You know Central Park, Washington Square Park, Battery Park, Prospect Park, and Flushing Meadows (and so do the tourists). So change up your routine with these outdoor spaces off the beaten path for a great (and less crowded) day out.
Alice Austen House and Park: Named for the 19th-century photographer, this historic Staten Island sanctuary surrounds her former home, with a lush garden and terrific views of the Narrows and harbor.
2 Hylan Boulevard, Staten Island, aliceausten.org
Astoria Park: This nice long stretch of land features pools (including the oldest and largest in the city), outdoor tennis and basketball courts, and gorgeous views of Randall’s Island. 21 Hoyt Avenue, Astoria, Queens, nycgovparks.org/parks/astoriapark
Water’s Edge Garden: Find flowery beauty (40,000 perennials and grasses and 70,000 bulbs were planted by volunteers in 2006 and 2007) along a winding path on Randall’s Island. Randall’s Island, randalls.igicom.com kWest Harlem Piers Park: Escape to this quiet
waterside spot that hosts occasional shows and yoga classes. West 131st Street and Henry Hudson Parkway, nycgovparks.org/parks/M376
Carl Schurz Park: This
wonderful little green area between Gracie Mansion and the East River Esplanade has a range of trees in bloom, including fragrant Lindens, Kousa dogwoods, and Japanese snowbells with their dangling, bell-shaped flowers. 1624 York Avenue,
Mondays-Sundays, 8 a.m. Starts: June 10. Continues through Sept. 2, 2013