Great Outdoors... in New York City!
| Gardens | Beaches
| Other Outdoor Spaces
York City is the greenest city in America, boasting
52,938 acres (more than 25%) of parks and open space
out of 197,696 total acres.
Park, Manhattans famed green oasis, is only
number five on the list of the citys ten largest
parks. There are more than 750 different native species
of animals and plants throughout the five boroughs,
including the endangered peregrine falcon, the sharp-shinned
hawk, and white tailed deer.
Park and the Bronxs New York Botanical Garden
offer guided bird walks, and spring in Queens brings
thousands of migrating shore birds to the Jamaica Bay
Wildlife Refuges 10,000 acres. You're invited
to join New Yorkers who jog, walk, bike, in-line skate,
horseback ride, ice skate, rent row boats, play basketball,
softball, soccer, and tennis, and enjoy special events
and festivals, in the citys 1,700 parks and playgrounds.
New York Citys famed Central Park, designed by
Frederick Law Olmsted, there are 843 acres of landscaped
and recreational areas including a zoo, carousel, a
reservoir, an ice-skating rink, a boathouse where you
can rent rowboats, and plenty of trails for walking,
jogging, bicycling, and horseback riding. It's a park
for all seasons, from ice skating in winter to free,
summertime performances of Shakespeare's plays, a Victorian-themed
amusement park, and concerts on the Great Lawn that
crescendo to dazzling displays of fireworks.
Park is a real haven. The only state park situated
on Manhattan Island, this 28-acre multi-level park rises
69 feet above the Hudson River. Keep going, just past
the George Washington Bridge, to the very top of the
island, and you will discover Fort Tyron Park, which
houses the Metropolitan Museum of Art's medieval art
collection in the Cloisters.
the southern tip of Manhattan, from West and Chambers
streets south and west to the Hudson River, are Battery
Park Citys 30 acres of gardens, playgrounds, one-mile
esplanade, public art, and views of the Hudson River.
Also in Manhattan is Bryant
Park, which comprises eight restored acres in Midtown
behind the New York Public Library. This urban oasis
has chairs, benches, gardens, fountain, carousel, and
restaurants plus a full schedule of free entertainment
including, music, movies, and special events.
boasts a beautiful Olmsted-designed park, 520-acre Prospect
Park. Here youll find a zoo, Civil War memorial
arch, and 1776 Dutch colonial homestead.
full 24% of the Bronxs 42 square miles is parkland.
Cortlandt Park covers nearly two square miles and
has boating, horseback riding, cricket, golf, picnicking,
and tennis as well as the countrys oldest municipal
golf course, built in 1895. Also in the Bronx is Pelham
Bay Park whose 2,700 acres include a beach, cycling,
boats, fishing, horses, picnicking, and tennis.
Queens, the Alley Pond Environmental Center has 650
acres of woodland, meadows, fresh/saltwater marshes,
and nature trails while the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge
comprises more than 9,150 acres of diverse land and
water habitats and is renowned as a prime birding spot
where thousands of water, land, and shorebirds stop
during migration. More than 325 species have been recorded
here during the last 25 years.
in Queens is Flushing Meadow-Corona Park's 1,255 acres.
This vast park has been the site of two World's Fairs
(1939 and 1964), is home to the Unisphere, the Queens
Museum of Art, the New York Hall of Science, Shea Stadium
(home of the New York Mets), the Queens Theatre in the
Park, the USTA National Tennis Center (home of the U.S.
Open Tennis Championships), the Queens Zoo, and the
Queens Botanical Garden, not to mention that is also
has meadows, lakes, and athletic fields.
Staten Island, Blue Heron Park and Nature Center is
a 147-acre park that is a habitat of the blue heron
and that includes hiking trails and picnic areas as
well as Clay Pit Ponds State Park Preserve, which has
hiking trails and bridle paths that run through 260-plus
acres of bogs, ponds, sand barrens, woodlands, and spring-fed
streams. Also on Staten Island is The Greenbelt, a 2,800-acres
nature preserve that includes High Rock Park and the
William T. Davis Wildlife Refuge.
large and small, exotic and traditional, bloom throughout
New York City. Each of the five boroughs has lovely
year-round botanical gardens, and numerous garden-related
your tour of New York gardens in Central Parks
Conservatory Garden. Its six lush acres -- the citys
only formal European-style garden has the most
varied collection of flora in Manhattan. With your appetite
whetted, head to the renowned Brooklyn Botanic Garden,
a 52-acre urban oasis with specialty gardens and world-class
collections. In the Bronx is the New York Botanical
Garden, one of Americas foremost public gardens
as well as a National Historic Landmark. In its center
is the 40-acre New York Botanical Garden Forest: wild
and wonderful, it is the only uncut woodland in New
York City. Also in the Bronx is Wave Hill on the scenic
banks of the Hudson River. This 28-acre estates
horticultural collections contain 1,151 genera and 3,236
species of plants. At the Queens Botanical Garden youll
see formal gardens; bee, bird, woodland, herb, perennial
and herb gardens; and an arboretum spanning 39 acres.
With more than 8,000 plants, its Rose Garden is one
of the largest in the Northeast. The weeping willows
and lily pond in the Wedding Garden guarantee heavy
bridal traffic during summer weekends. The Staten Island
Botanical Garden features 25 gardens spread over 50
acres in addition to the areas largest perennial
garden and numerous, smaller themed gardens, such as
one for roses, one to attract butterflies, and another
a totally unique garden experience, head to The Cloisters
(the beautiful location for the Metropolitan Museum
of Arts medieval art collection) medieval herb
garden, 250 species planted around a fountain in a pink-and-white
marble columned enclosure overlooking the Hudson River.
Three of the cloisters feature gardens planted according
to horticultural information found in medieval treatises
and poetry, garden documents and herbals, and medieval
works of art, such as tapestries, stained-glass windows,
and column capitals.
Did you know you could surf in
New York City? Yes, we have beaches! Rockaway Beach
in Queens is Americas longest municipal beach,
with almost 10 miles for sun worshippers and sand castle
Brooklyn is famed Coney Island beach. In addition to
a large strip of sand, theres a boardwalk with
rides and games of chance, the Cyclone roller coaster,
a sideshow, museum, flea markets, the beautiful new
Brooklyn Cyclones baseball stadium, and the fantastic
New York Aquarium.
Beach in the Bronx is an elegant mile-long crescent.
Known as the "Bronx Riviera," it is the boroughs
most popular summertime meeting place. Theres
a boardwalk for people-watching, a band shell where
weekend concerts are held, and tennis, paddleball, and
Islands South Beach has a beautiful view of the
Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, a 7,500-foot-long boardwalk
the fourth largest in the world as well
as a playground, bocce courts, roller hockey rink, shuffleboard,
ball fields, and picnic areas.
National Recreation Area stretches across Brooklyn,
Queens, and Staten Island. Here, fantastic beaches,
old military forts, and wildlife are the big draws of
this unexpectedly diverse park with an assortment of
activities from beachcombing to aviation history. The
concept of the urban natural park emerged in the United
States in the 1960s. One of the first in the country
to be set up by the National Park System, Gateway National
Recreation Area protects wilderness along the city's
south shore, combining native wildlife, public beaches,
and historic structures.
Bronx Zoo is the largest urban zoo in the country. It
is home to more than 4,000 animals representing more
than 600 species, housed in mostly outdoor, park-like
Park's Green-Wood Cemetery is one of the world's most
beautiful cemeteries. With a spectacular harbor view
and 478 acres filled with thousands of trees, flowering
shrubs, and four lakes, Green-Wood is the eternal resting
place of a who's who of famous folks including Leonard
Bernstein, Samuel Morse, F.A.O. Schwarz, Louis Comfort
Tiffany, Charles Tiffany, and "Boss" Tweed.
NYC & Company, the citys official tourism marketing
organization, is a private, membership-based non-profit
dedicated to building New York Citys economy and
positive image through tourism and convention development,
major events and the marketing of the city on a worldwide
basis. For more information go to www.nycvisit.com.