10 Urban Parks to Visit in the US
With the weather cooling off in most parts of the US, now is the time to grab some friends, rug up in a nice sweater and boots, and head outside to watch the leaves change -- or enjoy a nice hot cider!
To make it easier for you to get outside with friends and family, we’ve rounded up some of our communities’ favorite parks nationwide. Kid and/or dog friendly, accessible, and with toilets to make it easier to stay and play all afternoon!
Please refer to local government rules regarding Covid-19 as some spaces may have restricted access.
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Piedmont Park, Atlanta, GA
This Midtown gem is Atlanta's answer to Central Park. With more than 180 acres of open space, walking trails, tennis courts, and playgrounds there are activities for all. The park also hosts numerous concerts and festivals (and movie filmings), and is easily accessible from all sides. BYO picnic or grab a meal from one of the many local restaurants abutting the park.
Zilker Park, Austin, TX
Considered “Austin’s most-loved park”, Zilker is great for the whole family. It has multiple picnic sites, a playscape, a disc golf course, volleyball courts, a botanical garden and more! Keeping in line with its focus on natural fun, parking is limited and public transport and biking is recommended.
Smale Riverfront Park, Cincinnati, OH
This world-class park was designed to reconnect downtown Cincinnati to the river and link existing parks. Filled with countless kid-friendly playgrounds and activities, Smale Riverfront Park is universally accessible. Outside of the kid zones, there is ample green space to relax with friends and take in the river!
Theodore Wirth Regional Park, Minneapolis, MN
The largest park in Minneapolis is superb for year-round activities from summer fishing to winter tubing. Personally, as we head into Aussie summer over here, the idea of going tubing with my mates over Chrissy (or, Christmas) sounds incredible!
Forest Park, Portland, OR
10 miles from downtown, Forest Park is one of the largest urban parks in the US. With over 5,200 acres to explore, you will definitely find your perfect picnic spot! You could hike the hill on Fireland #13 for a vista of the Willamette river, or settle in with the ghost in Witch’s Castle. Another dreamy option is the head towards Pittcock Mansion to relax on the grounds and enjoy a view of the city.
Read More: Rain boots & animals
Fairmount Park, Philadelphia
2,000 acres spanning both banks of the Schuylkill River. Enter on the eastern side from the world famous Philadelphia Art Museum, then wander through the leafy vista until you find your perfect picnic location. Or, go west and check out the architectural gem that is the Shofuso Japanese House & Garden.
Highland Park, Rochester, NY
Best known as the home of the Lilac Festival, Highland Park is a beacon for beautiful blooms. It was designed by the famous American landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead to appear as a natural tree garden, and is a great space to escape and take in the fresh air. With hiking paths and picnic areas, all you need to do is grab your bestie and your pup (leashed only) for an afternoon catch up.
Gas Works Park, Seattle
Probably one of America’s quirkiest parks, this 19 acre park is situated on the former Seattle Gas Light Company gasification plant. As part of its greenification, the soil and groundwater were remediated from a toxic waste dump to the beautiful green land it is now. How merry is that?! It now features grass lands for picnicking (including reservable spaces), a play barn, and a kite flying hill!
Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
As the third most visited park in the US, you can’t go wrong crossing the Bay to spend a day at Golden Gate Park. You could rent a paddle boat to explore one if its many lakes before a picnic, or meander the breathtaking paths of the San Francisco Botanical Garden (free to residents).
Be sure to print or save these maps (park, picnic areas, dog play areas, restrooms) before heading out!
The Gathering Place, Tulsa, OK
“A Park for All”, Tulsa’s world class Gathering Place is a riverfront park specifically designed for universal accessibility. It was built with the belief that every child -- of any size or ability -- should be able to find a spot to play and every adult a place to enjoy. More than a park, it's almost a mini-theme park in Tulsa with countless free activities. You can BYO a picnic, or snack from one of the countless food trucks peppered throughout the park.
A landmark of philanthropy, the $465 million Gathering Place opened in September 2019 and was spearheaded, majority funded and endowed with $100 million for upkeep by local philanthropist George Kaiser and his family foundation!
Stay Merry everyone!! xx
Read More: 15 Easy Walks Around the U.S.