Five of the Upper West Side’s Best Parks

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Residents and visitors to Manhattan’s Upper West Side have many opportunities to stop and enjoy nature. Here are five of the neighborhood favorites.

Riverside Park

Riverside Park runs 4 miles along the Hudson River. This park contains part of the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway, which gives bikers a car-free ride around the island. Among the park’s many playgrounds are the Hippo Playground and the Dino Playground. There are recreational facilities for tennis, basketball, volleyball, and soccer. There are dog runs located throughout the park, notably at 72nd street, 87th street, and 105th street. The park was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead and contains many monuments such as Grant’s Tomb, Eleanor Roosevelt Monument at 72nd Street, and a Joan of Arc statue at 93rd Street.

Theodore Roosevelt Park

Theodore Roosevelt Park is located on Columbus Ave. between 79th and 81st Streets and is considered one of New York’s best small parks. It surrounds the American Museum of Natural History. Visitors find it a more relaxing alternative to Central Park. It is landscaped with trees and flowers and offers good views of the museum. Besides being a good picnic location, it has two dog runs.

70th Street Playground

The 70th Street Playground offers swings and a children’s playground. Renovated in 2003, it is unique in that handicapped and non-handicapped children can enjoy the same amenities.

Sol Bloom Playground

This playground is located at 92nd Street between Central Park West and Columbus. It features picnic tables and a children’s playground. It also features basketball courts and handball courts. During the school year it is used by a neighborhood school, so it doesn’t open until after 2:30 in the afternoon.

Central Park

Central Park, running from 59th Street to 110th Street, is accessible for all of Manhattan, but some consider the park’s west side to be the best side. Central Park’s west side attractions include Belvedere Castle, the Sheep Meadow, the Shakespeare Garden, and Delacorte Theatre where each summer free Shakespeare plays are performed. The west side of Central Park also has the ballfields, tennis courts, the Boat Basin, and the famous Tavern on the Green. The Ramble is located on the West Side where one can feel like they’re hiking in nature. This side is closest to the American Museum of Natural History, the NY-Historical Society, and Columbus Circle. Also, the Dakota Hotel where John Lennon once lived is on the West Side as is Strawberry Fields.

David Milberg is a financial analyst from New York City.