There’s no shortage of things to love about NYC. But being able to walk virtually anywhere is by far one of the best perks of living here. We may not have lush landscapes to brag about but we do have sidewalks as far as the eye can see that offer adventures unlike anywhere in the world.
It’s safe to say NYC is a pedestrian paradise, and the best way to explore The Big Apple (and exercise at the same time) is by foot. Check out our favorite walks in NYC.
Every New Yorker (or tourist visiting New York) is required to walk the Brooklyn Bridge at least once in their life. Spanning from lower Manhattan to Brooklyn, this iconic suspension bridge is over a mile long and one of the oldest in the country. Make a day of it and plan to spend some time in Brooklyn Bridge Park. And don’t forget to get some pizza from Grimaldi’s (which is under the bridge on the Brooklyn side) — you’ve got enough steps in to earn it, right?
Catch a glimpse of the Statue of Liberty, New Jersey, and the George Washington Bridge as you stroll on the Hudson River Greenway. Adjacent to the bustling West Side Highway, the walking, running, and biking path is a surprisingly quiet spot in this loud city. Come summertime, there’s nothing better than those cool breezes coming off the Hudson.
Since opening in 2009, the High Line has become a favorite walking spot for New Yorkers. The roughly 1.5-mile-long park is built on deserted train tracks and is home to fun food stands, quirky art exhibits, and great photo opportunities. Just beware that the High Line can get crowded over summer weekends.
Governors Island is a bizarre, car-free island only 800 yards away from lower Manhattan. Yes, it’s as magical as it sounds. You could easily spend an entire day exploring all the nooks and crannies this island has to offer. So, take the ferry from the Battery Maritime Building in Manhattan or Pier 6 in Brooklyn and prepare to be transported to an urban oasis.
Starting at the southern tip of Central Park, Fifth Avenue is known for its high-end shopping and elaborate window displays. Live out your Breakfast at Tiffany’s dream at the original Tiffany & Co. and take a pit stop at Rockefeller Center (where SNL is filmed). During the holiday season, walking down Fifth Avenue is a must — this street truly captures the holiday spirit and the iconic Christmas tree is a must-see.
Nothing beats strutting down Broadway in the heart of SoHo. It’s the epitome of the hustle and bustle Manhattan is known for, and while super-crowded at times, the energy is unlike anything else. From Houston to Canal, it’s pretty easy to spend hours snaking around the side streets of SoHo while you window-shop. Oh, and keep your eyes peeled for fun street art and super-Instagrammable walls.
Craving a beachy getaway? Turns out you don’t need to leave the city. The recently rebuilt two-mile Rockaway Beach boardwalk is the perfect place to take a summer-y walk on the beach — and it’s just a subway ride away. Work up an appetite and get some tacos at Tacoway Beach or a smoothie at Cuisine by Claudette. Finish your adventure by taking a dip in the Atlantic Ocean. You’ll legit forget you’re in NYC.
Although not as famous as its brother, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Williamsburg Bridge is still a worthwhile trek. The bridge is less crowded and therefore less chaotic than the Brooklyn Bridge, making it a far more relaxing walk, plus you end up in the heart of Williamsburg or the Lower East Side on either side of the bridge. Be sure to obey the pedestrian rules — and wave to the subway as it cruises by alongside you on the bridge.
Sprawling between Astor Place and Tompkins Square Park, St. Mark’s Place is easily the most famous street in the East Village thanks to its punk rock roots. What used to be a seedy area has since cleaned up its act and is home to some of the best brunch spots in Manhattan. After walking St. Mark’s, head one block over to 9th Street for the best vintage shops in NYC or visit the year-round farmers market in Tompkins Square Park.