So, where can you find some peace and quiet in the city that never shuts up? Scroll on for nine spots to escape the noise.
402 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10029
Central Park’s Conservatory Garden is the perfect place to stop and smell the flowers, and we mean that quite literally. This six-acre formal garden is divided into three smaller plots—English, French, and Italian—each exuding its own characteristic charm. How does this sanctuary manage to maintain its stillness amidst the hoards of visitors each day? Well, it’s a designated “quiet zone.”
476 5th Avenue, New York, NY 10018
It should come as no surprise that a reading room is quiet—but what sets the New York Public Library’s Rose Main Reading Room apart is its sheer majesty. This historic space (which recently underwent a $12-million renovation) spans nearly two city blocks. It also boasts 52-foot-tall ceilings with ornate embellishments and cloud murals.
New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden
4 2nd Avenue, Staten Island, NY 11232
Inspired by the remarkable gardens of the Ming Dynasty, this halcyon haven is one of only two authentic scholar’s gardens in the United States. The ambitious rock formations, koi ponds, and bamboo-lined paths recall the famously poeticized scenery of ancient China.
217 E 51st Street, New York, NY 10022
Designed by the landscape architecture firm Sasaki, Dawson & DeMay, Greenacre Park is what’s known as a “vest pocket park.” Despite its rather diminutive size (approximately 60 feet wide by 120 feet deep), it’s textural variation and pristine condition make it feel much larger, and the shaded terrace offers a reprieve from the sun. Our recommendation? Grab a smoothie at the nearby Juice Press, and sip it while watching the cascading fountain.
Tatami Suite at The Kitano New York
66 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10016
There is perhaps no accommodation better suited for an evening of full-on zen than the Tatami Suite at The Kitano New York. Set on the 17th floor, this authentic, Japanese-style one-bedroom features soundproof windows, shoji paper screens, and a soaking tub.
New York Botanical Garden
2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx, NY 10458
In a city that’s home to more than 8.5 million people, the New York Botanical Garden is one of those rare places where you can get away from it all. This sprawling, 250-acre paradise abounds with such beauty and serenity, not even the sound of the Metro-North Harlem line whistling in the distance is enough to convince you that you’re still in the Big Apple.
163 West 10th St, New York, NY 10014
While the West Village may be full of charm, character, and quaint shops, there is nowhere quite like Té Company. This tiny tearoom serves Taiwanese oolong with a side of tranquility—while technology might have taken over the rest of the city, in this tea-steeped fantasyland, phone calls are not part of “Té Etiquette.” As a result, pineapple linzer cookies are the only thing you’ll be picking up.
The Met Cloisters
99 Margaret Corbin Drive, New York, NY 10040
It may just be a quick 30-minute subway ride from Penn Station, but The Cloisters feel like a world—and certainly another era—away. While strolling the French monastery—replete with marble columns, stained glass, and medieval-replica gardens on the idyllic four-acre stretch of the Hudson River—you begin to feel less like you’re at an exhibition, and more like you’re truly experiencing the epoque in all its Gothic glory.
Aire Ancient Baths
88 Franklin Street, New York, NY 10013
Guided by the ancient Greco-Roman bath traditions, Aire is a pampering respite from the commotion and congestion of the city. After a few hours of soaking in the tranquil waters, you might even forget that the outside is a bustling metropolis… that is, until you have to take the subway home.