The 5 Best Outdoor Spaces in New York

The 5 Best Outdoor Spaces in New York

The 5 Best Outdoor Spaces in New York
7th April 2021

The Big Apple, global hub of business and commerce and home to Wall Street, is perpetually popular with business travellers. Teeming with thousands of serviced apartments, New York, with its flashy corporate environs and virtually limitless service sector economy, caters to all business requirements with aplomb. But the importance of rest and relaxation on a New York business trip cannot be overstated, and the non-stop New York lifestyle doesn’t always set time aside for self-reflection. Fortunately, New York is famed for its outdoor spaces. Despite being one of the most densely populated cities in the United States, New York’s streets are punctuated by beautiful parks, piers and reservoirs that provide much needed spaces in which to rest and relax following a demanding day of business interactions.     

1. Brooklyn Botanic Garden

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With a range of outdoor speciality areas across 52 acres, Brooklyn Botanic Garden is a welcome reprieve from New York's bustling streets

Offering carefully cultivated outdoor spaces in addition to the traditional enclosed Tropical Pavilion, Brooklyn Botanic Garden is a welcome natural escape in New York’s most populous borough. Founded in 1910, the garden has been continually expanded and renovated for decades, resulting in numerous speciality gardens, pavilions and terraces to be enjoyed by the public. Featuring various sculptures and designs in addition to the garden’s impressive breadth of botanic life, there is much to see and explore. Particularly impressive is Patrick Dougherty’s ‘Natural History’ living sculpture, whereas the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden is a serene Japanese-inspired space – purportedly the most visited Japanese-inspired garden outside Japan – ideal for a peaceful afternoon break. Furthermore, visitors can enjoy a coffee or bite to eat at the Coffee Bar or hugely popular Yellow Magnolia Café which overlooks the exquisite Lily Pool Terrace.

2. The High Line

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Constructed atop an old freight rail line, the High Line park allows visitors to escape above New York's avenues and discover a new perspective

New York is a city filled with idiosyncratic attractions, and the High Line is a perfect example. Located in Manhattan’s West Side, this unusual park was once a historic freight line, but was saved from demolition and converted into a walkway above the streets for all to enjoy. Featuring viewing balcony areas, passageways, water features, overlooks and even woodland areas, there is a plethora of sights to discover in this unique floating park. Especially attractive to those who enjoy photographing New York’s iconic buildings and landmarks, the High Line provides an entirely different view of one of the world’s most celebrated cities. Whether you need somewhere to collect your thoughts during a long stay business trip in the city, or you simply want to stretch your legs before heading home to one of the many serviced apartments New York has to offer, the High Line is a must see.

3. The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir

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The Central Park Reservoir was renamed in honour of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, recognising her contributions to the city

Built in 1842 as a receiving reservoir, the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir was decommissioned in 1993 and ultimately retained due to the will of the people of New York. Covering 106 acres and set within the world famous Central Park, the reservoir is a favourite with joggers who regularly circumnavigate its 1.58 mile track, as well as those who enjoy cycling – bikes can be hired in Central Park if you prefer bicycle transport to bipedal. The reservoir is famously surrounded by hundreds of cherry trees which when in bloom each spring offer an impressive backdrop for walks in the park. The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir is the perfect place to take a break from your New York corporate apartment and enjoy some solitude or a walk with a friend or colleague outdoors.

4. Governors Island

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Fort Jay and Castle Williams on Governors Island are reminders of New York's importance in the American revolution

Situated in New York Harbour just 800 yards south of Manhattan Island, Governors Island is a world away from the towering structures of the city proper. Home to former military fortifications, Fort Jay and Castle Williams, the island has been used as a military installation since 1776 when defensive works were raised during the American Revolutionary War. Today, in addition to preserving its military history, the island largely functions as a public park. Ferries regularly operate from Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn taking tourists and locals alike to the popular island destination all day round. Featuring woodland walks, open fields, picnicking areas, historic tours, art exhibitions and much more, Governors Island has all you could hope to find when staying in one of the countless serviced apartments New York offers business travellers in the city.

5. Pier 45

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New York is home to many piers which provide stunning views of the city skyline

With a carnival-like atmosphere, superb sunsets and waterfront concerts, Pier 45 is the perfect outdoor space to unwind during a busy New York business trip. This 900 foot pier features a lawn, plenty of shaded seating areas, a promenade and spray showers. Boasting an impressive view of Jersey City, Pier 45 is popular with families eager to enjoy the sunshine, as well as those looking to refine their dancing skills at the Pier’s free Sunset Salsa classes. Ideal for a quiet lunch, evening stroll or enchanting live music performance, Pier 45 is most beautiful for its simplicity, with its pristine boardwalk allowing visitors to admire the mighty Hudson River in all its glory.  

Inspired for your business trip to New York? Discover more about this metropolis in our New York travel guide, or consider which city is the best corporate travel destination in our piece, London versus New York.


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