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Official Website of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation

Getaway Parks for the Staycationing New Yorker

Vacationing in the Big Apple? Here are some off-the-radar park gems, perfect for exploring New York while on a staycation. 

1. Hunter's Point South Park

Photo by Daniel Avila

This new park in the budding Long Island City neighborhood features a 13,000-square-foot pavilion, a playground, dog run, and a waterfront that overlooks the East River to stunning views of Midtown East. More information about Hunter's Point South Park >

2. The Greenbelt

Photo by Daniel Avila

Hike up to Todt Hill, New York City's highest natural point at 410 feet above sea level, learn how to shoot with a bow and arrow at Willowbrook Park or cruise the waters of Clove Lakes Park in this 3,000-acre beauty in Staten Island. Other local faves include the La Tourette Park Golf Course, the Carousel for All Children, and the Greenbelt Nature Center. More information about The Greenbelt

3. Fort Washington Park

Photo by Daniel Avila

Visit Manhattan Island's only lighthouse, The Little Red Lighthouse. Hang out on the rocks or wander along the shores of the Hudson River to enjoy beautiful views of the New Jersey Palisades and the George Washington Bridge, a perfect spot for spotting peregrine falcons in the city. More information about Fort Washington Park >

4. Twin Islands

Photo by Daniel Avila

Nestled between the massive acres of Pelham Bay Park and the southernmost tip of New England's shore, the salt marshes here are one of the last remaining in the city, and the bedrock dates back half a billion years - older than the Long Island Sound which surrounds it. More information about the Twin Islands >

5. Shore Road Parkway

Photo by Daniel Avila

Escape to Bay Ridge's waterfront park overlooking the Narrows. The towering Verrazano Bridge draws the eye to both Brooklyn and the mirroring Staten Island shores. Take a stroll or bike along the romantic, four-mile greenway to see the army bases, as well as Owl's Head Park, South Brooklyn's first Eco-Dock, Coney Island, and Alice Austen Park. The 69th Street Pier, shown here, is a local favorite for fishing, and capturing the New York sunset with views of the WTC. More information about Shore Road Parkway >

6. Fort Totten 

Photo by Daniel Avila

Built in 1862 to protect the New York Harbor, then later used as a hospital care center during the Civil War, today, visitors can tour the Queens landmark which overlooks the bay, or take a dip in its outdoor pool. More information about Fort Totten >

7. Alley Pond Park

Photo by Daniel Avila

Build athletic skills at our Adventure Course obstacle course, which features a boulder wall, swings and zip lines. More of a nature lover? The park's over 600 acres feature many hiking trails through its oak-hickory forest, beautiful views of the sunset on the lake, and a landmarked windmill.  More information about Alley Pond Park >

8. Van Cortlandt Park

Photo by Daniel Avila

This park is NYC's third largest park, and home to the country's first public golf course, the oldest house in the Bronx, and the borough's largest freshwater lake, as well as the country's premiere cross country running courses through its many nature trails. More information about Van Cortlandt Park >

9. Marine Park

Photo by Daniel Avila

Trail through the salt marshes of Brooklyn's largest park to some of the best birding spots in the borough. Rent a pedal boat and cruise down around Jamaica Bay or kick up your adventure at its canoeing/kayaking launch site. More information about Marine Park >

10. Red Hook Park

Photo by Malcolm Pinckney

If you're looking for food and fun, Red Hook is the place to be. From the Red Hook food vendors to an outdoor pool and nearby soccer fields, this is a go-to destination for locals and foodies looking for a good time on the waterfront. More information about Red Hook Park >

11. Baisley Pond Park

Photo by Malcolm Pinckney

Throughout the year, many species of birds flock to this Queens park's 30-acre pond, decorated with giant lily pads. But the park is best known for once hosting the American Mastodon (an extinct species of elephants) 10,000 years ago, whose remains were found here. More information about Baisley Pond Park >

12. Wave Hill

Photo Courtesy of Wave Hill

Looking for a romantic getaway during your New York City staycation? Step into 28 acres of strikingly beautiful botanic gardens at Wave Hill. Take a romantic stroll, tour the mansion, enjoy a picnic, or stop by during the late afternoon hours for an awe-inspiring sunset over the Palisades. More information about Wave Hill >

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