Thursday, April 28, 2011

America's Coolest City Parks

Governors Island, New York City
Instead of lazing in Central Park’s Sheep Meadow or Great Lawn, head south for eclectic art, food events and even a sandy beach at this former military base off the tip of lower Manhattan.

Balboa Park, San Diego
The sprawling 1,200-acre Balboa Park packs in more than two dozen cultural institutions, including the Old Globe theatre, the San Diego Museum of Art and the famed San Diego Zoo.

Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
This iconic park—where the Summer of Love kicked off in 1967—has gotten at least some updates, including the newly redesigned de Young Museum and the California Academy of Sciences.

Papago Park, Phoenix / Tempe
Orange-red geological rock formations like Hole-in-the-Rock have been a fixture of this 1,200-acre park for millennia. The Desert Botanical Garden, a more recent addition, nurtures cacti and succulents—amid a rotating collection of modern art.

Grant Park, Chicago
The northwest corner, dubbed Millennium Park, made headlines when it opened in 2004 with the Frank Gehry–designed Jay Pritzker Pavilion and Anish Kapoor’s stainless-steel Cloud Gate—the shiny bean-shaped sculpture that’s become an icon.

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