We’re sticking close to home this season to get as much fresh air, as often as we can.
Here are six spots in and around the city to get away and breathe.
Bear Mountain State Park in the New York Palisades
Snug in the mountains along the West Bank of the Hudson River, Bear Mountain State Park has a plethora of outdoor adventures. Whether you visit the Zoo, Trailside Museum, or take some “you time” with a long hike or bike ride, this Park will wake up your Spring senses and encourage you to explore. parks.ny.gov
The Met Cloisters at the top of Manhattan
A Manhattan spot literally above it all. If you haven’t taken the A train up to the Met’s medieval arts museum, pick a spring weekend to do so. It’s like a subway ride to Europe given the building’s were literally brought over from French monasteries in the late 1930s. Wander the gardens that showcase what a medieval garden might have looked like. metmuseum.org/visit/met-cloisters
Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in Queens
The only national wildlife refuge accessible via subway and with a skyline in the distance. While you can’t take any of the plants home with you, you can see mammals, fish and macroinvertebrates and stumble across some evening primrose, a skincare ingredient used to treat psoriasis, acne, and eczema. nyharborparks.org
Brooklyn Botanic Garden at Prospect Park
In the mood for green scenery but don’t have the time to pop out of the city? Fear not, because Brooklyn has the ultimate outdoor oasis in Prospect Park — the Brooklyn Botanical Garden! A few of our favorites include the Rose Garden and the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden. Oh, and two words: cherry blossoms. bbg.org
Untemeyer Gardens in Yonkers
Just above the City is a quiet escape nestled in Yonkers. With the hope to be the “finest garden in the world” original owner Samuel Untermyer hired over 60 gardeners to tend to the over-40-acre garden in the early 20th century. Visit the Temple of Love, which has a lovely view of the Palisades. Bonus points for a 90 minute bike ride up here from the West Side. untermyergardens.org
Breakneck Ridge at Cold Spring
Hop one of the most gorgeous 90-minute train rides, from Grand Central along the Hudson to Cold Spring. Take a midday hike on Breakneck Ridge (with SPF, of course) and then make your way to town for quaint antique shops, local pub fare, and the best natural bug spray from Cold Spring Apothecary. escapebrooklyn.com/cold-spring/