Essential Travel Experience #52 – Stroll through a City Park

      Green areas within a city have become fairly common. Leaders realize how important it is to be able to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. These escapes allow residents, and tourists as well, to find some quiet and solitude, or at least beauty amidst the concrete.

     Of course, the epitome of a city park is Central Park, in New York City, although the idea for the park came from Europe, particularly London and Paris. Central Park opened in 1859 under its designer and manager, Frederick Law Olmstead.

     Some European parks, such as, Hyde Park in London, and Retiro Park in Madrid, were originally the hunting grounds of the resident royalty. Later, they were opened to the “commoners.”

     Here are some of the interesting and often lovely city parks that we have visited in our travels. I’ll begin with Central Park, in New York City, a vast 843 acres in the center of Manhattan Island.

Central Park, NYC

 It has lakes and streams, jogging paths, a zoo, and many other attractions.

     Elsewhere in the northeast, Boston features the Boston Common.

Boston Common

 Chicago has several parks which lure tourists and locals alike. Among them, Millenium Park features the Pritzker Pavilion, designed by acclaimed architect, Frank Gehry. 

Millenium Park, Chicago

  Lincoln Park is huge and is much like Central Park, with many different activities available.

Lincoln Park

 In San Diego, Balboa Park is the centerpiece, with gorgeous architecture, fine museums and the world-renowned San Diego Zoo.

Spanish Architecture in Balboa Park

   I loved the Koala Bears at the Zoo.

San Diego Zoo

 The Museum of Man is excellent.

Museum of Man, Balboa Park

 In Vancouver, Stanley Park is a Mecca for residents and tourists. It contains a totem pole park,

Totem Poles, Stanley Park

 a lighthouse,

Brockton Point Light, Stanley Park

and many other features.

 On the opposite side of Canada, the Halifax Public Gardens are a quiet getaway.

Halifax Public Garden

  In London, Hyde Park is one of the premier city parks. It has many flower-bedecked walkways.

Hyde Park, London

Retiro Park, in Madrid, has numerous waterways and is always crowded with people.

Crystal Palace, Retiro Park

In Seville, Maria Luisa Park contains several museums and the Plaza de Espana, a remnant from the World Exposition held in the city.

Plaza de Espana, Seville

Paris has the Luxembourg Gardens, a lovely place to while away the hours.

Luxembourg Gardens, Paris

Vienna has Stadtpark, translated City Park, which contains a wonderful statue of Johann Strauss, the Waltz King, as well as quiet flower-lined paths.

Stadtpark, Vienna

Brussels has Place de Petit Sablon, an adorable little park.

Place de Petit Sablon

In Beijing, China, the loveliest city park is Beihai Park, near the Forbidden City.  

Beihai Park

 Guilin has Seven Star Park.

Seven Star Park, Guilin


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