Little Island in New York City is the little park that could
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USA Travel


New York City is famous for an ever-growing number of reasons, not that there weren’t enough to begin with. Now, you can add Little Island Park to that list, a concept that is both unique and intriguing, much like the city it can be found in.

That’s saying a lot, considering New York is already home to world-famous urban green spaces like Central Park. At the same time, Little Island Park is something special and another experience you have to work into your trip to the city that never sleeps.

History on the Hudson

Little Island, New York City

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – AUGUST 13: People sit at tables on the Little Island at Hudson River Park on August 13, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)

The Hudson River is as key to New York’s identity as Broadway, pizza, and crapping on Staten Island. Its history goes back long before the area was settled by Europeans. And it should go without saying that the area has changed drastically since then.

Starting in the 1800s, the Hudson was transformed into a bustling waterfront, which defined it for a long time. As is often the case, the overall area waterfront fell into disrepair and remained that way until the 1970s rolled around.

Pier 54, in particular, grew in prominence through the 1980s and 1990s. It became a huge part of the local LGBTQ scene, even serving as a focal point for the annual Pride festivities. Then, the Hudson River Park came along, which also included this pier.

Building the Little Island Park

The process of building and designing Little Island started in 2013, not that long after Hurricane Sandy tore up the coast. Pier 54 in particular took heavy damage, opening an opportunity to create something new and different.

Little Island’s design is a flawless combination of form, function, and creativity, all of it erupting from the waters of the Hudson River. This man-made island has quickly become a key New York destination for locals and visitors alike.

The design of Little Island drew inspiration from the remaining wooden piles from the pier. But the look of it is anything but, from the actual makeup of the island itself all the way to the intriguing landscaping layout.

Going to the park

Little Island, New York City

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JULY 25: A view of the Little Island on Pier 55 is seen as summer entertainment returns on July 25, 2021 in New York City. Pier 55 is the location of the newly constructed Little island and is the location from where the RMS Lusitania departed on her ill fated journey. It is also where a ship docked with the survivors from the Titanic disaster. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)

The fact that this park is built in the river is enough of a reason to stop by when you’re in New York. Its 2.4 acres are filled with a variety of plants as you would expect from a park. But it also offers unparalleled views of the river and the city.

There’s also an amphitheater, a playground, and more for people to enjoy. On top of that, there is an ongoing selection of programming and entertainment available. But it’s important to keep in mind that you have to book a time in advance and it has hours of operation.

Little Island Park is certainly worth adding to your trip to New York City. Plan ahead and make a day of it. This is just another example of how this city keeps finding new ways to make itself stand out to the millions of people who visit every year.



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