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Astoria Park skatepark
Photograph: Archer Lewis

The best NYC walks to take this spring

Here are the best places to take a walk this spring, from along the East River to the waterfalls in Central Park

Collier Sutter
Written by
Collier Sutter
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If this past year has taught New Yorkers anything, it’s the power of a lengthy walk. New York City is surely best seen by foot, but as this past year wore on, walking also came to represent an escapist activity for New Yorker who, for months hunkered down in their notoriously cramped apartments. Leisurely jaunts became a form of self-love, safe socializing, and a chance to support a local business or two on the way.

Since our Time Out New York editors are spread out all across the five boroughs, we rounded up our favorite leisurely routes, to offer you new perspectives for your next outing. Whether you’re looking for a secret waterfall-laden path in Central Park or “small-town” neighborhood blocks in Brooklyn—here’s where to walk.

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Best walks in NYC

Vanderbilt Avenue, Prospect Heights
Photograph: Shutterstock/Tupungato

Vanderbilt Avenue, Prospect Heights

"Brooklyn has a plethora of stunning brownstone-lined streets, and of course, there’s Prospect Park. But just above the park, you’ll find Prospect Heights main drag, Vanderbilt Avenue. It’s (in my opinion) one of the most underrated walks in the city. The strip is lined with quaint local shops and bars like The Little Cupcake Shop and Branded Saloon and during open street hours, the block fills up with locals and artists, making it one of the best people-watching strolls in NYC." — Delia Barth, Global Video Producer

 Central Park North Woods Trail, Upper West Side
Photograph: Shutterstock

Central Park North Woods Trail, Upper West Side

“It’s a cliche to say that walking around Central Park makes you feel like you’re not in New York City anymore, but my go-to loop in the North Woods–the park’s largest woodland area, up in its most northwestern reaches–always makes me feel like I took a strange Alice in Wonderland turn and ended up in the Adirondacks. It’s more secluded and rustic than the touristy spots further downtown, plus there are hidden waterfalls just, like, existing a few blocks from my regular bodega. Nuts!" — Christina Izzo, Interim Food and Drink Editor

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Franklin Ave to Transmitter Park, Greenpoint
Photograph: Shutterstock/el_cigarrito

Franklin Ave to Transmitter Park, Greenpoint

"A walk down Greenpoint’s Franklin Avenue for me shows off Brooklyn’s affinity for strong sidewalk culture. Starting off at the lively corner of Greenpoint Ave and Franklin Ave., the picture-postcard neighborhood is filled with enviable rowhouses and diverse shopping and restaurants. Meander off down side streets to check out handsome rows of 70s homes or end off at Transmitter Park for greenery." — Collier Sutter, Associate Things to Do Editor.

Astoria Park, Astoria
Photograph: Shutterstock

Astoria Park, Astoria

“When I need to clear my head or get some perspective, I head to Astoria Park and walk its paths down to the East River. The walkways are flanked by gorgeous old trees, which make me feel small in comparison, and the view of the river opens an “escape hatch” of sorts for me. I’m able to look out across the water and see the twinkling lights of Manhattan and walk under the massive RFK and Hell Gate bridges while the water rushes past me. In the spring, the park comes to life with blaring music and dancing, dogs playing catch and exercising New Yorkers.” — Shaye Weaver, Things To Do Editor

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Amazing Garden, Carroll Gardens
Photograph: Shutterstock/Felix L

Amazing Garden, Carroll Gardens

'There is no shortage of scenic walks in Brooklyn, but I'm particularly fond of the route I take toward the Columbia Street Waterfront District. I always stop by to see what's in bloom at the Amazing Garden (58 Carroll Street). It's an inviting community greenspace stationed near brownstones and Red Hook's shipping yards. All it takes is a few steps for the scenery to change, it's a quaint neighborhood with a nod to the city's industrial past, all rolled into one." — Danielle Valente, Time Out New York Kids editor

University Place
Photograph: Shutterstock/James Andrews1

University Place

"I have an affinity for University Place, where I first lived upon moving to Manhattan, which is why I like to visit the neighborhood when feeling a bit blue—to remind myself of what the city used to be and will become once again. I usually start off at the Strand on Broadway and proceed West towards University Place, delighting in the few blocks that take me to the wonderful Washington Square Park. Things to notice along the way: the crowds of hopeful NYU students outside the Grey Dog, the beauty of downtown Fifth Avenue in the near distance and, of course, the always-inspiring Washington Square Arch." 
— Anna Ben Yehuda, Global content editor

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Domino Park, Williamsburg
Photograph: Shutterstock

Domino Park, Williamsburg

"I really enjoy walking around Domino Park. I’m always pleasantly surprised by the view of the Manhattan skyline and how nice the park looks itself. The other day I got there right after the sun went down and all the buildings in Manhattan were lit up along with the Williamsburg Bridge. Sometimes, I think especially during quarantine, I forget how beautiful this city can be. It’s a pleasant reminder and a very relaxing walk to unwind." — Ann Sullivan, National Photo Editor

Christopher Street, West Village
Photograph: Shutterstock

Christopher Street, West Village

"If I want to spend an afternoon walking downtown, and don’t really have a destination in mind, I’ll generally start at Tompkins Square Park and walk west down 9th St. The thoroughfare is dotted with small, unique businesses that are great for spending (surprisingly long amounts of) time in. Interesting trinkets at Enchantments, Inc., vintage glasses at Fabulous Fanny’s, a glass of wine at The Immigrant, a cappuccino from Mud—the options are endless before you even get to Sixth Ave. From there, I’ll turn down Christopher St and get a taste of similar shops in the West Village before ending up at the Christopher Street Pier and Hudson River Park. (Then, I may walk up to the Whitney if I’m feeling extra motivated.)" — Will Gleason, Time Out New York editor

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