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New York City Is Hotspot For Nature

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The Azalea Garden at the New York Botanical Gardens.

New York may not be the first place you would think of to adventure in the great outdoors, but it does offer opportunities to enjoy nature. Take the alluring New York Botanical Gardens, for example.

This is a 250-acre living museum of rustic gardens mostly in the outdoors, where you can take a stroll and tour the beauty, or ride the tram while listening to a narration of the tour. "Wild Medicine in the Tropics," about medicinal plants of the rain forest, is on exhibit until February 12, 2017, according to nybg.org. The garden is at 2900 Southern Boulevard in Bronx.

Kayak the Hudson River and take in the skyscrapers from a fish-eye's view at the city's boathouses. Long Island City Community Boathouse, Manhattan Community Boathouse, North Brooklyn Boat Club, Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse, the New York City Downtown Boathouse, Kayak Staten Island, and Red Hook Boaters all offer free kayak rides ranging from 15 to 20 minutes

The Staten Island Ferry offers a skyline view for no charge, as well as the Ikea Water Taxi on weekends. You must pay $5 for a round-trip to the Ikea megastore via the water taxi during weekdays, according to mommypoppins.com. Add that to the "things to do when it's warm" list!

Take a hike! No, seriously - go take a hike. Bronx's Old Putnam Trail is packed with recreation: ice skating, a museum, playgrounds and a 1.5-mile hike with a view of Bronx.

Another charming, scenic park located in Manhattan is the Inwood Hill Park Hiking Trail.

This trail overlooks the Hudson River and is near multiple subway lines, with restrooms available. A full list of hiking trails in the city is listed on mommypoppins.com.

Feed sea lions and penguins at the Central Park Zoo. Exhibits include the snow leopard display, the Central Garden, a sea lion pool, grizzly bears, the Polar Circle and Temperate Territory, all of which are open year-round. Admission is $12 for ages 13 and up, according to centralparkzoo.com.

New York City's Bronx Zoo offers penguin feedings, sea lion feedings and camel rides. This zoo has 19 exhibits for all types of animal lovers. The Bronx Zoo is open year-round. "Total Experience Tickets" are more expensive, beginning at $24.95 for ages 13 and older, according to bronxzoo.com.

A person who takes one look at New York City and declares it an unwelcome place for an outdoor excursion isn't looking hard enough. A visitor can enjoy the natural world and the buzz of the man-made city by kayaking, hiking, visiting the zoo and so much more.


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The Azalea Garden at the New York Botanical Gardens.