Now that we’re over those winter blues, we’re ready to be out and about in the world! Springtime in New York City reminds us why we fell in love with this town in the first place. Living here means endless options to take advantage of the season, so bring a book, pack a picnic, or find a quiet place to meditate. Whether it’s just a half-hour lunch break, or an all-day affair, check out our top picks for soaking up sunshine in New York City:
Fort Greene Park
Fort Greene is one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Brooklyn, and also the home of Brooklyn’s first park. The park, named after Revolutionary War hero, Nathaniel Greene, also features the iconic Prison Ship Martyr’s monument. With a lush space of 30 acres, the park is a local favorite for families, college students, and plenty of adorable four-legged friends. There are plenty of wonderful activities, including the year-round farmer’s market on Saturdays. A couple blocks away is the Fort Greene flagship of the Brooklyn Flea, which opens the beginning of April.
A perennial favorite for tourists and locals alike, Central Park is the largest green space in all of Manhattan. Whether you’re boating on the lake, visiting the Central Park Zoo, or sunbathing in Sheep Meadow, there are a million things to do. With a massive 843 acres, it would take years to explore every nook and cranny of the park. The park is also a great space to get active, where you’ll see cyclists and runners, and rollerblading parties are the norm.
The High Line
Although the High Line is crowded with tourists on any given day, it is still one of the most beautiful and unique green spaces in New York City. Built on a historic freight rail line, the High Line is a public park running from the Meatpacking District to Hudson Yards. With a variety of gardens, sculptures, passages, and a lawn, the park is gorgeous from end to end. With brilliant design, and a focus on sustainability, the High Line is perfect for nature lovers, design enthusiasts, and art aficionados.
Sculpture Park at Pratt Institute
New York’s largest sculpture garden is Sculpture Park in the Brooklyn Pratt Institute campus. The campus is situated in the historic Clinton Hill neighborhood — home of many historic brownstones — tucked between Fort Greene and Bedford Stuyvesant. One of the smaller spaces on the list, the park is less popular but still a wonderful spot to lay on the lawn, read a book, or have a picnic. New sculpture additions are added regularly, with older pieces being replaced, so it’s great to visit year after year. The park is open everyday to the public until 5pm, all year round.
Fort Tryon Park and the Cloisters Museum
The Cloisters Museum is a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and features thousands of works from Medieval Europe, including tapestries, paintings, and architecture. The museum is located within Fort Tryon park in Washington Heights, which features the city’s largest dog run, the city’s largest garden, and a gorgeous view of the Hudson River. The garden has over 500 varieties of trees, flowers, plants, and shrubs. There is also a garden within the museum which features herbs and plants that monks cultivated over centuries for their medicinal properties.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
One of the finest examples of urban gardening and horticultural display, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is a lush space featuring tens of thousands of varieties of plants, herbs, shrubs, trees, and flowers. There are 27 different gardens and conservatories, including the Bonsai Museum, the Fragrance Garden, and the Cherry Esplanade, which is one of the best photo-ops in New York City. One of the best features of the park is the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, featuring a full-sized koi pond, wooden bridge, waterfall, and Shinto shrine. While you’re in the neighborhood, you should also check out the Brooklyn Museum and Prospect Park!