Nine cities with the best urban parks right down the street

National parks, wilderness areas, and state parks are great, there’s no question about it. But city parks are in our neighborhoods, just down the block from where we live if we’re lucky, and they reflect the values ​​our communities cherish: playtime, education, fresh air, art, music, sunshine, and local plants. And animals.

They are the place where people gather for birthday parties, barbecues and informal Thursdays. They are home to long-standing traditions such as weekly jazz concerts and often serve as cultural centers, incorporating museums and sculpture gardens within their boundaries. Even if you live in a bustling city, you can find respite and fresh air in the park. Whether you want to pack a picnic, watch colorful birds with your binoculars, or ride a bike, chances are your city’s park system offers plenty of opportunities for these and other outdoor activities. Sure, New York‘s Central Park can get a lot of attention, but there are epic city parks located all over the United States. You just have to know where to look. Royal Gorge Park

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Royal Gorge park istock

It‘s not every day a city park features a massive 1,200-foot gorge. But Royal Gorge Park in Canyon City, Colorado, is anything but ordinary. As the name suggests, this 5,300-acre park is home to the Royal Gorge, nicknamed the “Grand Canyon of the Arkansas River” because it is so deep and impressive. The park also has campgrounds, picnic areas, and hiking and mountain biking trails, including some that span historic train trestles. For a fee, you can cross the Royal Gorge Bridge, the tallest suspension bridge in North America, and participate in rides and attractions. 2. Falls Park

IStock Falls Park

Falls Park alone is reason enough to plan a trip to Sioux Falls, SD.This beautiful park is located in the heart of the city and is best known for the impressive waterfalls that flow through the middle, sending out a burst of 7,400 gallons of water. downstream every second. Also read: I want to retire in a college town with hot weather and lower taxes, where should I go? Spanning 123 acres, Falls Park features a 50-foot observation tower that offers panoramic views of the city (for free!). The park is also home to the Farmer’s Market, the beginning of a 29-mile biking and walking trail, and a variety of permanent sculptures by a variety of artists. In winter, the park turns into a beautiful frozen winter wonderland. 3. Scioto Audubon Nature reigns supreme at Scioto Audubon, a 120-acre park south of downtown Columbus, Ohio. This park is not only a premier birding destination, but it is also home to tons and tons of activities that will help you reconnect with nature, such as kayaking, canoeing, fishing, biking, rock climbing, and even sledding in the winter. It also has an obstacle course, running and walking trails, sand volleyball courts, a butterfly garden, and a dog park. Amenities aside, the most impressive thing about the park is that it was once a blighted area in the middle of an industrial landscape. Now, it is a lush oasis with something for everyone. See also: Top 10 US Cities for Remote Workers in 20214. Rifle Mountain Park This incredible urban park in Rifle, Colorado is so impressive that climbers from all over the world visit it to take advantage of its unique offerings. It is truly a nature lover’s paradise, with towering granite walls, lush greenery, and the serene East Rifle Creek running through it. The park has more than 250 bolted climbing routes, several hiking trails, and several camping areas. It also has a fascinating backstory. The park was formed in 1921, thanks to a special act of Congress that allowed American cities to claim land and turn it into parks. Fairmount park

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Fairmount Park is like a breath of fresh air. Located in the heart of Philadelphia, the park straddles both banks of the Schuylkill River and features a dizzying array of activities and amenities. Open-air concert halls, historic colonial-era homes, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, hiking trails, sculpture, water fountains – the list goes on. You could literally spend your entire vacation here and not get bored. Or, if you are lucky enough to live nearby, you can treat Fairmount Park as your backyard. City park

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Since 1854, City Park has served as an escape for New Orleans residents and visitors. It encompasses 1,300 acres of activities for the whole family, including the Carousel Gardens amusement park, an outdoor sculpture garden, a botanical garden, museums, disc golf, boating and much more. Fun fact: the park is also home to an oak tree that is almost 800 years old. The tree is part of the largest group of mature oaks in the world, located just within the park’s boundaries. 7. Zilker Park

The entrance to the Trail of Lights at Zilker Park in Austin, Texas. istock

Zilker Park is basically Austin’s living room. At 351 acres, the park brings people together for Shakespearean concerts, plays and musicals, as well as cooling off in the Barton Springs natural pool. It is also home to botanical gardens, a disc golf course, volleyball courts, a miniature train, and much more. Located next to Lady Bird Lake, the park also offers a sunny spot for canoeing, kayaking, or stand-up paddle boarding. 8. The meeting place

A children’s slide built to look like a huge elephant at Tulsa’s Gathering Place. istock

Imagine this: children laughing as they jump through jets of water, teenagers doing tricks on skateboards, adults driving a rowboat. All of this (and more!) Is a daily reality at The Gathering Place, an out-of-this-world park in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Located along the Arkansas River, this serene riverfront park offers so much to do that you almost feel like ‘I don’t know where to start. Learn about plants at Trust Sky Garden, soar 56 feet above Peggy’s Pond, rent a kayak, listen to a concert – the options are limitless. Don’t Miss: I want to retire in ‘liberal thinking area’ with $ 3,000 a month including rent, where do I go? Papago park

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The American Southwest is like a kaleidoscope of colors, with olive greens, burnt oranges and deep reds against an incredibly blue sky. You’ll find this rainbow and more at Papago Park in Phoenix, which features colorful sandstone hills. Hiking, mountain biking and running are recommended here, as well as taking Instagram photos of the peculiar Hole in the Rock formation. Here you will also find a fishing pond, the Phoenix Zoo, the Desert Botanical Garden, an archery range, a golf course, and an orienteering range. Read the original article on habitability. These are the 100 best places to live in America in 2020