This gem of a park is home to the garden where Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan meet at the end of the popular Hollywood movie “You’ve Got Mail.” Riverside Park in Manhattan offers beautiful views of the Hudson River and offers anyone wanting some respite from the hectic New York City streets a perfect spot to run, bike or take a peaceful stroll.
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The Best Waterfront Views
Everyone talks about Central Park in New York City, but Riverside Park is pretty special too! In fact, it’s often where those in the know escape to in the hot summer season when Central Park is bursting with people. It stretches four miles along the Hudson River from 72nd to 158th Streets, offering spectacular waterfront views. This beautiful winding stretch makes it a favorite destination for runners and bicyclers.
A public marina, the 79th Street Boat Basin, features a launch for canoes, kayaks and sailboats and is located in the park at the foot of West 79th Street.
Designed by a Legend
Riverside Park is one of only eight official scenic landmarks in New York City. It was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the same designer who planned Central Park and Prospect Park in Brooklyn. Often referred to as the father of American landscape architecture, Olmsted envisioned public spaces like Riverside Park as idyllic areas set apart from the busy city that anyone could enjoy, regardless of income level.
Over the years, the park has undergone several expansions including the addition of seven acres of land in 2000 (Riverside Park South) that features basketball courts, a soccer field and a public pier that stretches out over the Hudson River.
Things to do at Riverside Park
From dog runs to baseball diamonds, Riverside Park is simply bursting with great activities. Some highlights of the park include the Riverside Skate Park, which features five ramps with rails, half pipes and quarter pipes. The Skate Park is open from Thursday to Monday from May through October.
Riverside Park also features basketball, handball and tennis courts, two baseball fields, a beach volleyball area and three designated dog runs where dogs can play unleashed. And there are plenty of children’s playgrounds and eight spray showers throughout the park for your little ones to splash in when the weather heats up.
The eight-foot bronze and stone statue of human rights champion Eleanor Roosevelt (the first public statue of a First Lady in the U.S.) is located in Riverside Park at 72nd Street.
The Soldiers and Sailors Monument at 89th Street and Riverside Drive is a must-see for civil war buffs. Made of marble and granite, this New York City landmark soars 96 feet high and also serves as a memorial site for all those who fought in later wars.
The General Grant National Memorial, known as Grant’s Tomb, is the largest mausoleum in America and the second largest in the Western Hemisphere. It is the final resting place of the 18th President of the United States, President Ulysses S. Grant (whose portrait is on the U.S. $50 bill) and his wife Julia Dent Grant. Located at 122nd Street, the site is open daily from 9a.m. to 5p.m. with free guided tours available.
Places to Eat in Riverside Park
The seasonal Boat Basin Café is located in Riverside Park at the end of 79th Street. This casual outdoor restaurant overlooks the marina and the Hudson River. Those dining at dusk will enjoy beautiful views of the sun setting over New Jersey.
The Hudson Beach Cafe is another eatery open in the summer months, located in Riverside Park at W. 105th Street. There are also several food carts to grab a bite at throughout the park.
Visiting Riverside Park in Manhattan
Riverside Park stretches from Riverside Drive to the Hudson River from West 59th Street to Clair Place. For a detailed map of the park and a complete list of its sites and attractions, visit the Riverside Park information page at the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation website.
For more Riverside Park visitor information and a calendar of upcoming events taking place in the park, call 212-870-3070 or click here to visit the Riverside Park official website.
Note: This information can change without notice. Confirm all details directly with the company in question.