A city may not be the first place you think of when you think “green,” but New York City is one of the greenest places in the US.

Sure, there’s Central Park and its impressive outer-borough cousins, Brooklyn’s Prospect Park and Staten Island’s Narrows Botanical Gardens, but there are plenty of less familiar green sites that will get you off the beaten path and show you a New York you probably didn’t know existed. Welcome to the big green apple!

Practical Information:

If you’re flying into LaGuardia, JFK, or Newark, take the AirTrain from your terminal to the nearest subway/train station. Faster and cheaper than a taxi, the AirTrain is the newest piece of NYC’s well-developed mass transit system. If you plan to move around the city by subway, buy an unlimited Metrocard, which is sold by the day, week, or month and is far less expensive than the $2 per ride fare. While you’re in the subway station, pick up a free map at any fare booth.

Get Outdoors:

It may be called the concrete jungle, but New York City has some amazing green spaces too, including:

The Science Barge: Run by the New York Sun Works Center for Sustainable Engineering, The Science Barge is part school-on-a-ship, part urban farm. Anchored on the city’s West Side Hudson River, the barge is powered by solar, wind, and biofuels, producing foods that generate no carbon emissions, no net water consumption, and no waste stream. During warmer months, you can visit the barge for free!

Hudson River Park: New Yorkers’ waterside playground, the Hudson River Park runs almost the entire length of Manhattan’s West Side, offering recreational opportunities for enthusiasts of rollerblading, biking, kayaking, climbing, skateboarding, fishing, and more… even trapeze! During the summer, free kayaking is a major attraction for beginners to experts, with the former offered lessons and the latter offered kayak polo games and trips north on the Hudson.

Union Square Greenmarket: Rub shoulders with famous chefs without having to beg for a reservation. The Union Square Greenmarket, one of the city’s many outdoor markets, is the best of the best.