CHICAGO, June 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Cities are often destinations for shopping, museums and other indoor activities. However, most also have outdoor venues offering scenic vistas, lush gardens, historical monuments, live music or simply places to enjoy a nice picnic. The travel experts at The GO Group have selected these top urban parks to enjoy the outdoors:
With 843 acres and 40 million visitors, New York City's Central Park is one of the best known and most visited. The grounds include ponds; fountains; gardens; winding paths; playgrounds; sculptures; bridges, ball fields and memorial statues honoring fallen soldiers and veterans. Notable attractions include the Belvedere Castle, which is a fully functioning weather station; the Blockhouse, an actual fort from the War of 1812; the Central Park Carousel, built in 1871; and the oldest public monument in North America, The Obelisk. The site also is host to the Central Park Conservancy Film Festival every August, where classic movies are shown for free.
Thirteen million people visit San Francisco's Golden Gate State Park annually. In addition to the Music Concourse, the park is surrounded by various attractions, including the M. H. de Young Memorial Museum; the California Academy of Sciences, home to the Steinhart Aquarium; the Japanese Tea Garden which opened in 1894; the Conservatory of Flowers; the San Francisco Botanical Garden at Strybing Arboretum; the National AIDS Memorial Grove; Stow Lake, which offers boat rentals and Spreckels Lake. Golden Gate also is home to Kezar Stadium, which was once home of the San Francisco 49ers and the Bison Paddock where the animals are successfully bred in captivity. The park also offers segue and biking tours.
The number one tourist attraction in Texas is the San Antonio River Walk, a picturesque network of walkways along the banks of the San Antonio River, one story beneath the streets of downtown. The public park is lined with shops, restaurants, hotels, and bars with landscaped walkways and bridges. It is the site of numerous special events including Fiesta Noche del Rio, featuring the songs and dances of Mexico, Spain, Argentina and Texas; arts and crafts shows and the Ford Canoe Challenge in August, with local celebrities, corporate teams and general public teams competing.
Dating from 1634, Boston Common is the oldest city park in the U.S. It is part of the Emerald Necklace, a system of connected parks that winds through many of Boston's neighborhoods and is home to memorials including the the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial to Robert Gould Shaw and the Afro-American 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry; The Soldiers and Sailors Monument and the Boston Massacre Memorial. Adjacent to the Common is the Public Garden, the first botanical garden in the United States and home to the world famous Swan Boats.
Chicago is one big outdoor playground offering visitors more than 8,100 acres of green space, including the expanse of beaches and open areas along Lake Michigan running the length of the city to the suburbs. Non-water attractions include the admission-free Lincoln Park Zoo, one of the oldest in the U.S. and free concerts at the Frank Gehry-designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion, which serves as the centerpiece for Millennium Park. Millennium Park is part of the larger Grant Park, host to many outdoor music acts and festivals including the annual Taste of Chicago.
Indianapolis lures visitors with its White River State Park offering green spaces, trails, trees, and waterways as well as cultural, educational, and recreational attractions and events. The site is home to the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians & Western Art; the Indianapolis Indians Baseball at Victory Field, the state's largest IMAX® Theater; the NCAA® Hall of Champions Museum and concert venue The Lawn at White River State Park. It is also home to the Indianapolis Zoo, the only institution accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the American Alliance of Museums as a zoo, an aquarium, and as a botanical garden. This past Memorial Day the Zoo opened its new International Orangutan Exhibit, which houses eight orangutans and features a 90-foot-tall viewing atrium and an aerial cable.
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SOURCE The GO Group, LLC