New York is popularly known as the city that never sleeps, and rightly so. The city is always bustling with energy, it has an ever-changing character, its locals are always on the move and there are so many things to see and do that you possibly cannot cover everything despite weeks of exploration.
As travelers, we long for all that hustle bustle, but these endless explorations also tend to leave us feeling jaded, lost or tired. This is why destinations that offer some peace and quiet are so important. They recharge those batteries and prepare us for another round of loud adventures. Travelers visiting New York might get the feeling that there is not one dull moment here, but there are places that let you feel like you’ve managed to escape NYC without actually having to leave the city.
The High Line
The High Line is actually an elevated rail line in Manhattan that has been transformed into a public park. The line stretches from West 34th Street to Gansevoort Street and can be accessed by stairs or elevators. It has been beautifully landscaped with lawns, railroad cart seating, art installations, shrubs and flowers and is a complete delight for sore eyes. One of the most popular stops at the High Line is the Viewing Spur, an area that showcases billboards that were used in the 1980s and 1990s in the elevated railway. The best time to visit the High Line is in the evening. It offers beautiful walks and its lighting makes the place feel even more magical.
The Waldorf-Astoria Guerlain Spa
The Waldorf-Astoria Guerlain Spa is a perfect escape after long days of adventure or shopping. They offer a special Winter Warm-Up service which includes a hot-towel massage using deep moisturizing essential oils to rejuvenate your beauty and soften those tense tissues. You can also choose the Urban Island Escape, a blissful therapy that includes a sugar glow scrub, coconut-honey body mask, rejuvenating massage and a rain-shower bath.
Running Tours in Central Park
There really is no better way of escaping the hustle bustle of NYC without having to leave the city than visiting Central Park, an oasis of green located in the midst of New York. And the best way of recalibrating your tired body is to enjoy a run around Central Park. You can actually pick and personalize your own run and customize your own route as there are all kinds of running paths to suit people with different skill levels. There are group runs to become a part of, or you could simply make your route. The beautiful terrain, spectacular greenery and delightful sights makes Central Park every runner’s dream. The ideal time to enjoy a run is between 07.00 PM – 10.00 PM when the park is closed for traffic. A full loop through Central Park is roughly 6.1 miles so if you’re a newbie or a beginner, we’d recommend you to stick to 5-mile loops of the lower or upper sections of the park or the 1.7 mile Reservoir loop that runs around the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir. There are two Bridle Loop dirt paths to choose from as well.
FDR Four Freedoms Park
Peace and quiet can be found in Manhattan itself, but it doesn’t hurt to take a trip to the middle of East River to visit the FDR Four Freedoms Park, a memorial to President Roosevelt. The park presents a triangular lawn that is full of linden trees and looks beautiful. Those marble steps located at the entrance offer an excellent vantage point from which you can enjoy unparalleled views of the UN building across the river.
Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art, Lighthouse Hill
Located in Staten Island on the top of Lighthouse Hill, the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art resembles a small Himalayan monastery and lets visitors feel that they’ve finally managed to escape the hustle bustle of New York. The museum is surrounded by terraced gardens and beautiful trees and is home to one of the largest collections of Tibetan art in the country. It also hosts meditation and Tai Chi classes on weekends.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
The Brooklyn Botanic Gardens are home to 52 acres of beautiful shrubs, trees and flowers and has just about everything – right from orchids, lilacs and roses to cherry trees, conservatory plants and bluebells. The garden is located very close to Prospect Park, so visitors can also grab a snack from the local Farmer’s Market if they happen to visit the area on a Saturday morning.
Wave Hill, Riverside
Wave Hill is a 28-acre property that presents numerous gardens and picturesque views of the Palisades and the Hudson River. The place is surrounded by natural beauty and this makes it an ideal place to relax while in NYC. The aquatic garden surrounded by vine-covered pergolas is quite popular among visitors. One can also visit the Kate French Terrace to enjoy sweeping views of the Hudson while sipping on a glass of wine and reading a book in one of the wooden lawn chairs located there.
Eagle Street Rooftop Farm
New York City might not be the first destination that comes to mind when it comes to farming, but the Eagle Street Rooftop Farm is as good as it gets. Spread over an area of 6000 sq. ft., this unique organic garden grows all sorts of vegetables for its own produce market and local restaurants in the area. It also runs a number of educational and volunteer programs and an open day for the public that lets people indulge their green thumbs.
We’ve already listed 8 places where you can find peace and quiet while in NYC and we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface. There are other activities and destinations that also let you get away from the hustle bustle of New York and recharge your batteries as you prepare for another day of endless explorations and adventures.