Brooklyn Botanic Garden#18 in Best Things To Do in New York City
Wander along Brooklyn's Washington Avenue, and you can't avoid stumbling upon this verdant 52-acre park. A main highlight here is the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden, punctuated by wooden bridges and Japanese maples. And if you arrive at the end of April, you can't miss the Cherry Esplanade (Sakura Matsuri) when rosy cherry blossoms burst into bloom. Another standout: the Shakespeare Garden, which contains more than 80 plants described in the playwright's works.
Thanks to the garden's extensive collection, which includes 13 gardens and five conservatories, there's plenty of scenery to soak up here. Plus, you can take advantage of year-round exhibits and events, such as family planting workshops and the Chile Pepper Festival in October. After you've taken respite in Brooklyn's cherished green space, recent visitors suggest moseying over to two staples located down the street: Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Museum (you can buy a combo admission to both the garden and the museum for $25).
Visiting hours vary by season. The easiest way to reach the garden from Manhattan is via the 2 or 3 train to the Eastern Parkway-Brooklyn Museum stop or the 4 or 5 train to Franklin Avenue. You may also take the B, Q or S train to Prospect Park station, but keep in mind the B train does not operate on weekends. Entrance to the garden costs $15 for adults; $8 for students and seniors 65 or older; and children younger than 12 may explore the garden for free. For more information, visit the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's official website.
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#1 Central Park
This part-park, part-museum, part-concert hall swallows central Manhattan, and many of the city's most notable attractions are situated next to it or within its limits (the Guggenheim, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Museum of Natural History, to name a few). But travelers insist that you shouldn't just pass through Central Park on your way to another place. This 843-acre green space is a favorite of New Yorkers and tourists; you can come here to exercise, dine, go to the zoo and more.
“Central Park is fantastic year-round, and is a must-see for anyone coming to New York," says Josephine Danielson, head concierge at the Four Seasons Hotel New York. "People may not realize Central Park has several hidden treasures. If you’re looking for something different, I tell guests to visit the Conservatory Garden."
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