Cities Journal

These Are America’s Most Beautiful City Parks


The urban life can get a bit hectic and tiring in no time and when such time comes, it is important to have a park nearby where you can take your hat off and enjoy some fresh air. Some U.S. cities are more “blessed” when it comes to parks, while others are suffocating from the lack of green spaces. Today, we will be talking about the most beautiful city parks in the United States that everyone should visit to experience some of that calm and Zen that only the perfect green haven can provide.

The most famous American city park, New York City’s Central Park is also one of the most beautiful public spaces in the country. Its size makes it less of a singular park and more of a collection of different areas, all of which work in perfect unison to provide New Yorkers and visitors alike with much needed respite from the hustle and the bustle of the Big Apple. Even if you are visiting New York for just one day, make time to take a stroll through Central Park.

Another renowned city park that truly lives up to its reputation is San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. It is the jewel in the crown of the city with the best public spaces in the country, a jewel of more than 1,000 acres of beautiful greenery and spots such as De Young Museum, Strawberry Hill, Japanese Tea Gardens and more.

Portland is famous for being one of the healthiest cities in the United States and it is only natural to find one of country’s most incredible parks there, too. We are, of course, talking about Washington Park, a city park that is much more than just a place with some greenery. It, among other things, boasts a number of museums, a spectacular rose garden, an amphitheater, a Japanese garden and even its own zoo. Of course, we must not forget to mention the exquisitely charming Chiming Fountain.


Everyone has heard of the San Diego Zoo, one of the best and the biggest in the country. But, did you know that the zoo is actually only part of a much larger Balboa Park, a true spectacle of a public space, home to 15 museums and theaters, as well as innumerable gardens that are maintained perfectly by the park authorities. A good tip would be to get the Balboa Passport if you find yourself visiting the park, as it will give you access to every part.

We are going smaller and less famous with our next park – the Hagerstown City Park, located, well, in Hagerstown, Maryland.  The park is nowhere near as big as the ones we already mentioned, but what it lacks in size, it makes up in charm and beauty. It features a man-made lake called Lower Lake, as well as a number of museums, the most popular being the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts.

If you find yourself in New York but you are not interested in fighting crowds at Central Park, there is an alternative – the Prospect Park in Brooklyn which was actually modelled after its more famous cousin. It is found in South Brooklyn and it features a zoo and the Brooklyn Museum of Art. It is also incredibly beautiful.

Grant Park in Chicago is often called the Front Yard of Chicago and it truly is exactly that, a place where Chicagoans go to relax and enjoy a bit of nature. It is located on the western shore of Lake Michigan and it boasts a number of museums, as well as the spectacular Buckingham Fountain. It grew even more in 2004 when parking lots and rail yards north of it were appropriated by the park and turned into even more gardens and plazas.

Audubon Park is one of the most beautiful Southern city parks (which is saying a lot) and it is one of the most peaceful spots in all of New Orleans. It boats all local flowers and trees and it is famous among birdwatchers as a stopping ground for birds that travel south in the winter. It also happens to have the Mississippi River running through it!

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