Welcome to a journey through ten of the most incredible parks in North America! From the jagged coastlines of the Pacific Northwest to the majestic peaks of the Rocky Mountains, these parks offer something for every nature lover. Get ready to explore diverse landscapes, spot unique wildlife and immerse yourself in the great outdoors. So grab your hiking boots, and let’s begin!
Ten Parks in North America Worth a Visit
Central Park is a sprawling urban oasis in the heart of Manhattan that provides a peaceful and welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of the concrete jungle. The park covers over 800 acres and offers a variety of activities for all ages—if you look at any map of New York City, it’s impossible to miss the massive space that makes up Central Park. Visitors can explore the Shakespeare Garden, watch performances at the Delacorte Theater, stroll around Belvedere Castle or even rent a paddleboat and enjoy views of the skyline from the lake. If you’re looking for a romantic (but pricey) date, a carriage ride through the park is also a fun way to enjoy the scenic green space amidst the skyscrapers. Whether you need a break from your business trip, a quick breather from shopping, or just a moment to reflect on all of your explorations, Central Park is an ideal location to unwind and appreciate nature in the heart of the city that never sleeps.
Stanley Park is one of the most popular attractions in Vancouver, and it’s pretty easy to see why. The park provides more views and landscapes than most other urban parks of its kind. The 1,000-acre park is a natural paradise in the midst of a bustling city—much like Central Park is to New York City. Stanley Park boasts stunning views of the city skyline, the mountains and the ocean, all of which make up British Columbia’s beautiful landscape. The park is home to over 500,000 trees, some of which are over 500 years old. Visitors can explore the park’s many trails, gardens and beaches or take a leisurely stroll along the seawall. Stanley Park is also home to the Vancouver Aquarium, a popular destination for families, and the First Nations Totem Poles—one of the country’s most visited sites. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful retreat or an exciting adventure, Stanley Park has something for everyone!
Golden Gate Park
Golden Gate Park is a must-visit destination in San Francisco, California! The 1,017-acre park is home to an assortment of attractions, including the California Academy of Sciences, the de Young Museum and the Japanese Tea Garden—one of the most picturesque sites in a city filled with picturesque views and landmarks. You can also take a stroll through the park’s lush gardens, enjoy some outdoor sports (there are grounds for polo, soccer and even frisbee golf), take a ride on a Ferris wheel, or even rent a paddleboat on Stow Lake. Don’t forget to snap a photo in front of the iconic Golden Gate Park Dutch Windmills! You can also explore the nearby Queen Wilhelmina Tulip Gardens and enjoy a meal at the Beach Chalet Brewery & Restaurant. With so much to see and do, you’ll never be bored in Golden Gate Park.
Grant Park is one of Chicago’s most iconic landmarks and a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the city. The park is so large you might be in the park without even realizing it. Spanning over 300 acres, the park offers a wide range of attractions and activities for visitors of all ages, including the Museum Campus (home to the Field Museum of Natural History, Shedd Aquarium and Adler Planetarium). From the stunning Buckingham Fountain to the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, there’s no shortage of things to see and do in Grant Park. If you’re looking for a bit of relaxation, you can take a stroll through the lush gardens or enjoy a picnic on the sprawling lawns. And if you’re a music lover, don’t miss the annual Lollapalooza festival, which takes place right in the heart of the park. Grant Park is also home to numerous harbors and marinas, where you can catch one of Chicago’s fantastic boat tours. With so much to offer, Grant Park is truly a gem of the Windy City.
Piedmont Park is a peaceful respite from the fast pace of Atlanta. Located in Midtown, the park boasts over 200 acres of green space, including walking trails, playgrounds and sports facilities. On any given day, you can find locals and tourists alike enjoying a picnic on the expansive lawns or taking a stroll around Lake Clara Meer. In addition to its natural beauty, Piedmont Park hosts a variety of events throughout the year, from food festivals to music concerts, and you can get a magnificent look at Atlanta’s beautiful skyline at the Midtown Reflection viewpoint of Lake Clara Meer. On Saturdays, you can join locals at The Green Market for fresh produce and artisanal goods. If you’re looking for even more horticultural beauty, swing by the Atlanta Botanical Garden, located inside the grounds of Piedmont Park, and enjoy a meal at Longleaf, with views of the stunning gardens. Fun fact: the park was originally designed by the same landscape architect who created New York’s Central Park.
Boston Common is a historic park located in the heart of Boston. It was established in 1634, making it one of the oldest public parks in the United States. The park is home to a variety of activities, including outdoor concerts, festivals and sports games. Visitors can take a stroll through the lush greenery, enjoy a picnic with friends and family, or even go ice skating during the cold winter months. In addition to its recreational offerings, Boston Common also has a rich history dating all the way back to the American Revolution. The current grounds served as a campsite for British troops during the occupation of Boston, and the area was the site of many important speeches and protests during the fight for independence. Today, it remains an important symbol of freedom and community for residents and visitors in Boston.
Hermann Park is one of Houston’s most beloved and vibrant green spaces. Located in the heart of the city, it covers 445 acres and is home to many attractions, including pedal boats, train rides and an outdoor theater. You’ll find several of Houston’s best attractions inside the park, including the Houston Museum of Natural History (home to the Burke Baker Planetarium and the Cockrell Butterfly Garden), Houston Zoo and the McGovern Centennial Gardens. The park also hosts a Japanese Garden, a reflection pool and a golf course. Whether you want to go for a picnic, a jog or just relax under the shade of a tree, Hermann Park has something for everyone. Plus, it’s conveniently located near the Museum District and the Houston Zoo, making it an excellent destination for a day of fun and exploration.
Audubon Park is a must-visit destination in New Orleans. It covers 350 acres and is home to a variety of fantastic activities and attractions. The park’s centerpiece is a stunning lagoon that is perfect for a leisurely stroll or paddleboat ride. Visitors can also enjoy a round of golf, tennis or a game of frisbee on the vast green lawns. The park’s zoo is home to over 2,000 animals from around the world, including rare white alligators. The park is home to a golf course, numerous gardens and a sprawling selection of athletic grounds along the riverfront. For those who love to explore, the park’s tree-lined paths offer a beautiful backdrop for a bike ride or jog. So, whether you’re looking for a relaxing afternoon or an adventure-packed day outdoors, Audubon Park is a fantastic addition to your vacation itinerary.
Griffith Park in Los Angeles is a perfect destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers. Spanning over 4,000 acres, it is one of the largest urban parks in North America. The park offers numerous activities, including hiking trails, horseback riding, golfing, tennis and picnicking. Griffith Park is also home to the Los Angeles Zoo, Griffith Observatory and the famous Hollywood Sign. From the observatory, you can learn all about the known universe and enjoy some of the most stunning views of Los Angeles—on a clear day, you can see miles and miles of the cityscape. The Los Angeles Zoo features over 1,400 animals from around the world. Griffith Park is a wonderful place to visit for all kinds of travelers, from families with children to hiking and outdoor enthusiasts.
Balboa Park is a must-visit destination in San Diego for both tourists and locals. With over 1,200 acres of land, it’s one of the largest urban cultural parks in the United States. The park is home to 17 museums, including the San Diego Museum of Art, the San Diego Air & Space Museum, the Comic-Con Museum, the Museum of Man and the Fleet Science Center. Visitors can also enjoy lush gardens, performing arts venues and a large sports complex. Balboa Park is also home to the world-famous San Diego Zoo, home to around 4,000 animals. The park was originally built for the 1915-1916 Panama-California Exposition, and many of the Spanish Colonial Revival-style buildings are still standing today. So, whether you’re interested in history, art, or science or just want to take a leisurely stroll, Balboa Park is the perfect place to spend a day in San Diego.