And even more luckily, there are tons of public parks situated along the waterfront — allowing for stunning views and refreshing breezes!
Whether it be on the Hudson or East River, uptown or down, there are plenty of options the next time you want to cool down or just enjoy the gorgeous weather in one of NYC’s waterfront oases.
Most NYC Parks are open from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m. or 1 a.m., but be sure to check signs when entering the park to be sure. Enjoy our list of the best waterfront parks in NYC, here:
NYC’s newest park is not only on the waterfront…it’s actually in the water! Little Island is the city’s first “floating park,” and is technically a part of the larger Hudson River Park which travels from Tribeca to Hell’s Kitchen along the West Side of Manhattan. Enjoy lots of green space for lounging, beautiful landscaped gardens with more than 350 species of flowers, trees and shrubs, and fantastic views of the NYC skyline and Hudson River. Plus community spaces and performance venues, like “The Amph” amphitheater, “The Glade,” and “The Play Ground.” Read more about it here.
Where: Pier 55 in Hudson River Park at West 13th St.
2. Riverside Park, West Side
This four-mile park spans 72nd to 158th St. along the Hudson River, long known as one of the city’s best waterfront parks. It’s one of only eight officially designated “scenic landmarks” in the City of New York, so you know it’s special! You’ll find a range of sports courts and fields, a skate park, a large portion of the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway (for bicycles), and the 110-slip public marina at 79th street. Read more here.
Where: Riverside Dr. to Hudson River, W. 72 St.to St Clair Pl.
3. Gantry Plaza State Park, LIC
This park along the East River in Long Island City boasts amazing views of the East Side of Manhattan, plus plenty of lounge chairs so you can kick back and relax on the water. You can take the NYC Ferry there and enjoy a full day on city waters — oh and the famous Pepsi Cola sign is there as well! Grab dinner at one of the neighborhood’s plenty of hot dining spots afterwards. Read more about it here!
Where: 4-09 47th Rd, New York, NY
4. Brooklyn Bridge Park, DUMBO
Brooklyn Bridge Park arguably has the best views of all the waterfront parks, as you’re not only right on the water facing Lower Manhattan, you’re practically right under the Brooklyn Bridge itself. You also can enjoy fabulous views of the Manhattan Bridge. There are tons of sports court and fields, a glowing carousel, and even a small beach on Pier 4! Plan your visit here.
Where: 334 Furman St, Brooklyn, NY
5. Domino Park, Williamsburg
Domino Park in Brooklyn got its name because it was built on the grounds of the old Domino Sugar Factory. You can see remnants of the factory inside the park today, as 30 large-scale, salvaged artifacts have been integrated into the green space itself. Other park features include a new playground, fountain and seating steps, fog bridge, beach volleyball, a bocce court, and more. Find out more on their website here.
Where: 300 Kent Ave, Brooklyn
Like Little Island, the newly refurbished Pier 26 is also within the four-mile-long waterfront park Hudson River Park. The pier opened in October as an ecological wonderland, dedicated to educating visitors on Manhattan’s ecosystem prior to human expansion. One of the Pier’s most exciting features is located on the western edge — called the Tide Deck, it shows some of the best waterfront views the city has to offer. Oh, and did we mention there are swing seats? Read more here.
Where: Hudson River Greenway between Hubert St. & N. Moore St.
7. The Battery, Downtown Manhattan
This lovely park on the southernmost tip of Manhattan offers stunning views of New York Harbor, a unique glass carousel, plus connections to ferries to the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and Staten Island. There are also gorgeous perennial gardens. Find more here.
Where: State Street and Battery Place
8. Elevated Acre, FiDi
Located on 55 Water Street, the Elevated Acre is one of the city’s most underrated parks. With views of the New York Harbor and the Brooklyn Bridge, you can have fun trying to search for the hidden escalator that will take you up to this rooftop park. Serving as a quaint spot to read a book, take in the harbor views, or to picnic on its open lawn, this park is sure to give you some well deserved R & R away from the bustling neighborhood below it. Read more here.
Where: 55 Water St.
*Open 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. May 1 to Sept. 30; and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 1 to April 30.*
9. Waterline Square Park, Upper West Side
The new Waterline Square Park offers three acres of expansive greenery with beautiful waterfront views. Recently unveiled on the Upper West Side, the park is the newest space to relax on a bench, read in the grass, or admire at the Hudson River waterfront. The park includes fun water features for kids to splash about, pathways to stroll, plants to explore, and a playground to enjoy. Though located in the middle of the Waterline Square residential development (at 400 W 61st St.), the park is completely open to the public to enjoy. Find out more about it here.
Where: 400 W 61st St
10. Astoria Park, Queens
Astoria Park is a green oasis for Astorians, and a must-visit for New Yorkers from any borough. Grab takeout from one of the nearby restaurants and have a picnic, or simply take in the gorgeous views of East River and Hell Gate Bridge. Don’t miss the Olympic-sized public pool (the oldest and largest in the city!), summer movie nights, and outdoor yoga classes! More details here.
Where: 19 St. bet. Astoria Park S. and Ditmars Blvd, Queens
Bonus: Inwood Hill Park, Inwood
This lovely park in Northern Manhattan holds hiking trails, the Hudson River Bike Trail, plus athletic fields, playgrounds, dog runs, and a barbecue area. It shows NYC’s preserved environmental history, with ramatic caves, valleys, and ridges left as the result of shifting glaciers. It’s also said to be one of the best spots in NYC to spot a bald eagle!
Where: Dyckman St, Hudson River, Harlem River S