global Storybook

– Top attractions –

  • Urban theater (an elevated, ‘amphitheater-like’ platform with glass windows peeking over the traffic on the 10th Avenue; located on West 17th St.)
  • Chelsea Market Passage (a semi-enclosed stretch that often runs a number of art exhibitions and also hosts some food carts and a seasonal restaurant; located between West 15ht and 16th St.)
  • Chelsea Thicket (a narrow pathway through a beautiful, dense ‘forest-like’ vegetation; located on West 21st St.)
  • 23rd Street Lawn (a nice, seasonal picnic lawn, stretching for an entire block on West 22nd St.)
  • Pershing Square Beams (includes the original steel beams and girders, exposed to the outside; located on West 30th St.)
  • Interim Walkaway (an interesting urban walkway along the Hudson river, located on the 12th Ave, between West 30th and 34th st.)

5.  Washington Square Park

Washington Square Park is a popular green square and a park located in the heart of Greenwich Village, right next to the New York University’s (NYU) main campus area.  It is one of the most highly visited public parks in Manhattan, created in 1871.  It used to be a swamp and then a public cemetery, before it was designed and converted into a public park.

  • Area: 39,500 square meters.
  • Address: Washington Square Park, New York, NY 10012.
Washington Square Park map

Washington Square Park, New York City - Global Storybook

– Top attractions –

  • Washington Square Arch (a triumphal arch from 1892, celebrating the inauguration of George Washington as the first U.S. President)
  • The Fountain (a large fountain located in the center of the park)
  • Giuseppe Garibaldi Statue (a bronze statue of the famous Italian general)
  • Hangman’s Elm (a historic tree, which according to an old legend, was used for public hangings of various criminals)

6. Battery Park

Battery Park is located on the southern tip of Manhattan, and it was named so for the forts (Batteries) that once stood there, protecting the island from any possible invaders.  One such remnant is still in place, which was later renamed to Castle Clinton, and which used to serve as the first immigration center before the opening of the one on the Ellis Island.  The park is home to a large number of memorial sites, as well as the tourist ferries that depart to the Statue of Liberty and the Ellis Island.

  • Area: 101,171 square meters.
  • Address: State Street and Battery Place, New York, NY 10004.

Battery Park map

– Top attractions –

  • Castle Clinton, or the West Battery (the remnants of the historic Battery, now a National Monument – which also served as the first immigration center, a promenade and a beer garden, a theater and even an aquarium for a brief period of time)
  • The Sphere (a damaged monument which used to stand at the World Trade Center site)
  • The Eternal Flame (a memorial dedicated to the victims of 9/11)
  • SeaGlass Carousel (a beautiful “fish-themed” carousel, opened in 2015)
  • The East Coast Memorial (a memorial site dedicated to the World War II)
  • Hope Garden (a small garden dedicated to the victims of AIDS)
  • Perennial Gardens (a beautiful garden, featuring 34,000 perennial plants, designed in 2005)
  • American Merchant Marine Veterans Memorial (a bronze sculpture of a sinking boat with four seamen, located right next to the Hudson River)
  • The Immigrants by Luis Sanguino (a bronze statue depicting the newly arrived immigrants on the American soil)
  • New York Korean War Veterans Memorial (a bronze monument with a cutout shape of a soldier)
  • War II Coast Guard Memorial (a bronze statue of 3 soldiers, carrying the middle one on their shoulders, dedicated to all the coast guards who served during the World War II)
  • Marine Flagstaff (a flagstaff monument with a yard arm; it is dedicated to the marine history of Battery Park)
  • Battery Park Control House (an old, historic subway entrance, built in 1905)
  • The James Watson House and the adjoining Church of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary (the house dates back to the late 1700s; the beautiful adjoining church, though built only recently in 1965, is one of the smallest parishes in the city)

7. Hudson River Park

The Hudson River Park is a narrow stretch of a green, public park that runs from the Lower West Side (Chambers St.) to the Midtown – West 59th, right along the 12th Avenue.  Just like its partner on the Upper West Side (the Riverside Park), it runs parallel to the Hudson River, offering some gorgeous views over its bank.

  • Area: 2.2 square km (7.2 km long).
  • Address: between Chambers St and W59th St12th Ave and the Hudson River, New York, NY.

Hudson River park map

Hudson River Park, New York City - Global Storybook

– Top attractions –

  • Liliac (a historic steamship (1933), that used to carry supplies to various lighthouses, located on Pier 25)
  • Pier 25 (offers miniature golf)
  • Pier 26 (offers free seasonal kayaking)
  • Pier 40 (includes several playing fields and is home to the New York Knights of the American National Rugby League)
  • The Village Community Boathouse (a nonprofit that provides public rowing; located on Pier 40)
  • Chelsea Piers (home to the Sports and Entertainment Complex, located on Piers 59-62)
  • Carousel (a beautiful carousel located on Pier 62)
  • “Frying Pan” (one of the remaining, historic lightships, built in 1929, located on Pier 66)
  • World Yacht (offers luxury brunch and dinner cruises located on Pier 81)
  • Pier 83 (home to the Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises)
  • Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum (located on Pier 86)
New York City in the Summer: A Photo Diary

8. Riverside Park

The Riverside Park is another narrow and long strip of a green public park, stretching from Midtown, all the way through the Upper West Side.  Though it doesn’t have that many piers as the Hudson River Park – it also offers some amazing views across the river, as well as numerous playgrounds and sport courts.  It is one of the most quiet and peaceful parks in the city.

  • Area: 1.08 square km.
  • Address: starts at West 72nd street and ends at West 125th street, New York, NY.

Riverside Park Map

– Top attractions –

  • Grant’s Tomb (the tomb of Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th President of United States, located at West 122nd street)
  • Eleanor Roosevelt Monument (located at 72nd street)
  • Joan of Arc statue (located at 93rd street)
  • The Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial Monument (dedicated to the Union Army soldiers and sailors who served in the American Civil, located at West 89th St.)

 9. Madison Square Park

The Madison Square Park is one of the smallest parks of Manhattan, and is located right next to one of NYC’s most famous sights – the Flatiron Building.  It was named after the fourth U.S. President, James Madison, and was opened in 1847.  The parks holds a large number of different seasonal activities and public performances, including an illumination of a beautiful Christmas tree, each December.

  • Area: 25,090 square meters.
  • Address: 11 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10010.

Madison Sq Park map

– Top attractions –

  • The Flatiron Building
  • The Southern Fountain
  • The Worth Monument (an obelisk erected on the tomb of the General of the Mexican and the Seminole (Florida) Wars – William Jenkins Worth)
  • Sculpture of the Secretary of State William H. Seward (the seated bronze statue, located at the southwest entrance)
  • The Eternal Light Flagstaff (a monument dedicated to the U.S. armed forces who fought in World War I)
  • Statue of Chester Alan Arthur (the 21st President of the U.S.)

 10. Flushing Meadows – Corona Park

Flushing Meadows – Corona Park is a beautiful large park located in Queens, New York, not far from the LaGuardia airport.  It’s currently famous for hosting the annual US Open tennis tournament.  It was created in 1939, during the 1939-1940 New York World’s Fair event, and it was also chosen as the site for another World’s Fair event in 1964-1965.

  • Area: 3.63 square km.
  • Address: Queens, NY 11375.

Flushing Meadows Park map

– Top attractions –

  • The Unisphere Monument (a stainless steel monument of a globe, built for the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair event)
  • The Queens Museum (an art museum, and the site of the the former headquarters of the UN General Assembly)
  • The Queens Botanical Garden
  • The Queens Zoo
  • New York Hall of Science (a museum dedicated to science and technology)
  • Meadow Lake
  • Fountain of the Planets
  • Freedom of the Human Spirit monument
  • Queens Theater
  • The Rocket Thrower (a bronze statue of a man with a a small sphere, installed for the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair event)
  • Citi Field Stadium (home to the New York Mets)
  • Arthur Ashe Stadium and the Louis Armstrong Stadium (tennis stadiums which host the US Open tennis tournaments)

Bonus: The Brooklyn Bridge Park

Located on a beautiful waterfront, featuring some of the most stunning views over Manhattan’s skyline, the Brooklyn Bridge Park is a sight not to be missed.  It got its name from the glorious Brooklyn Bridge, which runs right above the park.  It is also one of the newest parks of the city, opened only recently in 2010.  And just like all the other parks, it runs a number of fun seasonal activities, art installations and exhibitions, as well as some interesting guided tours.

  • Area: 343,983 square meters.
  • Address: 334 Furman Street, Brooklyn Heights, NY 11201.

Brooklyn Bridge map

–  Top attractions –

  • The Brooklyn Bridge
  • Jane’s Carousel (a gorgeous, historic carousel, built in 1922)
  • The Fulton Ferry, or the East River Ferry (located on Pier 1)
  • The Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory (a very popular ice-cream shop, located in an ex-fireboat house, built in 1922)
  • The Tobacco Warehouse and Empire Stores (two historic structures dating back to the American Civil War)
  • The Greenway Terrace (a nice and tranquil, wide green lawn, featuring a number of salvaged granite blocks, located on Pier 3)
  • Pier 6 (includes a fun children’s playground, the Governors island ferry, volleyball courts, and more)

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New York City: Top 10 Parks - Global Storybook

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