As a New Yorker, you’ve undoubtedly become accustomed to the dull roar assaulting your eardrums at all times: construction, screeching subways, overly loud talkers at the table next to you. But if you’re starting to feel like you can’t hear your own thoughts, these peaceful spots offer a much-needed respite from the clamor.
We know what you’re thinking: Central Park? But this beautifully landscaped garden somehow manages to stay relatively uncrowded, particularly in the early morning. We can’t think of a better spot to enjoy our pre-work bagel than next to a lily pond.
LOUIS VALENTINO JR. PARK AND PIER
This waterfront Red Hook park feels about a million miles from the city. It’s an excellent place to catch a stunning sunset.
THE NOGUCHI MUSEUM
“Tourist-free museum” sounds like an oxymoron, but this Long Island City center is blissfully devoid of hordes (though you may encounter art fans and fellow serenity-seekers). Make sure to spend some time in the garden among the solemn stone sculptures.
THE GARDENS AT ST. LUKE IN THE FIELDS
The overgrown lushness of this West Village hideaway feels like it’s been transported from somewhere far more remote—perfect for a little midday escapism.
RADIANCE TEA HOUSE AND BOOKS
The heart of Midtown might be the last place you’d expect to find a sanctuary of calm, but that’s just what this is. Grab a book, order a pot of oolong—maybe some dumplings, too—and meet your happy place.
CHINESE SCHOLAR’S GARDEN
Tucked in the Snug Harbor Cultural Center is this zen oasis, styled after traditional Ming Dynasty gardens. Between the charming pavilions, winding walkways and mesmerizing koi pond, your rush-hour commute is but a distant memory.