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NYC might be known for its packed streets and attractions, but there are actually some of the most gorgeous green spaces and urban parks too. Here are a few places to check out that have plenty of open space and room to roam—especially in the age of social distance.
MeaganThis stretch of beach is a former Army installation turned National Park. It's a great place for bird watching too. You'll find plenty of amateur and professional birders alike out there trying to catch a glimpse of the threatened Piping Plover that is known to nest here.
MeaganThis is the third largest park in NYC, and it has a ton of history. While there are lots of places of note inside of the park, it is the Bronx's oldest building that really lures people in. The Van Cortlandt House, which was built in 1749 is really worth a visit if you're ever in the area.
MeaganMost famously this park is home to The Cloisters, but it's also an awesome place to ride bikes, take walks along the Hudson River, and just enjoy some tranquility away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
MeaganThe East River Ferry docks here, making it an easy place to get to from Manhattan as well as some parts of Brooklyn — also such a great place to relax on a park bench and take in some million dollar views of Manhattan.
MeaganTompkins Square Park has a storied history, which 100 percent worth reading about. It's also a great place to walk around or take a break from all that window shopping in the vintage stores in the East Village.
MeaganIf you want to catch a glimpse of The Statue of Liberty without boarding a ferry to Staten or Ellis Island this is the place. The view is pretty much unobstructed. Take a walk past the famous SeaGlass Carousel when you're walking back to the 4/5/6 train.
MeaganThis elevated park, which was a former New York Central Railroad spur, sits on top of the west side of Manhattan. Walking along this trail gives you a birds-eye view of everything from the Chelsea Market and the Hudson River to the high-end shops in the Meatpacking District and the famous Standard Hotel.
MeaganThis park has a little something for everyone: access to ferries, great views, nice lawns for relaxing, and plenty of space to play. Great for a mid-day break while you're exploring the areas around Wall Street and lower Manhattan.
MeaganIf you want to see some of the best art deco architecture in the city — this is the spot. While it can get crowded around the holidays when the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is lit, most of the year you can walk around and with your head tilted back taking in some truly great sites.
MeaganThis riverside park expands from 59th Street all the way to Battery Park in NYC, making it the second largest park in the city. The walking and bike paths make it a great place to exercise along the waterfront and gaze out onto the skyline of Jersey City.
MeaganThis park on the Upper West Side is part of the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway, a pedestrian and bicycle route around Manhattan's waterfront. If you're looking to get out and take a nice leisurely stroll, run for miles, or bike without fear of cars — this is the spot.
MeaganThis is the most famous summer spot in all of NYC. Just take the F train all the way to its final stop in Brooklyn and get off. What awaits you is an awesome beach, boardwalk, and hot dogs that are famous pretty much all around the world.
MeaganThis suspension bridge connects Downtown Brooklyn to Canal Street in Manhattan. While it's a little steeper and harder to walk or bike than other bridges in the city, the views are truly the reward. Once you're on it you get an uninterrupted view of the Brooklyn Bridge and Lower Manhattan to the south and midtown and upper Manhattan as well as the Williamsburg Bridge to the north.
MeaganThere's no more iconic bridge to walk in all of NYC than the Brooklyn Bridge. Whether you are walking from Manhattan to Brooklyn or Brooklyn to Manhattan, the truth remains that this is one of the best places to take in insane panoramic views of both boroughs as well as the Statue of Liberty,
MeaganIf you just spent an hour or two walking over the Brooklyn Bridge from Manhattan into Dumbo this is a great park to kick back, relax, and enjoy the fruits of your labor. The reward? Really amazing views of the Brooklyn Bridge, Manhattan Bridge, and lower Manhattan — particularly the One World Trade building.
MeaganIf you're wandering around Greenpoint, make sure you take a walk over to this tranquil little park. Not only is it less discovered than other public spaces (though that is quickly changing) it has great views of the iconic Manhattan skyline. Go at sunset for quite a show.
MeaganIf you're walking from Williamsburg to Greenpoint chances are you are going to walk through this little park. It's a great place to people watch, sunbathe, walk your dog, or enjoy a coffee or sandwich on a bench when the weather is nice outside.
MeaganThis park has plenty of open space, but it also has everything from sports centers and zoos to theaters and museums. While it was twice home to the World's Fair its latest claims to fame are hosting the US Open tennis tournament every year and being home to the New York Mets — so there's plenty of big things to see while you're walking around.
MeaganYou have to take a ferry across the Buttermilk Channel to this 172-acre island that separates Brooklyn from Manhattan. While it's only open in warmer months, it's a great place to wander around, picnic, ride bikes, and take in some military history — most of which dates all the way back to the Revolutionary War.
MeaganIf you want a breath of fresh air mixed with some music or culture this is your spot. Located in the heart of Greenwich Village, it's also home to the famous Washington Square Arch, which is always fun to see, photograph and walk under.
MeaganDefinitely the most famous outdoor space in all of NYC, and the most-visited urban park in the United States. Wander through Sheep Meadow, visit Strawberry Fields, see the Bethesda Terrace and Fountain, The Belvedere Castle, and end your day with a walk down the Central Park Mall (all while pretending you're in your favorite movie or TV show).
MeaganThis is the second biggest park in Brooklyn (behind Marine Park), but it's home to the boroughs only lake. With plenty of facilities and room for walking, jogging, or biking there's something for everyone seeking some time in the great outdoors.
MeaganThis is, in fact, a cemetery, but it's also full of history and beauty. There are awesome views of the Manhattan skyline and plenty of monuments and great architecture to keep one occupied for hours.