The first flowers are already in bloom and Daylight Savings has begun, which means the best season for sightseeing in NYC is well underway.
And with that warmer weather, there’s no time to waste when planning your spring vacation in New York City.
Though New York is best known for its concrete jungle, the city is also home to the nation’s most-visited parks and botanical gardens. So if you want a side of blossoms with your urban adventure, plan a visit to one of NYC’s beloved botanical gardens this spring.
The Brooklyn Botanic Garden is best known for its Hanami Festival, a month-long celebration of the Japanese cultural tradition of honoring the cherry blossoms that mark the beginning of Spring. Beginning April 1, Hanami continues throughout the month of April, culminating with the two-day Sakura Matsuri, a weekend celebration of Japanese culture, complete with Taiko drumming, Manga artists and tea ceremonies. One of the highlights of Hanami is the walk through Cherry Esplanade, a dazzling display of double-flowering cherry trees that typically bloom near the end of April.
Meanwhile at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx, the Magnolia trees are already starting to bud. From March through April, the glorious scent of these graceful white and pink flowers can’t be mistaken as you stroll through the grove of mature Magnolias planted along Magnolia Way.
While you’re at the New York Botanical Garden, you wouldn’t want to miss this year’s Orchid Show, a show stopping event that draws thousands of visitors each year.
You can see both of these botanical gardens with the New York Pass, which also also grants access to the Staten Island Botanical Garden and the Cloisters Museum and Gardens in Upper Manhattan, in addition to another 70 other popular New York attractions.
Of course no visit to New York would be complete without at least a few hours spent exploring Central Park. Signs of Spring are starting to show, with flowers blooming throughout the park’s 843 acres.
One great way to see Central Park is from the seat of a bicycle. Rent a bike for the day from one of Bike and Roll’s Central Park Locations (Columbus Circle or Tavern on the Green). Or if it’s your first time in NYC, book yourself on the three-hour Central Park Bike Tour with one of Bike and Roll’s experienced guides. You’ll see all of Central Park’s most famed sites, from the John Lennon memorial at Strawberry Fields to Belvedere Castle and Bethesda Terrace, and you’ll get a bit of exercise while you’re at it!
Warm weather is also great for walking in New York, which makes Spring the best season for one of the city’s walking tours. City Food Tours’ various walking tours of the city’s most notable neighborhoods let you see the sights while sampling gourmet fare. Try artisanal cheeses and craft beers on the Craft Beer, Cheese and Chocolate Tour of the Upper West Side, or learn how to eat like a real New Yorker on the Flavors of New York tour of the East Village.
After all, you’ll need the energy: the days are getting longer, which means more time to see it all this Spring in NYC.