Central Park is probably one of the most iconic parks in the world, and not without good reason. People travel to New York specifically to visit it, and it’s one of those touristy spots that’s worth a visit. But that’s not to take away from some of the other fantastic parks across the city. In Manhattan alone, there are dozens; catch some jazz musicians playing at Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village, or maybe take a stroll on the water at Carl Schurz Park on the Upper East Side. Maybe pack a picnic lunch and find a quiet spot when it’s warm, catch the fall foliage in October or build a snowman in the winter. You can find just about anything in New York City, including serenity (hard to believe, I know!). Here are seven must-see parks in Manhattan, excluding Central Park, taken from an article by New York blogger Tracy Kaler:
Madison Square Park: Easily accessible to residents of Chelsea, Flatiron, Kips Bay and NoMad all have easy access to this park. It not only provides a spot to relax and recoup, but also features a Shake Shack outpost. Across the street on the eastern side of the park is the Michelin star-rated Eleven Madison Park.
Tompkins Square Park: Alphabet City, once a no-zone in Manhattan, has changed dramatically over the past 20 years, and its main park, Tompkins Square, has plenty to offer, particularly for dog lovers. The oversized dog run here has three dog swimming pools, a tree deck and bathing areas. In Halloween there’s a dog parade, and every summer the park hosts both the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival and a French film festival.
City Hall Park: This park in the financial district makes for terrific people watching, in addition to a great escape from the surrounding area’s hustle and bustle. In many ways, it feels more like a public garden than a city park, with monuments and fountains gracing the well-manicured space.
Bryant Park: Conveniently located within walking distance from the Theater District, the New York Public Library and Grand Central, Bryant park hosts such events as group yoga classes, Broadway performances, free summer movies and more. It also happens to have some of the cleanest public restrooms in the city.
Ruppert Park: If you’re ever passing through the East 90s, this is absolutely worth a visit. Although it belongs to the high-rise development Rupper Towers, it’s free for all who want some peace and quiet.
Hudson River Park: This 550-acre waterside park connects Hell’s Kitchen to Battery Park City, starting at 59th street and extending all the way to Manhattan’s ede on the West Side. It offers everything from dog parks to on-the-water activities, making it a favorite among New Yorkers.
FDR Four Freedoms Park: Not many New Yorkers visit Roosevelt Island, but if you do, the park at the southern tip of the island, FDR Four Freedoms, is absolutely worth the visit. Dedicated to the legacy of FDR, it was designed by famed architect Louis I Kahn and offers sweeping views of Manhattan and the East River.