7. Teardrop Park in Battery Park City

Walking into Teardrop Park in Battery Park City between Warren and Murray Streets, you would be forgiven for thinking you have somehow been transported to upstate New York. Filled with trees, plants, and rocks, it has become a haven for wildlife and visitors alike.

The park has been praised for its architecture, which incorporates sedimentary rock from New York State as naturalistic seating areas, as well as sand pits, a playground built into the rocks, a children’s path with water features, a tunnel to connect different areas of the park, a lawn for sunbathing, and plenty of shade from planted trees. The only giveaway that you’re still in Manhattan is the high-rise residential buildings peeking through the trees.

It’s hard to believe that before the park’s opening in 2004, the area was completely flat. The park’s design was done by architectural firm Michael van Valkenburg Associates Inc, with sustainability in mind; the park is irrigated by recycled water and stormwater runoff, and the plants are maintained through routines that don’t use harmful herbicides and pesticides. The park is open 24 hours, but you’ll have to leave your pets at home–dogs aren’t allowed in this park.