Cross-border, MENA

Best New York Parks for the Outdoorsy Tourist


According to TTG Mena, the US is one of the most visited countries among the MENA visitors; New York City particularly. It’s no wonder, since the population of Arab Americans is estimated  to 160,000. But this isn’t the only reason why more and more Middle Easterners flock to the Big Apple.


New York is quite the place for its ability to offer both urban and rural entertainment in droves. You can spend an entire vacation of several weeks just visiting the plenitude of museums; not to speak of the many parks, nature trails and hiking opportunities that the grand city provides.


Tours, such as the ones Topview NYC offers, will provide you with premier sightseeing of the city. These tall buses are spacious and open several meters high off the ground, allowing you to see everything as expert drivers navigate the busy roads on predetermined routes. They’ll take you to all the hot spots – depending on the package you prefer. Here, we’ll take a look at the more nature-oriented tourist places for your next visit to the Big Apple.


The High Line – An Urban Park


The Highline is by all accounts a wonderful walkway; a modern park in an unconventional place. You can see much of Manhattan from this elevated outdoor park that was originally built as a project to merge the elements of nature with the architecture of man.


Trees and bushes have been transported to this railway in an exemplary effort by curators; the colors practically explode come autumn. Winter is also a wonderful time when everything turns various shades of white and gray with lush greenery peeking out from underneath the snow. Because of its popularity, the best time to go is during the weekday – the weekends are exceedingly busy with native New Yorkers and tourists alike.


Central Park

New York city’s most popular park, Central Park sits on nearly 850 acres of green land. With such a wide expanse, it has plenty of room for biking, picnics, tours and many more recreational activities – plus, it’s open until past midnight on some days.


There’s a multitude of attractions for kids and adults alike, so many in fact that you could easily spend an entire day there and feel like you’ve only seen half of it. There are concerts in the summer and spring, and bird watching for the slightly more eclectic crowd. There’s nothing like taking a horse-drawn carriage through the winding, populated greenery.


Pelham Bay Park – The Park in the Bronx


With nearly 4.5 miles of pristine land, Pelham Bay Park is a lovely spot with creeks and small rivers surrounded by towering multi-hued trees. Perhaps surprisingly to the casual tourist, it’s the largest park in NYC – yes, it’s much bigger than Central Park. This size makes sense, too, given that Pelham was actually the site of one of the battles of the Revolutionary War.


Today, there are no more cannons and rifle shots going off – you and your family can enjoy the manmade Orchard Beach that extends miles in either direction along the shore. If you’re a fan of history and art, take a moment to visit the vast Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum tucked away amongst the foliage.


Four Freedoms Park – President Franklin Delano Roosevelt


This ode to a late president pans four solid acres, and is beset on several sides by the East River, on the tip of the southern end of Roosevelt Island. It’s one of the newest parks in NYC, having come to fruition in 2012 after being initially conceived in the 1970s by the original architect, Louis Kahn. He didn’t live to see it built, and the final monument stayed true to his original by architect Mitchell | Giurgola.


Prospect Park, Brooklyn

This gigantic park spans over half-a-thousand acres, upon which it accepts nearly 10 million visitors every single year. Much like Pelham Bay and Central Park, it has more things to do than you can accomplish in a single visit – or two, or three. There’s Prospect Park Zoo right in the middle of the expanse, there’s the presidential Grand Army Plaza – which is a memorial of sorts for the brave patriots in wars past.


The most significant (arguably) part of the park is the actual meadow area; at over a mile long, it stretches some 17 football fields of gorgeous, landscaped grass. There are literally countless areas for picnics and for families to simply enjoy nature in the sun. You cannot go wrong with any of the New York City parks; but you’ve just got to visit the handful on this list.

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Israa Elkhatib

I was born in Palestine but raised with the fireflies in Georgia. My teenage years were spent being the Muslim nerd who was known as the bookworm of the school. That followed me back to Palestine, to develop into being the girl with the big vocabulary. I spent most of my high-school days cursing Newton for not eating that apple. My English Literature Bachelor's degree was only obtained because I'm a nerd for literature and my minor in Translation pretty much pays the bills, thank you Birzeit University.Creative writing is my passion and reading is my escape from reality into a world where everything is the way you imagine it to be.

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