We all live in the city, and it is glorious – but as Jay-Z and Alicia Keys mentioned in Empire State of Mind, it is a concrete jungle, and not meant for everyone, especially those who are used to grass, greenery and the luxury of parks. And that’s why we’d like to talk about some of the best NYC communities for park lovers. Parks and recreation can be our respite when the humdrum of everyday life is too much, and we need to get away. Below we have some recommendations as to lesser-known NYC parks we love and their corresponding neighborhoods for those who want to live close by.
Snug Harbor – Staten Island
Starting off strong, we have Snug Harbor. Snug Harbor sits in Staten Island, on 83 acres. This park has a beautiful botanical garden, with cobblestone paths sprinkled with old world style homes, mainly Victorian and Tudor. There’s also Chinese Scholar’s Garden which is Asian-inspired, containing a bamboo forest and a Koi pond. While we know that Staten Island is not as popular of a spot to live in compared to other boroughs, we think that living next to Snug Harbor is worth it, especially since Staten Island is less expensive than other boroughs overall.
Inwood Hill Park – Manhattan
Our next recommendation is Inwood Hill Park, a remote park that has been left as unspoilt as possible by the NYC Parks Department. Inwood Hill also has a hiking trail, nature centers, tennis courts, as well as the Hudson River Bike Trail so that visitors can appreciate the natural beauty in a way that reduces environmental impact. Arts and Culture and educational workshops are also offered to those who are interested, and there are some great apartments nearby in Inwood Hill, with park lovers also typically choosing to live in the Spuyten Duyvil area of the Bronx, just a couple stops across the bridge from Inwood Hill.
Pelham Bay Park – Bronx
Speaking of the devil (or Duyvil!), we have Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx, which is a little over 2,700 acres. The Park also holds Pelham Bay Golf Course, Orchard Beach, and the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum. There is also a recently created wildlife refuge, and we are sure that any park-goer who lives nearby is sure to be thrilled with this Park’s ratio of green expanse to the number of people.
Flushing Meadows – Corona Park – Queens
For Queens people, have no fear – Flushing Meadows – Corona Park is right around the corner from you. It is NYC’s second biggest park, and holds the New York Hall of Science, Citi Field, and Arthur Ashe Stadium. The park also has a zoo, a skate park, a barbecue place, as well as an aquatic and hockey center. There is also the Queens Botanical Garden, which holds about 50 acres of the most splendid flowers, herbs, and other plants, sustainably raised, and maintained. For these reasons, we recommend the nearby neighborhoods of Corona, Forest Hills, Rego Park, Kew Gardens, and nearby Flushing for easy access to Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.
We think these are some of the best NYC communities for park lovers. Do you have any other favorite green spaces you’ve discovered in NYC? Let us know and tell us what you like best about them!
If you enjoyed this post, check out: 8 Top Eco-friendly Areas in NYC and 3 Best Neighborhoods for Urban Gardens in NYC.