5 Places to Enjoy Nature in New York City

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Photo via Wikimedia Commons

New York City is known for its skyscrapers, bustling city streets, museums, theaters, and flashy billboards of Times Square, but that doesn’t mean that travelers can’t escape to natural places in the city. Even though people flock to the Big Apple for its department stores, boutique shopping, and upscale restaurants, they might be seeking some calming and peaceful places to balance battling the crowds. Here are five places in New York City where tourists can enjoy nature.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Wave Hill

Located in the Bronx, Wave Hill boasts 28 acres of green space overlooking the Hudson River and Palisades. It is a public garden and cultural center where flowers and greenery flourish. The area includes aquatic, flower, and herb gardens. Wave Hill also hosts art exhibitions to explore the human connection to the natural world.


Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Manhattan Waterfront Greenway

Manhattan Waterfront Greenway is a 32-mile paved path along the outer perimeter of Manhattan. It is a great way for New York City residents and visitors to enjoy the waterfront views while getting some exercise. People are welcome to walk, run, bike, or rollerblade along the path. Portions of this path run through local city parks, so you can uncover some spots that may otherwise be missed on a visit to Manhattan.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Visiting the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is a great way to escape from a busy city life to a lush and serene environment. There is an impressive Japanese Garden, bonsai trees, hundreds of flower beds, gigantic trees, and greenhouses featuring a variety of plant life from around the world. In the spring, be sure to check out the popular Cherry Blossom Festival to catch glimpses of those gorgeous pink blooms.

Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge is one of the most important bird sanctuaries in the United States. You can discover many species of birds, particularly during their migration seasons. It is possible to view more than 330 species of birds here, making it a birdwatchers’ paradise. Visitors are welcome to explore several marshes and ponds on their hikes through the forest.


Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Central Park

Central Park is undoubtedly the most popular place to enjoy nature in the big city. Boasting miles of paved paths, Central Park is a great place to walk, jog, or cycle. Many people choose to soak up the sun in the middle of expansive grassy spaces. Be sure to check out Belvedere Castle, a small castle with the highest and greatest views of the entire park. Other notable places in Central Park include a wildlife sanctuary, Central Park Conservatory Garden, Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater, and a reservoir.

The Kitano New York is a Japanese-owned boutique hotel in Manhattan right near Central Park. It is the perfect place for nature lovers to stay, since it provides easy access to the park’s green spaces and shaded pathways. Be sure to take some time during your visit to explore the beautiful nature of New York City!

This article is part of the #HipmunkCityLove project.

One Response

  1. I have not ever been to NYC….can you believe it?!

    I tend to stay west coast {traveling from Vancouver, Canada to CA is my most traveled to destination} but it’s on my must see places this year! Bookmarked and shared your wonderful post. Alice

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