7 Top US Cities with Green Spaces for Nature Lovers ...


7 Top US Cities with Green Spaces for Nature Lovers ...
7 Top US Cities with Green Spaces for Nature Lovers ...

It’s easy for nature lovers to dismiss urban destinations as places to go, but there are some top US cities with green spaces where your countryside loving mojo can still be fed and watered. I know that it’s nothing unusual for towns and cities to have green spaces – after all, which urban area doesn’t have a park – but if you’re a countryside loving traveler, you want to know that any city you visit has some brilliant green spaces you can bolt to when overwhelmed by the concrete jungle. Here’s some of the major cities with green spaces the USA can be proud of.

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Albuquerque, New Mexico

Hot air ballooning, Hot air balloon, Balloon, Air sports, Vehicle, Boasting the highest percentage of metro-area parkland, 28 percent of the largest city in New Mexico is devoted to parks and green space, making it number one on my list of cities with green spaces. And with 310 days of sunshine annually, you’ve plenty of nice sunny weather to enjoy the urban green space, as well as the area’s seven national parks. Check out the spectacular landscape of El Malpais National Monument, which was formed by volcanic activity over a million years ago, or stroll along Albuquerque’s streets, where adobes that date back hundreds of years dot the Old Town, while lively shops, bars and restaurants line Nob Hill, one of the city’s hippest locales.


San Francisco, California

Bridge, Water, Sea, Headland, Sky, San Fran’s 220 parks and urban green spaces make it one of the greenest cities on the planet. Surrounded by 11 national parks and home to the fifth most-visited US park, Golden Gate Park, San Franciscans love the great outdoors, which is clear as day with one walk along the city’s famously steep streets, throughout which a number of smaller parks are interspersed. In fact, San Franciscans love a great many things – free love started here with the hippies, after all – and you’ll never find yourself feeling guarded, as this city is one of the most open and free cities in the nation. Whether laying about enjoying the sun in any one of the city’s urban parks, or having a pint in an underground Prohibition-era speakeasy or vintage saloon, San Fran is certainly one of the spunkiest and artiest cities with green spaces.


San Jose, California

Land vehicle, Car, Vehicle, Classic car, Classic, San Jose was founded in 1777, making it California’s oldest Spanish civilian settlement. Nine national parks lie within a hundred-mile radius of San Jose, while green space covers 14 percent of the city’s land. Although San Jose has always been overshadowed by San Francisco, the city is an up-and-comer, with prosperous high-tech firms, new housing development and industrial parks quite literally changing the city’s landscape. A local favorite urban green space, Kelley Park lies at the north end of the Coyote River Park Chain, covering 172 acres, and featuring the History Park Museum, the Japanese Friendship Garden, and the Happy Hollow Park and Zoo.


Washington, DC

Sky, Landmark, Dusk, Daytime, Sunset, It’s only right that the nation’s capital set a green example to promote cities with green space; and D.C. does just that, offering up many urban green spaces in which to escape the party name-calling and finger-pointing on the political playground. The two most famous bits of D.C. green space are, of course, President’s Park and the National Mall. However, a number of other parks spot the city, including the Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens, which is definitely worth a visit if you’re looking to channel your inner Monet and paint some water lilies or lotuses. Besides nature, the nation’s capital also boasts superb museums, such as the Smithsonian, the Folger, and the Kennedy Center.


Sacramento, California

Sky, City, Daytime, Metropolitan area, Cityscape, Though East Coasters might turn up their noses at California’s frequent presence on this list, the fact is that the “sunshine state” is simply built for green space, and the state’s capital, Sacramento, is no different. Located along two rivers and within a hundred-mile vicinity of twelve national parks, Sacramento itself contains McKinley Park Rose Garden, with over a thousand tree roses and rose bushes, as well as so many wonderful urban green spaces that the city offers detailed park amenity guides for its most popular parks. While, in being the state capital, Sacramento is largely politically driven, it also has a softer side, with Old Sacramento evoking the olden days, with wooden sidewalks, river boats and ice cream parlors.


Phoenix, Arizona

Sky, Nature, Sunset, Red sky at morning, Sunrise, Phoenix is a fair-weather city, boasting only around 8 inches of rain a year, which provides its residents with plenty of reason to take a stroll in the park. And Phoenix has plenty of park, the largest of which is South Mountain Park, covering over 16,000 acres, making it the biggest municipal park in the country. With 51 miles of hiking, biking and horseback riding trails, you’ve got a lot of ground to cover, so you’d better get going! Make sure you’ve still time to visit the Desert Botanical Garden as well, which is home to over 50,000 desert plants.


Baltimore, Maryland

Building, Neighbourhood, Property, Town, Mixed-use, Beautiful Baltimore is famous for its waterways, such as Chesapeake Bay, and for its gorgeous landscape which features plenty of urban green space to enjoy. Prince William Park is home to the largest Eastern Piedmont Forest, and has a 37-mile network of hiking trails, while Pierce’s Park houses fantastic sculptures designed by local artists, as well as a musical fence and a willow tunnel. The city is also chock full of ethnic restaurants, hip shops, museums, colorful culture and, of course, sports.

You’ll notice I didn’t mention New York – does Central Park need to be mentioned? And I’m pretty sure I’ll hear from you all who live in great cities with green spaces - I hope so! Please do tell!

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Where Thoughts and Opinions Converge

Baltimore baby

Good article. except that Cali is the "golden state"...Florida is the sunshine state. Also I'm from the Houston area and we have a lot of greenery and parks:) most of them dog friendly

Portland, Oregon?

Good article. Hopefully moving in between Sacramento and San Francisco later this year

Austin, TX

I'm sorry but Phoenix is an awful place to live!!!

Prince William Park is in Virginia, not Baltimore, MD!!

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