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Cities with the best parks

Houston's park may be newer, but there is plenty to do there.

Houston's park may be newer, but there is plenty to do there.

One of the most enjoyable experiences when moving to a big city is the opportunity to explore the outdoors. There are some spots around the country that may be better for this than others. Sprawling parks with plenty of space to do your own thing, or places to meet up with new and old friends can make or break a move. Luckily, with so many opportunities around the nation, there may be a spot attractive enough to convince you to bring your moving boxes.

New York City
While there are many parks in most cities, there is usually one that sticks out beyond all else. New York City has Central Park, which is one of the most recognizable parks in the country, if not the world. Forbes notes that this park has a multitude of great attractions such as the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis River, Conservatory Gardens and also is the home of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It's a big place, though. So if you get too tired, or want to take some time to sit down and crack open a book, there's plenty of options. The park has approximately 9,000 benches in case your feet get tired.

While New York City may have the most famous park in the country, it certainly isn't the only notable one. Heading south to Texas will bring you to another great place to hang out. Houston is the home of Discovery Green Park. It is much newer than most in major cities, as it was created in 2008 after an overhaul of empty parking lots, Travel and Leisure explained. Despite its young age, it still has plenty to offer. There is not only a lake on the property, but also plenty of events throughout its 12 acres of space. One of the best times to check out the park may be during August, when the city hosts restaurant week.

San Francisco
Traveling to the West Coast will give you plenty of great landscapes and places to enjoy the outdoors. If San Francisco is on your radar, then you may want to visit Golden Gate Park. It is quite large - the park spans more than 1,000 acres - and has been around for more than 100 years. There's plenty more than park benches here, as well. This includes multiple lakes, windmills and a botanical gardens. It is also right on the Pacific Ocean, so you can get a great view of the water while you are there.

If you want a place that always has something going on, then traveling to Baltimore may be a fun area. The city is the home to Patterson Park, which holds many events during the year. It is also the home of the Kinetic Sculpture race, as well as the Great Halloween Lantern Parade, Travel and Leisure noted. There is also the Bike Jam, which is great for cycling enthusiasts. Much of the park is on the water, which can make for a fun summertime destination.

The Windy City is also home to a notable outdoor area, as it boasts Grant Park. There are more than 300 acres on the property, which may be fun for those who want a myriad of things to do. Forbes says that there are plenty of places to play sports, as well as a wide variety of areas specifically made for walking. It is also the home of multiple museums, so if you want a break from the outdoors, you may want to check one of these areas out.