Fodor's Expert Review Carl Schurz Park
Facing the East River, this park, named for a German immigrant who was a prominent newspaper editor in the 19th century, is so tranquil you'd never guess you're directly above the FDR Drive. Walk along the promenade and take in views of the river and the Roosevelt Island Lighthouse across the way. To the north are Randalls and Wards Islands and the RFK Bridge (aka the Triborough Bridge)—as well as the more immediate sight of locals pushing strollers, riding bikes, or walking their dogs. If you use the 86th Street entrance, you'll find yourself near the grounds of a Federal-style wood-frame house that belies the grandeur of its name: Gracie Mansion.