Central Park is a green oasis in the middle of Manhattan’s concrete jungle, and it’s a wonderful place to visit. It often gets crowded around the southern entrances to the park, but just a few blocks further north, it’s easy to find a secluded spot.
When the weather is nice, this is the place to have a picnic in the city. Or why not go for a jog around Jaqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, which is the big lake in the northern part of the park?
The park is huge, so if you want to see more than just a corner of the park, renting a bike or hiring a pedicab is strongly recommended.
The High Line
This 1.45-mile-long park runs through Chelsea along an elevated railroad track, providing a unique escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. During the summer months, food and drinks can be purchased from vendors in the area between 15th & 17th street, and a variety of activities take place in the park during the week.
The High Line Park attracts a lot of visitors, and it can get crowded at times, especially on weekends, so go there in the morning or be prepared to share the park with half of New York.
Compared to Central Park and The High Line, Bryant Park may seem somewhat less interesting, but the park is very popular among New Yorkers. In the summer, you can hang around on the big, lush lawn, and in the winter, there’s a free ice skating rink on the premises.
There are plenty of public café tables lining the park, so grab something to go from one of the nearby outlets, and sit down at one of the tables. Lady M is just across the street, and their milles crêpe cakes are to die for. Bryant Park is sometimes used for movie screenings, tai chi lessons and other events, so keep an eye on the calendar found at Bryant Park’s website.
Madison Square Park
Madison Square Park is cozy, but it isn’t really a place, where you hang out. I’ve added Madison Square Park to this list anyway, and that’s because the park is also home to the original location of Shake Shack. If you haven’t tried a Shake Shack burger yet, then this is your reason to visit Madison Square Park.