With Spring here and Summer just around the corner, now is the perfect time to enjoy some of New York’s best walks. The city has a lot to offer for the explorer, and if you’re going to live here, then you need to get used to walking. Home hunting and homeownership can be stressful, and you’ll need a way to take the edge off. What better way than with a leisurely walk around some of New York’s best avenues and parks? So here are eight “hikes” that you can access from anywhere in the city with a ride on the subway. Some of these are more leisurely than others, and some will require some serious time and commitment.
Table of Contents
The High Line
Situated 30-feet above the city streets and stretching for over 20 blocks, the High Line is one you won’t want to miss this spring. Located on the west side of Manhattan and built on an old train line, it’s one of the city’s most impressive architectural feats. Check out their calendar of events to see when the next guided tour or stargazing event is being held.
It may still be a month away before it opens for the Summer, but you’ll find few better places for a stroll in NYC. Governor’s Island is 172-acres of pristine, car-free beauty that can be wondered at your discretion. There’re always events being held here each year, such as festivals or movie showings. It’s also easy to host your event there. If you have the time, consider even doing some volunteer work to help keep it welcoming and beautiful for everyone.
Hudson River Greenway
You haven’t experienced the beauty of the Hudson River until you’ve taken a walk along the Hudson River Greenway. You can enjoy it by starting from any point on its stretch from Lower Manhattan to Washington Heights. The best points of interest are Cherry Walk from 100th to 125th streets in Riverside Park. It’s also always great to end the walk at the iconic red lighthouse beneath the George Washington Bridge.
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir
If you want to escape the tourists in the southern half of Central Park, then head for the scenic views of the great reservoir. Named after the former first lady, the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir2 is something everybody loves on first seeing. Its running track offered some of the most picturesque views in Central Park and was only reopened in 2015 after extensive renovations. It’s very popular with joggers who come for the manageable 1.5-mile track and beautiful views.
If you’d like to take in some of Brooklyn’s architecture, then don’t miss the stretch of Clinton Avenue from Atlantic to Flushing Avenue. Here you can see a virtual timeline of great Brooklyn architecture. You’ll see a wide variety of styles here from the 19th century, most of which were built between the 1870s and 80s. For a time, it was regarded as one of the richest streets in Brooklyn. Don’t miss the Lefferts-Laidlaw House on 136 Clinton Avenue, which is the only remaining temple-front Greek Revival home in Brooklyn.
Brooklyn Heights Promenade
It may be crowded often, but you’ll struggle to find better views of Lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge. Despite its beauty, its construction was highly contested by residents who feared to lose their private gardens. Regardless, it was finally dedicated in October 1950 by that titan of NYC construction, Robert Moses. It may be a short walk, but it’s not one you’ll soon forget. If you have the time, check out also some of the stunning architecture on the streets of Brooklyn Heights.
Brighton Beach to Coney Island
Sure, you may get a better beach experience elsewhere, but the Coney Island Boardwalk has always been a favorite for New Yorkers who need a short escape from the streets. The best way to enjoy it is to go from Brighton Beach to Coney Island. It’s an easy journey to get from either Manhattan or Brooklyn on the Q train.
If you want an easy walk with a bit of everything, then you can’t go wrong with Center Boulevard in Long Island City. This walkway connects Hunter’s Point South to Gantry Plaza State Park and has a little something for anyone. Lots of seating, plenty of sunshine on good days, and Instagram-worthy views and lots of great eating spots.