Explore New York City

The Best New York City Parks for Strolling

Spend a day in the sun at these gorgeous parks.

You can easily get lost when you walk through New York City, but you’ll always find something special along the way. A stroll in the Big Apple is never dull, thanks to the numerous landmarks and gardens you can find along the way. Enjoying some fresh air is especially important now when cabin fever can set in and it's safer to be outdoors. 

The Best New York City Parks for Strolling

There’s no better place to walk on a nice day than the parks sitting throughout the city’s boroughs. You’ll find gorgeous views, green fields and plants and long trails for you to wander down when you step onto the grounds. If you want to spend a relaxing day in New York City, stop into a park and see what you’ll find along the way.

Central Park

Central Park has always been a popular spot in the city for getting close to nature. The grounds are filled with many hidden gems scattered throughout 843 acres of land. No matter what part of the park you enter, you can find treasures such as a bronze statue, a flowering garden hiding in the fields or even a real castle! Tall rocks and quiet streams run along every path, so you won’t even remember you’re in the city. You can get a great view of the grounds when you walk along the numerous bridges since you’ll have the park’s beauty lying below and the towering skyscrapers of the city above. With such an outstanding balance at your feet, Central Park is the perfect paradise inside New York City. 

Running in Central Park New York | WhereTraveler
Running in Central Park (©Julienne Schaer/NYC & Company)

The Hills at Governors Island

A lesser-known park in the city is hiding off the coast of Brooklyn. Governors Island was once a military base, but parts of the territory were renovated in 2016 to become a park. The Hills is one of the more unique strolls you can take in the city, thanks to the landscape into which it’s been molded. Their name comes from the four hills that make up the land but don’t worry if you’re not a climber. They’re easy to walk on and stand at different heights, the tallest reaching 70 feet. When you reach the top, you’ll find a magnificent view of the Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor that is sure to take your breath away. If you bring the kids with you, take them over to Slide Hill. It’s made of four different slides for them to ride on, and one stands as the longest in the city at 57 feet! 

Governor's Island New York | WhereTraveler
Governor's Island (©Kate Glicksberg/NYC & Company)

Hudson River Park

If you want a different kind of walk in New York City, take a visit to Hudson River Park. This park is made of multiple piers that run along the Hudson River from Tribeca to Lincoln Square. It offers the perfect view of the water wherever you go, with the city skyline lining your path. You’ll be walking in the sun and sea breeze at whatever time of day you decide to visit, but sunset offers the best views. You might even see something to do once your walk is through, thanks to the many activities the park has to offer. Finish out your stroll with a game at the sports centers, sunbathing on their fields or some waterfront dining. 

Hudson River Park in Tribeca New York | WhereTraveler
Hudson River Park in Tribeca (©Alex Lopez/NYC & Company)

Snug Harbor

If you genuinely want to get close to nature on your city walk, head over to Snug Harbor. This Staten Island hotspot is a cultural center and botanical garden filled with something to enjoy in every corner. Several parks are on the grounds and are filled with every type of plant imaginable. You have your choice of an authentic Chinese garden, a rose garden, natural wetlands and more! Snug Harbor is the perfect place to spend a sunny day with the flowers, as you’re sure to find some wherever you walk. If you want to enhance your walk with some culture, visit one of the many museums, art schools and performance spaces on the grounds. 

Snug Harbor New York | WhereTraveler
Snug Harbor (©Julienne Schaer/NYC & Company)

Fort Greene Park

Fort Greene Park is one of the oldest parks in the city, and it continues to be a great place to go for a walk. This Brooklyn park offers plenty of long, winding trails that can take you throughout the grounds. You can explore everything at your own pace, be it a slow stroll or an active walk. Fort Greene Park is all about making sure you’re getting active, so you can find plenty of activities to take part in alongside your walk, like basketball courts and fitness equipment. If you like what you see throughout your walk and want to help preserve it, you can join one of their programs like “Leaf No Trace” to make sure Fort Greene Park stays healthy and vibrant for years to come. 

Fort Greene Park New York | WhereTraveler
Fort Greene Park (Courtesy NYC & Company)

Wolfe’s Pond Park

Another Staten Island gem is Wolfe’s Pond Park, and it offers the perfect place to go for a quiet walk in the city. The park’s main highlight is the beach that runs along its coast. It’s much smaller than most beaches you might find in the city, but it’s a great place to go to if you’re looking for a more intimate seaside stroll. The grounds are filled with different plants and animals, and you can spot them if you join one of the many hikes they host throughout the year. Wolfe’s Pond Park feels like a different place compared to the rest of the parks in the city, so it’s perfect if a truly peaceful walk is what you’re hoping to find.