New York might be called the concrete jungle, but there are plenty of opportunities to escape to a greener scene. It’s easy to forget New York’s green side with the 24/7 lights of Times Square, rush hour traffic, and the endless shopping opportunities on Fifth Avenue. There are plenty of green escapes in New York hidden within the city, perfect for a break from the business of New York for however long you need. Several of these eco-friendly places are free to visit so there’s no need to worry about stretching your budget. If you’d like to swap the hustle and bustle of the city for a more relaxed, green vibe in the city; take a look at this New York calendar to see what’s happening in the city during your trip.
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5 Green and Relaxed Escapes in New York City
#1 Little Island (new in New York!)
The newly constructed Little Island is a park that is ideal for cooling off in the summer. It’s a park which is constructed on top of an island in the Hudson River. Hence the name, ‘Little Island’! It’s not that big as it only covers three acres, but fun to visit. It really adds a new dimension as the park is located in the Hudson River and along the Hudson River Greenway. Similar to the High Line, this park has also been raised to a different level compared to the rest of the landscape. Due to the elevated level, routes on Little Island lead visitors to viewpoints high above the water with unique views of the city alongside the harbor. It’s easily accessible to move from one park to another. When you leave Little Island, cross the road and in a few minutes, you will be at the start of the High Line route.
#2 High Line Park
The High Line Park is located on top of an old railway track which runs above the city. The park is an ideal route to take when visiting the all-new Hudson Yards neighbourhood, it’s a great opportunity to admire the NYC foliage. High Line Park features a wide range of nature and art installations with stunning views of the skyline. From this park, you can visit the Hudson Yards if you’d like to see a new area of Manhattan, it has its own observation point: Vessel. It’s a structure that is based around its spiral staircase. It offers a new perspective of the city and Manhattan’s newest neighbourhood. The elaborate structure contains 16 stories with 154 flights of stairs, although it’s also possible to take the elevator to the top. Vessel is located in ‘Public Square and Gardens at Hudson Yards’; a community park full of plants and trees.
#3 Bike ride exploration
If you would like to stay active during your trip to New York, rent a bike to cruise a wide selection of New York’s parks to escape the “city vibe”. You can explore the classic “green heart of Manhattan” Central Park at your own pace. If you’re up for a challenge, you can explore the park on foot but be warned; it’s a massive park! You can also rent a bike, this way you’ll be able to see the whole of the park within a few hours.
You can also explore the city itself by bike; this is a great way to really see New York. Not only is it an active way to get around, but it also lets you see the city from another perspective. The cycling routes through the parks are an active way to relax. Traffic in New York is often busy, so to keep the tour easy and safe you can book a bike tour with a guide. You can choose a tour of the previously mentioned Central Park or a three-hour tour of Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan. If you’d like to relax, even more, there are also other bike tours available with electric bikes.
#4 Green rooftop bar
More rooftop bars have changed the look and feel of New York by using plants in its outdoor seating area. It’s been proven that plants can help reduce stress so take a seat and relax at one of the many rooftop bars in Manhattan. Whether you’re looking to grab a few drinks while relaxing or a place to party all night, New York City offers some of the coolest rooftop bars. Most of these rooftop bars offer a remarkable view of the skyline, combined with the greenery it offers a perfect mixture of nature and city. Visit Gallow Green in Chelsea for a great cocktail. Here you can enjoy your drink completely surrounded by green plants. If you’d like to visit several bars in a more relaxed manner (so not worrying about queueing, which bars to visit exactly, or being allowed in) you could also take a rooftop bar tour in New York.
#5 Eric’s New York app
If you’re looking to discover the city and its greenest hot spots with your own personal guide, you could download Eric’s New York App. Eric the founder and creator of NewYork.co.uk has created the app to inform travellers about the well-known and lesser-known attractions in New York. In the app, the attraction information is complemented by Eric’s own personal tips as a New Yorker. The free app can be used offline with unlimited access to the city map and the subway map. It’s also possible to contact him through email if you have any questions about New York at [email protected]
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I’d heard of Central Park of course, but none of these other ones before. Little Island looks really interesting! I haven’t spent time in New York since it’s so expensive, but these would be some great places to visit.