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Maybe it's not your first time to New York City. Maybe you're sick of the sweaty scene at Central Park. Maybe heading off to the end of the subway line in another borough sounds cool. Whatever the reason, you've just got to check out these six semi-secret city parks in the Big Apple.
Note that these six are not just some we're listing off because we've been once or twice; all of them we frequent on the regular, after having had our fill of Bryant Park, Central Park, Battery Park and the other usual suspects. We're not even sure it's wise to spread the word since there's the chance you could end up sitting on our favorite bench, but that's a chance we'll happily take if it means you'll stray from the beaten tourist path every so often.
Our 6 secret NYC parks are:
If you’re still planning to take advantage of the National Park Service’s free entrance days this year, then we’ve got another place to add to your national park to-do list. The next time the free days come along—that’s April 22 through April 26—we're thinking checking out the country’s newest national park might just be a good idea. Pinnacles National Park is hardly the new kid on the block, but after being a national monument since the early 1900s, it just got the upgrade into a full-fledged national park last month.
If you’re keeping track it’s certainly the newest national park, and it’s number 59 overall. We do apologize in advance if you’ve been to all of the national parks, but it looks like you need to head back outdoors to score one more stamp in your national park passport.
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If you're old enough or just Chicago enough, you'll have heard of the saga of Chicago's Meigs Field/Northerly Island. In 1933, this bit of land that jutted out from downtown Chicago was made the center of the World's Fair. In 1948, the land became the single runway airport Meigs Field, which was controversially closed for good in 2003 when Chicago's mayor Daley tore up the runways in the middle of the night, with the aim of making it a park according to the 1909 plan of Chicago's city planner, Daniel Burnham.
We last visited the finished park in spring 2010, enjoying a leisurely stroll on paths surrounded by prairie grass, where once was a runway. We even peeked into the closed '60s-era terminal that still stands. Well, it turns out that isn't the finished product at all, as Chicago has even more ambitious plans for the manmade island-turned airport-turned park.
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Amazing. Free. Fragrant. Sexy. Refreshing. At least one of these adjectives you'll find yourself uttering after stepping up onto New York City's latest public attraction: the completed northern half of the elevated High Line Park. Built in the 1930s to transport freight through the warehouses of the west side of Manhattan, the High Line is an elevated rail track that stretches from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District up to West 34th Street. The last train traveled its scenic route in 1980, and since then proposals for its future have included everything from completely disassembling it to turning it into a mile-long lap pool.
Even though such a pool seemed like a better idea on the 95-degree sunny day, thousands turned up to check the place out. And just as we did almost two years ago to the day when the lower half debuted, we climbed the stairs from the noisy and hot streets of Manhattan into another world. Our verdict? YOU. GOTTA. GO.
London is a city that lends itself well to bipedal exploration, whether via itinerated walking tour or aimless wandering. Of the many routes visitors can traverse, the Regents Canal towpath is not a particularly pretty or popular one among tourists. The canal itself is littered, its waters a muddy blue-green, the trail often buzzing on weekends as cyclists and walkers compete for territorial dominance.