Slices Of Nature (Besides Central Park) On Your Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
Its an overlooked phenomenon that many people living in New York City don't feel particularly deprived of regular exposure to nature and the outdoors. This is pretty shocking to visitors still registering the sheer walls of concrete surrounding all sides of their hop-on hop-off tour buses. Obviously Central Park stands out as a massive respite of flora and fauna right in the middle of the city, but there are many lesser known spots which can serve as an oasis in the midst of New York, and are easily accessible on your hop-on hop-off bus tour.
Brooklyn Botanical Gardens
Every year upwards of 900,000 people visit the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, a 52 acre garden located in Prospect Park. The garden hosts many specialized sub-gardens exhibiting flowers and plants from different climes, cultures, and geographies. Of special note are the set of 200 cherry trees (from 42 different species!) which were gifts from the Japanese government after WWI. In the springtime the Gardens host a month-long festival called Hanami for viewing the beautiful blossoming trees.
New York Botanical Garden
The NYBG are combined with the Bronx Zoo to form a single complex of flora and fauna. A quick bus ride could have any New Yorker strolling along avenues of flowers and ponds. From there, you could hop over to the Bronx zoo to survey the diverse wildlife housed inside. Together, this destination provides a thoroughly refreshing change of pace from the city.
There are sections of Prospect Park so reclusive that you'll forget entirely that you're inside a city. Highlights in this regard include the Ravine, the Penninsula, and the Lullwater, sections which include dense forests and lake waters. There you can observe birds and ducks while walking the scenic footpaths. Both Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens are easily accessible on any Brooklyn Tour!