These are the best places to enjoy nature in New York

Although there is a volleyball court (currently closed), a playground and a fun fountain at the south peak of the park, Domino Park pays homage to its industrial history. The Refinery Crane tracks various plant species for public enjoyment and, stretching along the East River, families can enjoy seasonal flowers and a gentle breeze from the water while playing petanque or hide-and-seek on the ground, which extends over 6 hectares!

Piece: Williamsburg

Learn more: dominopark.com

Brooklyn Botanical Garden: Osborne Garden

This part of the Brooklyn Botanical Garden is the first you pass through and it is also one of the most beautiful sites to see! This formal garden features vibrant colors, especially in spring and summer, and has architectural features and wisteria-draped pergolas to admire.

Neighborhood: Between the neighborhoods of Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens and Windsor Terrace

Learn more: www.bbg.org

Brooklyn Botanical Garden: Cranford Rose Garden

Known as one of BBG’s most popular attractions since it opened in 1928, Cranford Rose Garden is in full bloom from June and these beautiful flowers are scattered around the garden, on pavilions and arches and of course from large flowerbeds. The Rose Garden is known as one of the largest collections in North America and has a variety of wild flower species that visitors can view on display.

Neighborhood: Between the neighborhoods of Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Prospect Lefferts Gardens and Windsor Terrace

Learn more: www.bbg.org

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Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge: West Pond

What better place to experience nature in New York than at a wildlife sanctuary? Renowned as a premier birding site, the 9,000-acre Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge attracts thousands of land and coastal birds that stop here during their migration. Over the past 25 years, more than 330 species have been recorded in this natural refuge. The wide variety of bird species and well-placed benches around the 44-acre West Pond Trail provide children and families with a remarkable spot for birdwatching.

Piece: wide channel

Learn more: nycaudubon.org

Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge: Big John’s Pond

Big John’s Pond is much smaller than West Pond. However, the blind duck designed specifically for wildlife and nature viewing is a very popular spot for birdwatching around the pond. Another highlight of Big John’s Pond is the wooden nest box, which barn owls inhabit seasonally.

Piece: wide channel

Learn more: nycaudubon.org

Socrates Sculpture Park

If you are an art lover or looking for the perfect place to relax and take some great photos, be sure to stop by Socrates Sculpture Park. This park was founded by a sculpture in 1986 and has been an accessible art space dedicated to supporting artists ever since. All works of art are temporarily on display, which means that you will be able to admire new works of art each time you visit!

Neighbourhood: Astoria

Learn more: socratessculpturepark.org

Bronx

Pelham Bay Park: Turtle Cove

Pelham Bay Park is New York’s largest public park and features miles of bridleways and hiking trails, as well as the Bartow-Pell Mansion, two golf courses and a saltwater shoreline that spans 13 miles along the Long Island Sound. Pelham Bay Park is also home to a wide range of plants and animals.

Piece: Pelham Bay Park

Learn more: nycgovparks.org

Pelham Bay Park: Twin Island

Located off the northernmost part of Orchard Beach is Pelham Bay Park’s Twin Island. A hike to the top offers beautiful views of Long Island Sound. A quick loop around Twin Island makes a nice getaway for families with young children (check out the Kazimiroff Nature Trail on Hunter Island for a longer hike.)

Piece: Pelham Bay Park

Learn more: nycgovparks.org

New York Botanical Garden: Azalea Garden

If you are a lover of all flowers, then the Azalea Gardens are the place to visit. This garden located in the New York Botanical Garden is filled with color in every season with plants in bloom almost every day of the year! Besides the white, coral, pink, and purple azalea flowers that you can see, the garden also has flowering trees, shrubs, and more that you can see.

Neighborhood: New York Botanical Gardens

Learn more: www.nybg.org

Wave Hill: wild garden

Located at the highest point of Wave Hill, the Wild Garden is a great place to sit and admire beautiful scenery and nature. Visitors can walk the many winding paths in the garden to explore or there is the option to sit and relax on the gazebo bench!

Location: Hudson Hill

Learn more: www.wavehill.org

Staten Island

nature in new york
photo via sigreenbelt.org

Staten Island Greenbelt: Moses Mountain

Families will marvel at the tranquility of the Staten Island Greenbelt, which consists of a contiguous series of forests, grasslands, wetlands, ponds and parks. In the heart of the Greenbelt, Moses Mountain is a great place for families and kids to enjoy the thrill of nature. Hikers of Moses Mountain will be rewarded with panoramic views of the Greenbelt and the Atlantic Highlands of New Jersey.

Piece: Egbertville

Learn more: sigreenbelt.org

Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden

Travel to Staten Island to see the expansive nature scene and experience the Botanical Gardens surrounded by cobblestone streets and paths of Victorian and Tudor homes. The most common attraction here is the Chinese Scholars’ Garden which draws inspiration from Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism with a bamboo forest path and koi ponds.

Piece: Cozy port

Learn more: snug-harbor.org

This story first appeared on our sister publication newyorkfamily.com.

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