Cozy sweaters, red and gold leaves, perfectly cool temperatures, and scenic views everywhere await you this autumn in New York City. Fall is one of the most magical times of the year here in the Big Apple, where shining chrome buildings are juxtaposed against the spectacular foliage. This year, TripAdvisor even named New York City one of the best destinations in the world for enjoying the gorgeous changing of the leaves.
No matter whether you’re in Central Park or on Roosevelt Island, Brooklyn Botanical Garden or the High Line, you will be surrounded by an explosion of autumn color. This season, step outside into the changing world. Without further ado, here are the best places in New York City to catch a glimpse of the fall foliage.
1. central park
As a verdant oasis in the heart of New York City, Central Park’s autumn transformation gives the entire city a different feel. This 843-acre urban park is home to an array of natural destinations perfect for enjoying the fall foliage, from the upstate New York-inspired Ramble to the relaxing Sheep Meadow. Visitors can also climb up to Belvedere Castle to see some panoramic views of the entire area. Every inch of Central Park is the picture-perfect setting to enjoy autumn.
2. fort tryon park
Head west to Hudson Heights to take a leisurely stroll through Fort Tryon Park, a green space perched on a hill with unparalleled views of the Hudson River. The effect of the red, orange and gold leaves against the blue-green of the water is absolutely mesmerizing, serving as the perfect complement to the nearby Cloisters, a museum operated by The Met that is well worth a visit before or after your stroll.
3. roosevelt island
Located in the East River, Roosevelt Island offers a unique vantage point from which to witness New York City’s fall transformation. Only two miles long, this charming neighborhood offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Head to the very south end of the island to explore the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park, particularly for its insane views of the Manhattan skyline.
4. Prospect park
Journey a little further out into Brooklyn for some more magnificent autumn sights. Prospect Park, the borough’s second-largest public green space, is a favorite among locals and visitors alike for its numerous attractions, such as Litchfield Villa and the Prospect Park Zoo, as well as its expansive woodlands. Here, you’ll find picturesque waterways and an old-growth forest — the only one remaining in Brooklyn — and, of course, unforgettable autumn foliage. This destination is perfect for nature enthusiasts looking for a serene retreat.
5. Brooklyn botanic garden
Another of Brooklyn’s prime nature-focused destinations, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden transforms into a veritable wonderland for the fall season. They even provide their own guide to the highlights of autumn at the garden, which include everything from a century-old sweetgum tree in the Native Flora Garden to 20-foot-tall maples in the Japanese Hill-and-Pond Garden. An extensive range of other impressive autumn flora await, thanks to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s 14,000 species strong collection.
6. the high line
Last but not least, the High Line, a renovated railway line stretching along the Hudson River, provides a singular blend of urban architecture and fall transformation. With the waters of the river on one side and the buildings of Chelsea and Hudson Yards on the other, this is an exciting and enchanting place to take in New York City’s autumnal glory. Murals and other performance art add a captivating touch to the linear park, too, perfect for those looking for some entertainment.
From Japanese-inspired botanic gardens to New York City’s most famous park, these are some of the best destinations in the city to take in the seasonal splendor of autumn. Book your stay in New York City now!