With 520 miles of coastline, some of the world’s most famous urban parks, and a range of new initiatives to get its residents out and exercising, New York City is a great place to go for a run. The five boroughs offer so many routes, you’ll have a hard time choosing one! We’ve made this handy guide to running routes that optimize views, park time, and convenience. So whether you’re staying in the city for a short while, in a New York vacation rental or with friends, or if you’re trying to fit in some exercise after a day at the office, we’ve got you covered.
1. Midtown Landmarks – 4.5 miles (7 km)
When most people think of NYC, it’s big landmarks like Central Park, the Empire State Building, and Grand Central Terminal that come to mind. You can check these major sights of your list, in addition to many others, with this route through Manhattan’s urban core.
Starting at Times Square amid the glowing billboards and Broadway theaters of the entertainment hub, you’ll find yourself passing through Herald Square, then turning at the Empire State Building down Fifth Avenue, past the Flatiron Building, and then down to Union Square. From there, you can head up Park Avenue, one of NYC’s most swanky addresses, up to Grand Central, then along Fifth Ave again past historic department stores to a Central Park endpoint.
Given the array of activities and sights to see in the area, Midtown is a great place to stay in the city if you’re visiting. With a rental like this furnished studio looking out on Central Park, you don’t have to sacrifice comfort to stay in the center of the city. Air conditioning, cable TV, WiFi internet access, and building amenities like a laundry center and parking space (a rarity in Manhattan!) will make you fall in love with the space.
2. Times Square and the West Side – 5 miles (8 km)
One of the most remarkable urban revitalization of the last century, Manhattan’s West Side has gone from seedy rail yards and slums to some of the most valuable real estate on the planet. You can see why with this run down from Columbus Circle (at one of Central Park’s four corners) through Times Square and across to the Hudson River Greenway, a miles-long stretch of waterfront park that takes you all the way down to Lower Manhattan.
There, you can finish off your route with some reflection at the 9/11 Memorial in Lower Manhattan, an essential stop for NYC visitors.
If you’re in New York for more than a few weeks, you’ll want to find the perfect furnished apartment to suit your needs. We’ve got just the place, a few blocks from Columbus Circle, Times Square, and other West Side highlights, in one of the new upscale developments in the neighborhood. The fully furnished one bedroom apartment has parquet flooring, all the creature comforts of home, and panoramic Midtown views. From this prime location, work, play, and exercise can all be within walking distance.
3. Central Park – 5.5 miles (9 km)
New York’s most famous green space is something to behold: an urban oasis removed from the bustle of the surrounding street grid. There’s nothing quite like escaping from the city while never leaving, and with this park route you can get the full tour!
From the walkways of the southern end of the park to the Metropolitan Museum, the Reservoir, and the hilly upper reaches on the Harlem end, get to know all of Central Park with this itinerary. Famous landmarks along the way include the Loeb Boathouse on the lake, Belvedere Castle, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir – a great small loop with a view. You can even make it up to the Harlem side of the park, where a skating rink, pool, and quiet paths contrast with the bigger sights.
Living on the Upper West Side, the park can practically be your backyard! Although with a sumptuously furnished rental like this studio on the Upper West Side, you may be tempted to never leave. A fireplace, parquet floors, a full kitchen and a mezzanine sleeping loft populate the space. You’ll have more than enough to be comfortable in this NYC apartment! Plus, if you get bored, the Museum of Natural History is right outside your door, a great destination to visit with kids.
4. Broadway: From Midtown to Uptown – 4 miles (6.5 km)
One of the most fascinating roads in a city full of them, Broadway has both a rich history and a current relevance. From the Battery all the way north out of New York City, the street defies the grid pattern of Manhattan and passes major landmarks along the way. Following this running route, you can start at Times Square, Broadway’s busiest intersection, and continue past classy Lincoln Center, through the residential Upper West Side up to Columbia University in Morningside Heights. The route ends at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the largest church in the US, lined up with Central Park’s northern end
Columbia University students, young professionals, and anyone who likes to be plugged into a vibrant neighborhood will love this one bedroom in Harlem. The furnished rental offers classic NYC features like exposed brick walls as well as a comfortably large bedroom and a homey living room to relax in. And park lovers can appreciate Central Park, Morningside Park, and Riverside Park all just a short walk away.
5. Two Bridges: the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge – 5.5 miles (9 km)
New York is a city defined by its bridges, linking the boroughs to each other and the mainland. Two of the most historic and beautiful among those river crossings are the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges, known for their distinctive architecture and century-spanning histories.
Forming a triangle with unique Chinatown as its northern point, the redeveloping DUMBO waterfront, including stunning Brooklyn Bridge Park, at its southern end, and a connection to bustling Wall Street at the western side, this route will cover all the bases. Take a break along the way to appreciate the view from all six piers in Brooklyn Bridge Park!
If you’re just in town for a visit, consider this one bedroom apartment in a luxury building complete with a gym, terrace, and swanky downtown address. Commuters to Wall Street will only have a block to walk, while the rest of the city is easily accessible by train, bike, or even ferry.
6. Park Slope and Prospect Park – 4.8 miles (7.8 km)
Little known to non-New Yorkers, Brooklyn has its own Central Park of sorts, located right in the middle of the borough. Prospect Park was also designed in the nineteenth century by Frederick Law Olmstead, but, lacking Central Park’s tourist crowds, feels even farther removed from the city around it. This route takes you from the recently developed Barclays Center in Downtown Brooklyn through one of the nicest neighborhoods in the borough, Park Slope, and through Prospect Park’s meadows, glens, and walking paths.
Brooklyn’s hotel scene hasn’t quite caught up to its residential boom, making it a great place to stay in a furnished vacation rental. With this one bedroom right on Prospect Park West, you can stay in a real home, complete with a fireplace, laundry room, and bay window overlooking the backyard. It’s your own slice of NYC, though Prospect Park’s shared green space is just steps away.
These routes, whether taken running or at a comfortable walking speed, show off some of the best that NYC has to offer. Whether you’re around the city for a week, a month, or a year, we hope you enjoy the sights!
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