We’ve all had those moments in life where things start moving too quickly. These are especially frequent in New York City! Sometimes you just need to relax with a good book in one of the many lesser-known but still beautifully manicured gardens in New York.

Heading to any of these beautiful urban gardens could be the perfect daycation for those looking to have a relaxing NYC experience!

Narrows Botanical Garden-Brooklyn


Founded in 1995, the Narrows Botanical Garden brings greenery to the growing urban landscape of Brooklyn. In addition to the beautiful scenery, the Park also has events like movie nights and markets that sell plants and other goods. If you find yourself needing a place to relax and unwind in the Bay Ridge area, definitely make a stop at the Narrows Botanical Garden.

Seton Falls Park


A peaceful oasis located at the last stop on the 5 train, Seton Falls is nestled alongside more than 30 acres of preserved natural land. A waterfall flows from the west side of the park, and visitors can walk alongside it through the woods. With its playground and wetlands, Seton Falls is an ideal place to rest from the bustle of urban life. And given its location, it’s entirely possible that even lifelong New Yorkers have never heard of it.

Greenacre Park


In the heart of midtown Greenacre Park paints a dramatic picture. The park was developed to provide New Yorkers with “some moments of serenity in this busy world.” The main focal point of this urban garden is its large 25-ft waterfall. While this park is slightly more known, it is still not used enough for it to be considered busy. The space also has chairs and reasonably priced food, perfect for bringing a book and making a day out of it.

Fort Tryon Park

Fort Tryon Park

Fort Tryon Park is really a large living piece on art with a rich history. The park is the brainchild of John D. Rockefeller and is one of the best gifts the city of New York has gotten in terms of land. This huge urban park has more than a day worth of activities for those who like an adventure. The Heather Garden in bloom is an indescribable site. Fort Tryon Park is also home to the Cloisters, a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art that houses nearly 5,000 medieval works. The park also boasts Manhattan’s largest dog run, as well as two playgrounds, volleyball courts and built-in ping pong tables. The pristine views of the Hudson River make the park the perfect setting for exploring or relaxing.

The Lotus Garden

lotus garden

The Lotus Garden is a community garden of another kind. The relatively tiny park is planted on top of a parking garage on the Upper West Side. Its strangely unique location is due to the development of the area. The original architect behind the garden did not want it to be destroyed by the building being raised there, so he worked out a deal to put it on the roof. The garden is open every Sunday afternoon between April and November from 1 to 4 p.m.

The Elevated Acre

elevated acre

There’s probably no area of New York that needs a place to relax more than the Financial District/Wall Street. The Elevated Acre is an amazing little oasis in the heart of Wall Street. This little park is a quiet refuge from the hustle and bustle of the city. Go up 2 sets of stairs and you enter a garden retreat with tables and benches and a massive lawn space to sit on and a stunning view of the Brooklyn Bridge, the Brooklyn waterfront, Governor’s Island, and the East River. They also just opened the Sky 55 Beer Garden at the Elevated Acre. So definitely finish your daycation by watching the sunset with a cold beer in hand.

Elizabeth Street Garden


Located in the heart of Little Italy, near three different subway stops, the Elizabeth Street Garden brings a Roman-esque flair to the middle of SoHo. The garden sits partially on the site of a former elementary school. Visitors can enjoy its very unique variety of marble and cast sculptures. But be aware: it’s a space still vulnerable to development. Better get your lounging in while you can while it’s still there.

Alice Austen Home

alice austen house

The Alice Austen Home takes you away from the skyscraper ridden Manhattan, and puts you in a more suburban setting in Staten Island. This Gothic cottage and garden were the domain of Victorian-era rebel Alice Austen, who was one of America’s first female photographers. The grounds of the house also have views of the Verrazzano, Lower Manhattan, and Brooklyn. In addition to the beautifully manicured garden, there is also a museum celebrating her life and her work. This is the perfect destination for those who love greenery and photography alike.

Creative Little Garden

creative little garden

Since 1978, East Village residents have treated this green space like it’s their own backyard. Gardeners don’t tend individual plots, but rather work together to landscape the whole park, making it a welcome getaway for anyone from laptop-toters to horticulture buffs. It truly is a community garden in every sense of the word, and after just a few minutes in the garden, you can sense the love from the residents that went into manicuring it.

Tudor City Greens

tudor city greens

Like Tudor City itself, the Tudor City Greens sit above 42nd Street along the East River. ext to a pair of staircases that elevate visitors above street level. Here one can take in the terraced solitude in the shade of the trees and Gothic towers that surround you. Occasionally they have art and music in the park which paints a perfect scene for those enjoying a good book or even writing one themselves.

Of course, these aren’t the only hidden gardens in the Big Apple. Not by a long shot. Check out these gorgeous urban green spaces, and even more with a daycation using HotelsByDay.

 Book a day room in New York City and enjoy all of its secret parks and hidden gardens.
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