Hell Gate Wildflower Meadow & Picnic Area

New York

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You probably associate Randall's and Wards Islands with athletic fields and music festivals, but you don't need an event to make visiting worthwhile. The island's gardens dress up an already scenic chunk of land, and one of its best is the 14,000-square-foot meadow beside the Hell Gate Bridge that's known for its several species of native Northeast plants. Look out at Astoria beyond the East River as you breathe in fresh oxygen, and think about all the sorry New Yorkers who will never experience such serenity.

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