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The words “Parks and Recreation” may make you think of Ron Swanson and Ann Perkins before you picture gardens + streams. However, in honor of National Parks and Recreation month, we want to give proper credit to the beautiful structures that provide a dose of nature in the middle of the hustle + bustle of the cities we love!

Check out the list below of some of the most notable city parks in the United States; it just might inspire your next getaway!

Written by: Emily Fitzgerald


Boston Common

Boston, MA

139 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02111; Daily: 24 hours

139 Tremont St, Boston, MA 02111; Daily: 24 hours

Known as “the People’s Park” and one of the oldest city parks in the United States, the Boston Common is not one to be missed! As expected, there are plenty of historical monuments + memorials throughout the park; it even serves as the beginning of the Freedom Trail!

While You’re There: Cool off in the Frog Pond! Though it was originally an actual pond, it’s now a water feature that you can walk through on a hot day or ice skate on during the winter.

Visit Nearby: What’s better on a hot day than a cold beer? At Democracy Brewing, you can grab a flight or pint in a venue that combines an old world beer hall with a neighborhood pub.


Fairmount Park

Philadelphia, PA

1 Boathouse Row, Philadelphia, PA 19130, Daily: 7AM-10PM

1 Boathouse Row, Philadelphia, PA 19130, Daily: 7AM-10PM

Whether you’re interested in softball, ultimate frisbee or just relaxing with a picnic, Fairmount Park has something to offer for the perfect afternoon! There are plenty of playgrounds + gardens throughout the park so you’re sure to get your fill of nature right in the middle of downtown Philadelphia.

While You’re There: The Please Touch Museum strives to encourage learning through play and they welcome children (as well as those only young at heart) to stay curious + explore in order to grow!

Visit Nearby: Wake up for a morning stroll through the park with coffee at The Monkey + The Elephant! Not only are their brews delicious, you’ll also be supporting a shop with heart; this non-profit coffee cafe hires individuals who were formerly in the foster care system.


Schenley Park

Pittsburgh, PA

3898 Blvd of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, Daily: 6AM-10PM

3898 Blvd of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, Daily: 6AM-10PM

What better way to relax in the Steel City than by taking a stroll through Schenley Park? After recently celebrating 120 years of service, Schenley has over 450 acres of trails, woods, and attractions! There are opportunities for biking, hiking + even a skating rink.

While You’re There: With over 15 acres, including a 14-room greenhouse, Phipps Conservatory has served as a green oasis in Pittsburgh since 1893. Their indoor gardens change seasonally + features a butterfly garden during summer months!

Visit Nearby: Need to cool down after an afternoon in Schenley? Take a walk over to Dave and Andy’s Homemade Ice Cream for a scoop of seasonal peach or creamy vanilla in a homemade waffle cone!


City Park

New Orleans, LA

1 Palm Dr., New Orleans, LA 70124, Daily: Sunrise to Sunset

1 Palm Dr., New Orleans, LA 70124, Daily: Sunrise to Sunset

Surrounded by towering trees and draping vines, City Park is the perfect escape from the noise + action of NOLA! This 1,300 acre (yes, you read that right) park boasts plenty of natural greenery as well as mini golf if you’re feeling playful.

While You’re There: Carousel Gardens Amusement Park has over 17 amusement park-style rides that are suitable for visitors of all ages! Try the Tilt-a-Whirl or Ferris Wheel for an afternoon of throwback rides.

Visit Nearby: If you need a little break from all the fried food of New Orleans, try MOPHO for a meal that combines Vietnamese with Creole for an all-new + totally delicious experience!


Levy Park

Houston, TX

3801 Eastside St, Houston, TX 77098, Daily: 8AM-8PM

3801 Eastside St, Houston, TX 77098, Daily: 8AM-8PM

Levy Park is an urban park that features a dog park, community garden + much more! They even host events year-round like yoga in the park or planting your own “Scratch n’ Sniff” herb garden.

While You’re Here: The name may be a little misleading, but the Rain Garden is still pretty awesome! You won’t actually get rained on, but this little garden features native shrubs + flowers that are nourished by naturally occurring rainwater.

Visit Nearby: If locals love it, you can bet you will too! At The Cellar Bar you’ll enjoy a cold beer or refreshing cocktail in a dimly-lit, dive-like setting.


Maggie Daley Park

Chicago, IL

337 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601, Daily: 6AM-11PM

337 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601, Daily: 6AM-11PM

At Maggie Daley Park, the question isn’t “what is there to do?” but “what can’t you do here?” There’s a golf course, garden + even a climbing wall, just to name a few! This waterfront park offers a one-of-a-kind experience for park-goers that allows them to see the city while getting away into nature.

While You’re Here: Knock out two must-see locations in one park by going to Cloud Gate + a Chicago Skyline photo location while you explore Maggie Daley Park.

Visit Nearby: If you’re strolling the park early in the morning, or if you need a midmorning break, stop by Wildberry Pancakes + Cafe for some delicious breakfast to fuel up for the rest of your day!


Piedmont Park

Atlanta, GA

400 Park Dr NE, Atlanta, GA 30306, Daily: 6AM-11PM

400 Park Dr NE, Atlanta, GA 30306, Daily: 6AM-11PM

You may not expect it in the middle of “Hotlanta” but Piedmont Park offers a surprising number of nature-centric activities! Besides the standard trails + playgrounds, it also has a butterfly exhibit and honeybee habitat to give you a look at the local floral and fauna.

While You’re Here: Every Saturday from late March through November, the Piedmont Park Green Market showcases local farmers and small businesses in order to support a sustainable community!

Visit Nearby: Currently celebrating their fifth birthday, Orpheus Brewing is constantly experimenting with new flavors + collaborating with local businesses to bring the coolest brews to the table!


Have you visited any of these parks? Think we left Something out?

Comment below AND LET US KNOW other places to check out!

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