Originally created in 1980 as an extension of lower Manhattan, Battery Park City is a unique, almost suburban neighborhood. This neighborhood may be new, but it’s not short of character. From parks to shopping to restaurants, Battery Park City has a lot to offer locals and tourists alike, with stunning views of the Statue of Liberty, the Freedom Tower, and the Jersey City skyline across the river. Here are 10 ideas for exploring this Manhattan neighborhood.
The esplanade on the Hudson River might be Battery Park City’s best feature. Stretching from Battery Park to the edge of Tribeca, the path is perfect for strolling, running, and biking. If you want to read and relax, sit on a bench and enjoy the view of the river, or lounge on the many lawns this park has to offer. For sports, the lawns are the perfect place to bring your friends and throw around a Frisbee, and the park also has volleyball courts.
Brookfield Place combines luxury shopping with quality eateries, featuring beautiful ambiance and views of the Hudson. Located across the street from One World Trade, this plaza brings in both tourists and professionals working nearby. Brookfield Place feels like an upscale mall, with a food court featuring familiar New York eats: Dig Inn, Num Pang, and Umami Burger are just a few examples. The Winter Garden, an indoor atrium complete with real palm trees and regularly features art installations. Brookfield Place also regularly hosts events for both children and adults, ranging from live music to art and fashion collaborations.
Located right on the water, nautical-themed Pier A is the ideal place to stop for a drink or a bite after walking around Battery Park. This venue features an extended bar, the ‘Long Hall,’ and an Oyster Bar, along with a casual outdoor grill with classic barbecue fare like corn-on-the-cob and cheeseburgers. For a fine dining experience, Pier A has multiple options upstairs for brunch, dinner, or private events. Whether you’re coming for a beer, a cocktail, or a sit-down dinner, Pier A has great choices, all with waterfront views.
If you want to take a little trip to the Irish countryside, visit the Irish Hunger Memorial. Commemorating the Great Irish Famine, this memorial contains stones from all of Ireland’s counties, making it truly a slice of Ireland. Walk through this elevated park to experience the landscape of Ireland, and as you walk around the memorial, read about the history of the Famine and quotes on world hunger.
Featuring the largest lawn in Battery Park City, Rockefeller Park is the perfect spot for sports, picnics, and sunbathing. With a large playground for children, and fragrant gardens to walk through, this park is a great place to visit at any age. Check out the ping pong and pool tables and visit the Lily Pond to relax next to the quaint waterfall. If you’re walking a dog, be sure to keep off the grass, because the lawn is dog-free.
If you’re looking for a place to eat in Battery Park City, this riverside restaurant will satisfy your hunger. Serving American food at brunch, lunch, and dinner, Merchants River House always delivers a stellar meal with quality ingredients and great service. Come with a group of friends or on a romantic date at sunset, and walk on the esplanade after your meal for a relaxing time.
For Tex-Mex cuisine, a lively atmosphere, and refreshing margaritas, be sure to visit South West NY. With outdoor seating as well as indoor seating with a fireplace, South West has dining options for every season. This restaurant also serves brunch, lunch, and dinner, with dishes like pulled pork quesadillas and grilled fish tacos. Don’t forget the guacamole!
If you want to experience a little bit of the nautical life, check out the North Cove Marina and South Cove nearby. With views of the Statue of Liberty and an array of sailboats in the dock, the North Cove Marina is a must-see spot in Battery Park City. Explore the South Cove just a block away, with paths and bridges that go out onto the water. If you’re feeling adventurous, take a ride on the Shearwater Classic Schooner, which leaves from the North Cove Marina.
Teardrop Park is situated in the middle of a city block, hidden away by the tall residential buildings of Battery Park City. The park features a long metal slide landing in a sand pit, and a rock grotto with a small pool and fountain for kids to play in. This magical park serves as a shady little oasis for both locals and tourists. Teardrop Park South sits right across the street, with similar landscaping. New York Public Library-sponsored poetry readings and storytelling sessions occasionally take place in the amphitheater.
The Museum of Jewish Heritage: A Living Memorial to the Holocaust honors those who lost their lives in the Holocaust and exhibits artifacts of 20th and 21st century Jewish culture. The museum’s core exhibition explores the story of modern Jewish life through objects, photographs, and films. The Garden of Stones, free to visit, features trees growing out of rocks, meant to represent growth despite hardships. This museum is a place to contemplate and learn about Jewish culture.
Kristie currently studies Media, Culture, and the Arts at The King’s College. While she loves writing both nonfiction and fiction, she also enjoys making collages and sketching. She loves sitting in parks, exploring cafés and bars in Brooklyn, and admiring clothes she could never afford. She enjoys the poetry of E.E. Cummings, and Jeffrey Eugenides is her literary idol.