New York City is famous for being the city that never sleeps. Its energy and constant activity bring attract millions who want to live, work and play. But it can all be a bit too much at times. Thankfully, there are places of respite in each of the boroughs and further afield in New York State. Here are just five you should consider when your nerves start to get a little rattled.
This 843-acre park between the Upper East Side and Upper West Side is the perfect spot for unwinding in busy, bustling Manhattan. If watching the antics of animals puts you in a good mood, you can visit the Central Park zoo. Alternatively, you can take a boat out on the lake or wander through Strawberry Fields and pay homage to the Beatles. If you want to feel like American royalty, visit Belvedere Castle and take in the panoramic view. Of course, horse-drawn carriage rides are still popular but if you’d rather explore on foot, take in one of the many walking tours offered by licensed guides.
If you’re staying in Albany, like at the TownePlace Suites Albany Downtown, Washington Park is a wonderful relaxation spot that’s nearby. There are tennis and basketball courts and the many open spaces can be used for a range of other sports. There are bike paths, a children’s playground and a lake where fishing is allowed. You can even ice skate during the winter. The park is also popular for dog owners so your pooch will be welcomed. If birdwatching is more your speed, a great blue heron, red-tailed hawk and peregrine falcons have all been spotted.
Bask in the summer sun on the beach and have a swim then hop on an exhilarating ride. Alternatively, experience the thrill of the amusement park then take a dip. The choice is yours when you’re in Brooklyn. Sports enthusiasts may also find games of handball, basketball and volleyball in full swing during high season. You can also take a simple stroll along the boardwalk and people watch while eating a famous New York hotdog.
If you don’t mind going a little further for a break, the 1000 Islands are ideal for nature lovers. The islands are located along the border between northern New York State and southeastern Ontario, Canada. View serene shorelines, lighthouses and historic castles; go fishing or diving. You can also camp in the region or take in a game of golf. The 1000 Islands also offer zoos and aquariums for those interested in animal life. You can also take a boat tour and learn about the pirates who used to roam the area.
Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art
For something different from your average everyday experience, head to Staten Island and explore a Tibetan-style monastery. Meditate in a cell, read a book in the gardens or relax by the fish ponds. When you’re ready, take in the large collection of Tibetan and Himalayan art and artifacts. Tai chi classes are offered along with talks, musical performances and films.
New York can be stressful but it also offers a wide range of stress relieving activities. The only question is: which one are you going to try first?