JS Editors’ Favorite Places to Relax in NYC
Yes, it is possible to find some peace and quiet in NYC. Trust us, we know this city well. From a soothing spa in the Lower East Side to a little-known sculpture park in Soho, here are the places we like to go to relax.
Fort Tryon Park
“Fort Tryon Park feels worlds away from Manhattan, and it is, in a way. The 40-minute subway ride from Midtown is no picnic, but the trek is completely worth it. The views of the Hudson are spectacular, and you’re right by the Cloisters, a reconstructed monastery and one of my favorite museums. I love going in the fall, when the turning leaves set the gardens aglow in fiery hues of red and orange.”
– Lindsey Olander, Senior Editor
“For a pampering relaxation day, I have to give it to Chillhouse—it’s all in the name. The trendy spa/sanctuary in the Lower East Side is the perfect place to unwind with a healthy latte (you can’t beat the Chill Me Out, infused with ashwagandha and reishi), splurge on a zen massage and non-toxic mani, and pick up some new wellness goodies (think CBD supplements and skincare essentials) in the shop.”
– Jackie Homan, Editorial Assistant
New York Public Library
“There’s something I find incredibly soothing about the New York Public Library. I love the Beaux Arts architecture, the sky-high stacks of books, the tables filled with people reading, researching and studying—and the rooms are always so quiet.”
– Clara Sedlak, Executive Editor
"After a long work week, there’s nothing I love more than heading to the beach for some much needed rest. My go-to is usually Fort Tilden, a much chiller spot compared to neighboring Jacob Riis. I just pack my collapsible cooler full of beer, grab the perfect beach read, and spend the day doing nothing but lying in the sun."
– David Hattan, Photo Editor
"Finding relaxation in NYC isn't easy, and I’m still not sure I’ve found my favorite spot to kick back. But if I had to choose, I'd go with Battery Park. I love having the water on one side, and the looming domino-like buildings on the other. There’s always a slight breeze, too, which is a huge plus in the August heat."
– Tyler Schoeber, Production Specialist
"When I need to unwind, my go-to places are the obvious ones—the Met, Prospect Park, or a movie at Nitehawk. But for the days when the regular spots just won’t cut it, I’ll treat myself to a facial at Heyday. The place has a holistic outlook on skincare, and they only use high-quality clean products. I always leave relaxed and much more educated about my skin, and with facials ranging from $65 to $140, this is one indulgence that I don’t have to feel guilty about."
– Gretchen Dorosz, Senior Photo Editor
Elizabeth Street Garden
"Elizabeth Street Garden is a gem. It’s a quirky little community garden in Nolita with sculptures and pockets of seating, and feels completely magical. When I’m in need of a little break, it's the perfect spot to go read for a while, with a cup of coffee in hand."
– Saman Westberg, Style Editor at Large