4 Great Manhattan Parks That Aren't Central Park

Explore New York City's Best Outdoor Spaces

Top parks in Manhattan
••• Photo credit: Tim Clayton / Corbis Sport / Getty Images

There’s no better way to enjoy some good weather in Manhattan than to venture out to a local park and spend some quality time in the great outdoors. Happily, Central Park isn't the only great park in town. There are plenty of other green spaces for nature-starved New Yorkers to enjoy. Here are our picks for the 4 best parks in Manhattan, aside from Central Park:

1. Washington Square Park

Washington Square Park is Greenwich Village’s main public space, as well as the heart of NYU’s campus.

Students, families, area shoppers, and tourists frequent the area surrounding the central fountain to read, sunbathe, admire the historic Washington Square Arch, or watch one of the park’s many entertaining performance artists.

  • Location: Between Macdougal St., Waverly Pl., W. 4th St. & 5th Ave.
  • Subway Directions: A/C/E/B/D/F/M to W. 4th St.; N/R to 8th St.—NYU
  • Park Size: 9.75 acres
  • Activities: Chess tables, playground, and dog run
  • More Info: nycgovparks.org/parks/washington-square-park

2. Hudson River Park

Hudson River Park is one of the most exciting parks in Manhattan. Stretching along the Hudson River from Lower Manhattan to Midtown, the park offers a vast range of facilities and activities. Simply want to relax? Take a stroll, sunbathe, or picnic in one of the many grassy areas scattered throughout the 5 miles of park space.

  • Location: Far West Side of Manhattan, between Battery Pl. & W. 59th St., along the Hudson River waterfront
  • Subway Directions: All A/C/E and 1/2/3 stops between W. 59th St.—Columbus Circle & Chambers St.
  • Park Size: 550 acres
  • Activities: Biking and jogging paths, batting cages, carousel, beach volleyball, golf range, sports fields, basketball courts, mini golf, rock climbing, tennis courts, skate parks, Trapeze School New York, kayaking, sailing, swimming, boat trips, play areas, and dog parks

3. Bryant Park

Stroll by this very social space during the week and find hordes of Midtown office workers lounging on the park’s great lawn or enjoying happy hour at the Bryant Park Café. Feel free to grab a book from the adjacent New York Public Library and read in the shade on one of the park’s dual promenades.

  • Location: Between 5th & 6th aves., W. 40th & W. 42nd sts.
  • Subway Directions: B/D/F/M to 42nd St.—Bryant Park; 7 to 5th Ave.
  • Park Size: 9.6 acres
  • Activities: Carousel, pétanque, chess & backgammon, and ping pong
  • More Info: bryantpark.org

4. Fort Tryon Park

Nature lovers who venture up to this wooded space in Upper Manhattan are rarely disappointed. From one of the highest natural points in Manhattan, visitors can take in views of the Hudson River and Palisades State Park and meander through the lush Heather Garden. On colder days, stop by the Cloisters Museum or grab a casual gourmet meal at the New Leaf Restaurant.

  • Location: Between Broadway & Riverside Dr., W. 192nd St. & Dyckman St.
  • Subway Directions: A to 190th St. or Dyckman St.; 1 to 191st St. or Dyckman St.
  • Park Size: 67 acres
  • Activities: Playgrounds, 8 miles of pedestrian/bike paths, dog run, and basketball courts

-- Updated by Elissa Garay