Best City Park (2021)


As we continue to social distance, our public outdoor spaces are more important than ever. City parks offer a place to get outdoors, breathe the fresh air and enjoy a sense of community.

  • Gathering Place

    Gathering Place
    Tulsa, Oklahoma

    Gathering Place, a new riverfront park in Tulsa, was designed as an inclusive green space where residents and visitors alike can relax and engage with one another. The expansive park makes use of more than 6 million gallons of water and 80 tree species, with attractions like multi-story fireplaces, an adventure playground, boathouse, sensory garden and a reading tree.
    Photo courtesy of Gathering Place

  • Forest Park (St. Louis)

    Forest Park (St. Louis)
    St. Louis, Missouri

    Located in the heart of St. Louis, Forest Park encompasses nearly 1,400 acres of land. It is one of the largest urban parks in the United States, nearly a third larger than New York City's Central Park. The park is widely used for outdoor recreation and features bicycle paths, jogging trails, baseball diamonds, soccer fields, boating and skating.
    Photo courtesy of Forest Park Forever

  • Hermann Park

    Hermann Park
    Houston, Texas

    This sprawling green space in the heart of the Texas Medical Center was gifted to the city of Houston in 1914 by George Hermann. Today, the park is home to the Houston Zoo, Houston Museum of Natural Science, and the Miller Outdoor Theatre, as well as a Japanese garden, a rose garden and a golf course (one of the first desegregated public courses in the country).
    Photo courtesy of Lance Childers / Visit Houston

  • Patterson Park

    Patterson Park
    Baltimore, Maryland

    Patterson Park in Baltimore occupies an important battlefield from the War of 1812. These days, the oldest park in Baltimore features a pagoda, two ice rinks, playgrounds, basketball and tennis courts, athletic fields, picnic pavilions and a boat lake.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / SerrNovik

  • Falls Park

    Falls Park
    Sioux Falls, South Dakota

    Walkable from downtown Sioux Falls, the 123-acre Falls Park is famously the home of the city's namesake cascade, where 7,400 gallons of water per second make the 100-foot plunge. Visitors can see the remains of the Queen Bee Mill on the river's east side.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / KatieDobies

  • White River State Park

    White River State Park
    Indianapolis, Indiana

    White River State Park occupies 250 acres in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. In addition to its trails, waterways and green spaces, the park is also home to several big ticket attractions, like the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites, Indianapolis Zoo, Eiteljorg Museum and the NCAA Hall of Champions.
    Photo courtesy of Visit Indy

  • Falls Park on the Reedy

    Falls Park on the Reedy
    Greenville, South Carolina

    Mayors visit from all over the country to study Greenville's redeveloped riverfront. The small but scenic Reedy River passes through the heart of downtown, its surprising waterfalls best viewed from an award-winning pedestrian suspension bridge that spans the falls within Falls Park.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / Nikola Spasic Photography

  • Fairmount Park

    Fairmount Park
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    Encompassing more than 2,050 acres, Philadelphia’s Fairmont Park provides city residents and visitors alike with an expansive natural landscape to explore. Horseback riders, off-road cyclers and hikers will find miles of trails, while a Victorian-style trolley takes visitors on tours of the park’s many Colonial-era mansions. Kids love the park’s many play areas, as well as the Philadelphia Zoo – America’s oldest.
    Photo courtesy of Fairmount Park Conservancy

  • Gas Works Park

    Gas Works Park
    Seattle, Washington

    This rather unique park on the site of a former coal gasification plant is now one of Seattle’s favorite spots for picnicking and bicycling on the shores of Lake Union. Visitors will find a play area, a big hill popular for kite flying and stellar views of the Seattle skyline.
    Photo courtesy of iStock / SEASTOCK

  • Klyde Warren Park

    Klyde Warren Park
    Dallas, Texas

    Perched atop a sunken freeway, this nationally acclaimed 5-acre oasis is just one of the examples of what makes Dallas' downtown area so dynamic. The park was opened in 2012 for the purpose of encouraging more pedestrian foot traffic to the area as well as to be a central gathering place for locals and visitors to enjoy. There are also special areas within the park allocated for kids, for dogs and for playing board games. A variety of food trucks park alongside.
    Photo courtesy of Klyde Warren Park


The top 10 winners in the category Best City Park are as follows:

  1. Gathering Place - Tulsa
  2. Forest Park (St. Louis)
  3. Hermann Park - Houston
  4. Patterson Park - Baltimore
  5. Falls Park - Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  6. White River State Park - Indianapolis
  7. Falls Park on the Reedy - Greenville, South Carolina
  8. Fairmount Park - Philadelphia
  9. Gas Works Park - Seattle
  10. Klyde Warren Park - Dallas

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to pick the initial nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote.

Congratulations to all these winning parks!

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James Brasuell

James Brasuell

James Brasuell

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