Ride the NYC Ferry to NYC Parks: A Self-Guided Tour

When the full fleet of new City ferries make their debut this year, 8 million New Yorkers will have even more access to NYC’s 520 miles of waterfront and its parks. You can plan a staycation with the NYC Ferry! Use our guide on your next ferry trip to discover some of the best parks to visit along your route.

NYC ferry trips cost $2.75 per ride. To purchase tickets or learn more about the NYC Ferry, please visit ferry.nyc.

Please note: The Astoria and Long Island City ferry stops along the Astoria route open on Tuesday, August 29, 2017. 




Bay Ridge, Brooklyn

American Veterans Memorial Pier

Photo by Daniel Avial/NYC Parks

The ferry stops here at American Veterans Memorial Pier, a favorite spot among Bay Ridge residents for fishing outings, picnics, and beautiful sunsets that look out over Staten Island and New York Harbor. The pier boasts a 180-degree view of iconic New York, from the city’s tallest bridge (Verrazano-Narrows Bridge) to the tallest building (One WTC). As you walk down the pier, you’ll pass the Beacon, a 25-foot tall speaking trumpet honoring Brooklyn victims of the September 11 terror attack at the World Trade Center. Visit American Veterans Memorial Pier

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Shore Road Park and Parkway

Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

The parkway stretches three miles east from the ferry landing to Bensonhurst Park, a neighborhood namesake park located east of Bay Ridge. Shore Road Parkway is a popular spot for visitors looking to go for a stroll, jog, bike ride, or just looking to unwind in the presence of an inspiring waterfront view. As you walk under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge—the tallest bridge in New York City—you’ll see Fort Wadsworth and a strip of beaches on the Staten Island side and Fort Hamilton (an active army base) on the Brooklyn side. Visit Shore Road Park and Parkway

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John Paul Jones Park

Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

Walk west on Shore Road Parkway and left up the ramp just before the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. At the end of Shore Road and Fourth Avenue is a gorgeous neighborhood park (just outside Fort Hamilton Army Base) that honors "Father of the Navy" John Paul Jones and our war heroes. On the Fourth Avenue side, you’ll probably come across kids climbing on a huge cannon surrounded by cannon balls. The cannon was found in 1864 at Fort Pitt in Pennsylvania and was placed in the park as a memorial to the Civil War. Near the center of the park, a granite shaft stands in memorial to World War I; the flag pole once belonged to a Navy destroyer; a bronze tablet on a granite boulder honors those who fought in the Revolutionary War; and a garden on the west side honors Giovanni da Verrazzano for whom the bridge, which peaks through the trees in the park, is named. Each Memorial Day, the Bay Ridge Memorial Day Parade ends at this park with a ceremony honoring all military personnel and our fallen heroes. During summer and early fall, the park is a popular spot for bridal parties looking to capture the moments of their special day. Visit John Paul Jones Park

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Owl’s Head Park

Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

Rolling hills, wide tree canopies, and a charming waterfront view make Owl’s Head Park a perfect spot for to have a picnic here in Bay Ridge. Although Owl’s Head Park is a very active neighborhood park, the park’s winding paths make for a cozy experience. If you’re a skater, head to Millennium Skate Park on the west side. The skate park has an impressive six-foot deep combination-bowl. Visit Owl’s Head Park

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DUMBO and Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 2, Brooklyn

Brooklyn Bridge Park

Photo by Etienne Frossard, courtesy of Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy

Hop off the ferry for a fun-filled day at this beautiful waterfront park. Go for a spin on Jane’s Carousel; learn about NYC’s underwater residents at the education center; take in the view of lower Manhattan or bring a picnic for free movie nights at Pier 1; stop by Pier 2 for free kayaking, as well as roller skating and basketball; flop down on the mini beach to rest; go for a swim at the free pop-up pool; host a picnic with a view at Picnic Peninsula; play soccer or beach volleyball out on Pier 5; take the kids to the playgrounds at the south end of the park, and walk through a "wild" garden at Pier 6 to the best spot to view the sunset. Visit Brooklyn Bridge Park

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Brooklyn Heights Promenade

Photo courtesy of the Promenade Garden Conservancy

Once you’ve spent the day at Brooklyn Bridge Park, you can get a bird’s eye view of it from above by walking the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. This cozy walkway with an award-winning garden, extends from Remsen Street to Orange Street, and offers unparalleled, classic views of the city below in this historic residential neighborhood. Just south of the promenade, you can visit Adam Yauch Park, the childhood playground of the late former member of the Beastie Boys, now named in his honor. Visit Brooklyn Heights Promenade

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Adam Yauch Park

Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

Calling all Beastie Boys fans! This playground honors the late Adam Yauch, artist, filmmaker, and one of the three members of the legendary Beastie Boys. Adam grew up in this very park. It was here where his father taught him how to ride a bike! Each year, on the anniversary of his death on May 4, fans flock to the park to honor his life and legacy. Visit Adam Yauch Park

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Greenpoint, Brooklyn

WNYC Transmitter Park

Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

Once the home of the radio towers for WNYC, this waterfront green space is now a charming neighborhood park looking over the East River and Manhattan’s skyline. Be sure to check out the prominent mural on a nearby building, created by local art collective FAILE. The park is perfect for family picnics and enjoying the sunset. Visit WNYC Transmitter Park

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North Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Bushwick Inlet Park

Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

Are you a soccer player? Add this park to your list of places to play! The view is incredible and your guests can cheer you on from in the stands while enjoying the backdrop of the Empire State Building. Park goers can also enjoy the playground and gentle slope of the green roof that covers the nearby park house, perfect for relaxing and gazing out at lower Manhattan. Visit Bushwick Inlet Park

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McCarren Park

Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

This park is the perfect spot for the ultimate triathlete! Bike to the park, which features an outdoor track, a free outdoor pool, a tennis center, and a gym facility at the McCarren Play Center. The center also offers programming for tots and their parents, as well as people with disabilities. Visit McCarren Park

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South Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Grand Ferry Park

Photo by Malcolm Pinckney/NYC Parks

This waterfront park is named for the Grand Street Ferry that carried passengers and goods between Manhattan and Williamsburg in the 1800s. Look for a red brick smokestack rising above a circular pattern of cobblestones. This smokestack was part of an old molasses plant. Boulders and benches line the park’s waterfront to give guests a front seat to the sprawling skyline and view of the Williamsburg Bridge. Visit Grand Ferry Park

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Continental Army Plaza

Photo by Malcolm Pinckney/NYC Parks

Head to this park at the foot of the Williamsburg Bridge where a majestic statue of George Washington, the United States’ first president, stands more than 30 feet above the ground! The monument is the first major public work by sculptor Henry Merwin Shrady, who went on to create the Grant Memorial in Washington D.C. Visit Continental Army Plaza

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Red Hook, Brooklyn

Red Hook Park

Photo by Malcolm Pinckney/NYC Parks

Spending the day exploring Red Hook? Go for a dip in our free outdoor pool at Red Hook Park! The pool offers early morning and late night lap swim hours for adults, and there’s a huge splash area for kids! Also, on weekends, you can enjoy a variety of delicious foods from Latin America, served by the Vendy award-winning Red Hook Food Vendors. Visit Red Hook Park

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Valentino Pier

Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

Chasing sunsets? Have a seat at this charming pier come sundown. Listen to the waves crash on the shores and watch a dazzling sunset dance on the water as you enjoy the closest front-facing view of the Statue of Liberty from New York City’s mainland, as well as views of Governors Island and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. Visit Valentino Pier

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Sunset Park, Brooklyn

Bush Terminal Park

Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

Get a glimpse of old Brooklyn as you walk to this serene park on the outskirts of Sunset Park’s industrial neighborhood. The park can be a little difficult to navigate to, but its visitors are rewarded with a haven for waterfowl, ospreys, and other birds that live and fish here. Visit the park during early evening hours for a spectacular show of the sunset. Visit Bush Terminal Park

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Sunset Park

Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

This fun neighborhood park sits sky high at the intersection of Brooklyn’s largest Asian and Latinx neighborhoods, bringing a splash of cultural activities, such as Tai Chi, pow-wows, and movie nights to Sunset Park. The park overlooks New York Harbor to the west, and its name doesn’t disappoint when it comes to sunsets. In fact, sunsets are even more spectacular here because of the park’s unique view of the Manhattan’s skyline. Come relax under the large tree canopies, host a picnic, or take a dip in the free outdoor pool! Visit Sunset Park

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East 34th Street, Manhattan

Asser Levy Outdoor Pool, Manhattan

Photo by Malcolm Pinckney/NYC Parks

Make it a pool day! Come soak up some sun while staying cool! The pool also offers learn to swim classes, adult lap swim hours, and senior swim sessions. Visit Asser Levy Pool outdoor pool

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Wall Street/Pier 11, Manhattan

Hanover Square

Photo by Carly Hoogendyk/NYC Parks

Stop for a rest at this charming park where the Queen Elizabeth II Garden stands as a symbol of friendship between the United States and the United Kingdom, and a commemoration of their shared loss during the attacks of September 11. Visit Queen Elizabeth Garden at Hanover Square

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Imagination Playground

Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

Bring the kids to one of the most unique playgrounds in the city! Designed by famed architect David Rockwell, Imagination Playground lets children play freely, building a structure, tearing it down, and starting all over again. This creative playground is built like a ship to highlight the nearby South Street Seaport, and masts and pulleys recall the historic Burling Slip that the playground was built on. Visit Imagination Playground

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Vietnam Veterans Plaza

Photo courtesy of Art & Antiquities/NYC Parks

Visit the "Walk of Honor", a series of twelve polished granite structures in this memorial park that honor the 1,741 armed forces members of New York City who died fighting the Vietnam War. Visit the Vietnam Veterans Plaza

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The Battery

Photo by Malcolm Pinckney/NYC Parks

This park is more than 200 years old! Come to the The Battery for one of the best views of Lady Liberty, to explore the world's first immigrant depot at the Castle Clinton, take a ride on a sea-themed carousel, check out the park's thriving urban garden and apiary, and visit the park's many war memorials honoring our vets and fallen heroes.  Visit The Battery

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Bowling Green Park

Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

This is NYC’s oldest park, since 1773, and home to the internationally recognizable Charging Bull monument. Touch the fence—this iron fence (now a New York City landmark) was installed in 1771! It was here, on July 9, 1776, where the statue of King George III was toppled and dragged up Broadway after the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence. Visit Bowling Green Park

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Astoria, Queens

Astoria Park

Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

Go for a swim at Astoria Pool, NYC’s largest outdoor pool! Admission is free, and the pool is open from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. There’s a skate park and running track, as well as tennis courts, at the south end of the park. Pack a picnic and stick around for a beautiful sunset with majestic views of the Hell Gate and RFK Triborough Bridges from this beloved neighborhood park. Visit Astoria Park

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Ralph Demarco Park

Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

If you’re looking for a quiet stroll, head north of Astoria Park to this charming waterfront park, which features one of the best views of the 100-year-old Hell Gate Bridge against the backdrop of the Manhattan skyline. Visit Ralph Demarco Park

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Rainey Park

Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

If you’re spending the day with kids, head to Rainey Park! The park’s sprawling lawns and skyscraper views are perfect for a picturesque playtime with your little one. The playground has kid-friendly climbing walls, perfect for you little adventurer, and slides that swirl down tiny mounds in the playground. Visit Rainey Park

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Socrates Sculpture Park

Nicholas Knight/Socrates Sculpture Park

Stop by Socrates Sculpture Park, our free outdoor art gallery with a view! The park exhibits large-scale artworks year-round and hosts many cultural programs for all ages. Visit Socrates Sculpture Park

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Queensbridge Park

Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

Plan a barbecue with a view at this neighborhood namesake park that has been the set of many films, shows, music videos, and concerts that tell the story of NYC’s iconic culture. Come flop down on the lawn and enjoy the view of the Queensboro Bridge and Roosevelt Island across the East River! Visit Queensbridge Park

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Hunters Point South, Queens

Hunter’s Point South Park

Photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

The park features the best view of the Midtown Manhattan skyline from a Queens park. Grab a snack from COFFEED, a charming cafe with outdoor seating, and settle in by the waterfront to watch the sun dip below the skyline and beam through the buildings while it sets. The park also features "beach volleyball", a playground, and a dog run. Visit Hunter’s Point South Park

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The Rockaways, Queens

Rockaway Beach and Boardwalk

photo by Daniel Avila/NYC Parks

All boards aboard to the only surfing beach in New York City! With 5.5 miles of a brand-new boardwalk and beach, there’s room and fun for everyone! Run, walk, or bike the entire oceanfront stretch. Grub on your favorite summer eats at beachfront restaurants along the boardwalk and head down to the beach for a swim and to ride the waves. At 116th Street and the Boardwalk, a commemorative wall and plaza honors the victims of Flight 587, which crashed in the Belle Harbor section of the Rockaways, killing all 260 passengers and crew on board. Visit Rockaway Beach

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Tribute Park

Photo by Malcolm Pinckney/NYC Parks

This lovely waterfront spot in the Rockaways was an empty lot on September 11, 2001. The Twin Towers were visible from the spot, and on September 11, hundreds of local residents stood here and watched the day’s tragedy unfold. With help from the community, this serene park was built to commemorate the day. It includes a mosaic centerpiece, a cupola, and a granite rock engraved with the names of all 343 firefighters who died on September 11. Visit Tribute Park

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