Warinanco Park

Where to Get Outdoors in Elizabeth

Grab your family and head outside! If your travels bring you to Elizabeth, you’ll no doubt find unlimited options when it comes to outdoor activities. From food-filled picnics and scenic hikes to water parks and fishing, this historic city is full of nature trails and recreational parks that are perfect for all your socially distanced activities.

We’ve rounded up a few fun outdoor spots where you can create fond summer memories.

Parks and nature trails

Though Elizabeth is a pretty urban town, it’s home to plenty of parks and nature trails that offer an escape from the hustle and bustle.

Whether on bike or on foot, trek the mile-and-a-half-long Elizabeth River Trail. With walking and biking paths as well as artwork from local artists along the way, there’s always something to look at. The trail starts on South Broad Street and runs along the Elizabeth River all the way down to Clifton Street.

If you’re looking for a more leisurely day outdoors, spread a picnic blanket over a grassy field in picturesque Warinanco Park designed by architect Frederick Olmsted, the mind behind New York’s Central Park and Asheville North Carolina’s Biltmore Estate. The 205-acre park features paddle boat rentals, nature trails, and even a beautiful azalea and tulip garden. Be sure to stop and smell the flowers! Not far east is Mattano Park if you’re looking for a fun, sports outing. The park features long stretches of green space perfect for playing frisbee or catch, as well as basketball courts and soccer fields.

For an even more scenic outing, visit Veteran’s Memorial Waterfront Park, which features gorgeous views of the New York City skyline. The park is home to a fishing pier, boardwalk, and a city-run marina housing pleasure and fishing boats. Park your bike in a nearby rack and sit at a bench to take in the view.

Water parks

If you’re not a fan of the summer heat, you can still keep cool outdoors thanks to the city’s spray parks and pools, many of which reopened on July 3. The following water attractions are offering four 90-min sessions daily on a first-come, first-served basis:

  • Erxleben pool (515 Richmond Street)
  • Miller Evans Logan Spray Park (163 First Street)
  • Mickey Walker Spray Park (800 Anna Street)
  • Green Acres Park (169 Bellevue Street)

These attractions are open 9 AM-6:30 PM (times are subject to change) with special hours for seniors on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 9 AM.

Farmers Market

If you don’t feel comfortable shopping at an indoor mall just yet, you can still get your shopping fix at the neighborhood farmers market. Every Tuesday between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., Alstede Farms is open for business, now through Nov. 24, at Union Square Plaza on Elizabeth Avenue. Keep in mind, all shoppers must wear masks and social distancing rules apply.

Historic Walking Tour

Go on a self-guided walking tour of Elizabeth’s past. Learn about the city’s rich history dating back to 1664 via this tour through midtown. Make sure to bring plenty of water and wear comfortable shoes. You wouldn’t want to miss any part of the 3.5-mile tour that features the Bonnell House and Boxwood Hall, among other historic sites.

This tour may be about the past, but it’s pretty high-tech. Each historic site features QR codes, which you can scan with your smartphone after downloading the QR code reader app. As a result, you’ll have access to audio descriptions of each historical site, and learn even more about Elizabeth.

However choose to spend your day outdoors, stay safe, and have fun!

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