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Although New York City is known internationally as one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, there are many beautiful parks scattered across the city for people to enjoy. In between the soaring skyscrapers and continuous hustle and bustle of the city, New Yorkers are able to find some solace in relaxing parks.
Outdoor spaces can be found throughout all five boroughs of the city and are great places to get away from the city lifestyle. One of the most famous parks in New York City is Central Park. Located in Manhattan, Central Park can be accessed from Midtown, the Upper East Side and the Upper West Side.
The park originally opened in 1857 and has been a main attraction for tourists and residents ever since. More than 30 million people visit Central Park each year but the massive 843 acre park is also one of the best ways to enjoy outdoor space in New York City. Tucked inside the park are a wide variety of recreational activities for all ages to enjoy.
There are miles of trails for joggers, walkers, and bicyclists to explore. Expansive fields stretch across the park where people can play an array of sports, including football, baseball and soccer. During the winter season, two ice skating rinks open in Central Park, a highlight for children and adults.
The famous Central Park Zoo is also an exciting destination within the park to catch glimpses of anything from seals to polar bears. Central Park is New York City’s playground, especially during the summer. The annual Summer Stage is one of the most anticipated outdoor concert series in New York City.
International superstars in music, dance and theater have performed at Summer Stage. Central Park offers an enormous amount of activities and is one of the most beautiful spots throughout New York City. Across the East River in Brooklyn is another famous park. Prospect Park sits at the heart of Brooklyn and is a smaller version of Central Park.
Frederick Law Olmsted created both parks and has given both Manhattan and Brooklyn similar outdoor spaces to enjoy. Built in 1867, Prospect Park is 585 acres of green space where people can relax in isolation from the busy city streets. Located within Prospect Park is the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, a magnificent spot to learn about wild plants and flowers.
Similarly to Central Park, Prospect Park also has a zoo and an ice skating rink inside its boundaries. Horseback riding can be seen on certain paths throughout the park, along with sports enthusiasts enjoying the track and fields spread across the park. A unique outdoor space in Queens is the Socrates Sculpture Garden.
It has been designed specifically to showcase art and sculptures. Located in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, the Socrates Sculpture Garden is a wonderful spot in New York City to spend time outdoors while taking in some artwork from the city’s talented artists.
The outdoor area was once an abandoned piece of land that has now become a beautiful park. Creativity and expression are the main focus of the park and an artist residency program is now offered. Another park that transforms a former abandoned area into one of the most popular parks in New York City is the High Line.
This park was created on elevated train tracks that are no longer in use. The High Line runs north to south along the west side of Manhattan, cutting through the trendy neighborhoods of the Meat Packing District and Chelsea. The narrow park offers views of the Hudson River and is a distinct outdoor space in New York City.
The High Line is popular for its progressive design and conscious measures to preserve the history of the elevated train tracks. Public art and local food vendors are often seen during a stroll through the High Line. New York City has plenty of unique parks throughout its boroughs. When the city lifestyle gets too hectic, there’s always an outdoor area to relax just around the corner
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