8 Hidden Gems in NYC for When You Need Some Peace & Quiet

It’s the city that never sleeps, with its towering skyscrapers, graffitied subways and endless supply of street vendors. Of course, we’re talking about the Big Apple—best known for its flashy Broadway shows, world-class art museums and vibrant shopping scene. But while we take pride in this concrete jungle, we admit: Sometimes we need to get far, far away from the city noise. Fortunately for us, we don't have to break the bank and travel several miles away to do it.

From secret parks to peaceful walkways, keep reading for eight of the best places in New York to visit to catch your breath—and peace of mind.

12 Hidden Bars and Speakeasies in NYC Worth Seeking Out

  • Admission: Free
  • Hours of Operation: Spring: Weekdays: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Weekends: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Summer: Weekdays: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Weekends: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Fall: Weekdays: 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., Weekends: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Winter: Weekdays: 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Weekends: 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Fun fact: This community sculpture garden has been around since the 1800s. Per the official website, it's currently managed by a nonprofit called Elizabeth Street Garden, Inc., and they often organize a variety of events for the local community in Nolita, from wellness workshops to art events. As a bonus, the garden is also open to the general public year-round, so you can go for a stroll after you feast on all the food in Little Italy.

P.S: There's been some controversy surrounding the garden because the City Council intends to remove the public space and build new housing. If you want to help save the garden, you can help here.

Elizabeth St (between Prince and Spring Streets), New York, NY 10012

  • Admission: $25
  • Hours of Operation: Thursdays to Tuesdays: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Closed Wednesdays

The Cloisters, which is a little-known branch of the MET, is actually the only American museum that’s devoted to medieval art and architecture. And its name is inspired by the medieval cloisters that make up the building.

A walk through their peaceful gallery will make you feel like you’re taking an actual tour through medieval Europe, with it's old-fashioned decor and garden plants that were common during that era. If you’re feeling fancy, you can show up in your best period costume for the full effect.

99 Margaret Corbin Dr, New York, NY 10040

  • Admission: Free
  • Hours of Operation: Every day, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Designed by Hideo Sasaki in 1971, Greenacre Park includes a mesmerizing 25-foot waterfall, complete with honey locust trees and azaleas. It’s as close as you can get to a serene little “getaway,” thanks in part to the soothing waterfall that's just loud enough to drown out the city noise. If you need a quiet place to hang with a friend or could use a change of pace during your lunch hour, this is the place to be.

217 E 51st St, New York, NY 10022

  • Admission: Adults: $18; Seniors: $12; Students: $9
  • Hours of Operation: Thursday to Monday, 10:00 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The landmark mansion, which was built back in 1902, underwent some renovations and is now known as the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum. This charming oasis features 64 rooms, as well as a gorgeous garden and cafe for guests.

If you do stop by, you simply have to experience the Immersion Room, which lets visitors design their own wallpapers and then project them onto the walls at full scale. (You can plan your visit here.)

2 E 91st St, New York, NY 10128

5. Little Paris

  • Admission: N/A
  • Hours of Operation: Maman: 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels: 5 p.m. to 12 a.m., Coucou French Classes: Sunday: 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday to Thursday: 1:30 a.m. to 9 p.m, Friday: 1 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Clic: Monday to Saturday: 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., Sunday: 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.

You might've heard about Koreatown, Chinatown or Little Italy, but not as many New Yorkers are familiar with Little Paris—a fairly new initiative spearheaded by a group of determined French business owners. If you take a walk along Centre St., you’ll come across French businesses like La Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels and Maman. And right across the street are police headquarters, whose building is inspired by Paris’s Hotel de Ville. Grab a coffee and a croissant at Maman and read your copy of Cyrano de Bergerac by the window. How Parisian of you.

Centre Street in Nolita (between Broome & Grand St.)

  • Admission: Free
  • Hours of Operation: Monday to Saturday: 6 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Sunday: 6 a.m. to 12 a.m.

Yes, everyone knows about Central Park—but there are quite a few tucked away spots that most visitors aren't aware of. One that's worth checking out is the Ravine, a 90-acre woodland that features three waterfalls, also known as “The Loch” (Scottish for “lake”). A few moments here—whether you're having a quick lunch of taking a moment to reset—will make you forget you’re in the city, thanks to the towering trees conveniently blocking out distractions.

E 103rd St, New York, NY 10025

Located in Tudor City, this stunning 12-story atrium garden houses 40 different species of trees, vines and shrubs. It’s also surrounded by windows and offers plenty of natural sunlight, making it ideal for nature-lovers who could use a break from the blaring horns and busy streets.

If you've got extra time on your hans, stop by the Ford Foundation Gallery, which features artwork that addresses difficult questions relating to injustice.

320 East 43rd St., New York, NY 10017

8. Pomander Walk

In this gorgeous ode to 1920s England, you’ll notice rows of old-fashioned buildings that look like a quaint little English town in a period film. While the Upper West Side complex is only open to residents, passersby can get a glimpse of this picturesque street through the gates, located on 94th and 95th Streets. (And if you’re lucky enough to get an invite from a friendly resident, you can walk through this charming, serene little spot.)

Fun fact: Nancy Carroll, Herbert Stothart, Paulette Goddard and Michael Sorkin are just a few famous people who lived on this street.

260-274 West 95th Street west of Broadway, New York, NY 10025

nakeisha campbell bio

Associate Editor, News and Entertainment

Nakeisha has been interviewing celebrities and covering all things entertainment for over 8 years, but she has also written on a wide range of topics, like career...