If the relentless pace of the city has you down, it’s time to step away from it all. Need somewhere to go? Look no further than your own neighborhood’s hidden secret: community gardens. Not only do these New York City gardens make the earth a greener place, their a great way to relax, and even meet people.

New York City Chinese Scholar’s Garden, Staten Island

Like stepping into the far east, New York City Chinese Scholar’s Garden is inspired by Buddhist and Taoist Monks. With stunning architecture and lush plant life, visiting this garden will transport you in a way you’ve never experienced. Based in Snug Harbor, Staten Island, visiting is simple and nearly effortless.

Appreciate the craftmanship that went into creating one of the United States’ two authentic scholar gardens, from a team of 40 Chinese craftsmen and artists who took well over a year to create what you can now see today. Look for the koi pond, waterfalls, and bamboo forest to maximize your visit.

new york chinese scholars garden

Photo by Pedro Cambra via Flickr

Crotona Park, Bronx

Named after a Greek colony known for it’s Olympic athletes, Crotona Park has quite the history – it’s been open to the public since its humble beginnings in 1888. Known for a lovely 3.3 acre lake and a large variety of tree species, this park has a charm you simply cannot resist. Need a little more interaction to make your stay enjoyable? Try out the tennis courts, baseball diamonds, and pool. Similarly, the park is very kid-friendly, with 11 playgrounds for young ones to enjoy. Another win for New York city!

Crotona Park New York

Photo via NYC Parks

Greenacre Park, Manhattan

Greenacre Park in New York City is a mini-destination you can’t skip. Created by an array of talented designers, the park has been charming people since 1971. Although small, this park packs was created with such skill that you’ll feel as if you’ve been whisked away to another land. With a stunning 25 foot fountain as well as movable furniture to customize your experience, each second spent in this space is special. If your trip causes you to grow hungry, simply stop at the outdoor cafe and enjoy a bite to eat.

Not-for- profit Greenacre Foundation has launched an advocacy campaign on behalf of Greenacre Park to help preserve the sunlight that brightens the internationally acclaimed vest-pocket park – one of only three in New York City.
Green Acre Park New York

Photo via Green Acre Park

Alice’s Garden, Manhattan

Name after it’s original caretaker of nearly 20 years, Alice’s Garden is an oasis in New York City’s crowds for those who need it. Alice turned out to be quite a community legend as a gardener and caretaker of public space. The garden is home to 20 community plots that are catered to by dedicated volunteers. With two common areas, there is plenty of space to  spread out and relax.

'Alice's Garden' is a homage to Alice Parsekian who cared for it until her death. #NYC #HUSEU #Travel

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Eleanor’s Pier, Roosevelt Island

Fully reopened after being incapacitated by Hurricane Sandy, Eleanor’s Pier is named in honor of first lady Eleanor Roosevelt.  A great place to soak up some sunshine, soak in some great Manhattan and East River views and bask in delectable food at the weekend food market, the entire family can enjoy themselves at this pier in NYC.

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Elevated Acre, Lower Manhattan

Complete in the early 1970s, the Elevated Acre is a treasure to find for those who are willing to take on the task. A favorite lunch spot for those on the daily grind, this space can be found via a nondescript elevator hidden along Water Street. Bring your camera for a gorgeous view of the city skyline as well the East River. Where design meets nature, this NYC garden won’t be one you soon forget.

The Elevated Acre (3/3)

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Creative Little Garden, East Village

Although tiny, this garden is big on presentation and being a treat to those who venture within. Located in the Village, this precious little NYC space is landscaped and cared for by the loving hands of the garden’s members. Voted best community garden by the New York Daily News in 2012, they also pride themselves on being a National Wildlife Federation Habitat, so enjoy the view of many unique animals and insects.

Creative Little Garden

Photo via creativelittlegarden.com

Creative Little Garden

Photo via creativelittlegarden.com

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10 Tips for a Truly Green Garden this Spring