Manhattan never sleeps, so it’s said. You could spend every waking moment taking advantage of everything the Big Apple has to offer: Broadway shows, world-class opera, thirty-two museums, Yankee games, Madison Square Garden concerts…and the list goes on. But what if the bright lights of the big city start to wear thin, and all you want to do is chill?
Check out these seven places to relax in New York City.
Two and a half miles long and a half a mile wide, Central Park is Manhattan’s premier green space. Every weekend you’ll find skateboarders, bikers, and walkers sharing the many paths, kids navigating remote-control sailboats on the reservoir, picnickers basking on the 55-acre Great Lawn, and a world-class busker or two. Head to the North Woods to dodge tourists and enjoy some real peace and quiet.
The New York Botanical Garden
Located in the Bronx, the New York Botanical Garden offers 250 acres of gardens you can peruse on foot or discover by tram. Find your Zen in the garden’s native forest, river, and waterfall.
Sailor’s Snug Harbor Cultural Center
Just a charming ferry ride away, the Sailor’s Snug Harbor Cultural Center is a National Historic Landmark District that covers 83 acres of northern Staten Island full of 19th century buildings, a botanical garden, and park.
The New York Public Library
The stunning Fifth Avenue midtown library is flanked with the iconic lion statues, Patience and Fortitude, and the awe-inspiring interior is blissfully hushed. The library holds rotating exhibits and the North Hall is an official quiet zone.
Brooklyn’s 478-acre graveyard may seem to be an odd place to find peace, but this bucolic National Historic Landmark has hills, ponds, and paths amid the graves of some of the most famous people of the 19th century, including Boss Tweed, Henry Steinway, Louis Tiffany, Leonard Bernstein, Lola Montez, and plenty of Civil War generals. It’s a lovely, quiet place for history buffs and bird watchers.
Located on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, the Frick is one of those cozy, intimate museums created from the collection of the rich turn-of-the-century industrialist, Henry Clay Frick, and exhibited in his former residence. Kids under ten years of age are prohibited. Sit in the sky-lit garden court for a moment of meditation.
Overlooking the Hudson River in the Fort Tyron Park section of Manhattan, this offshoot of the Metropolitan Museum of Art houses mostly western medieval art in cloisters that form the heart of the building. The whole museum, off the beaten path, is a hidden, and peaceful, gem.