Best park in America? Discovery Green beats out Central Park in coolest citypark rankings
New Yorkers have had a century of being smug about having Central Park as their backyard. Well, no more.
Travel + Leisure searched around the country for the best, the most exciting and the coolest city parks for their April issue, and Central Park didn't make the cut — but Houston's Discovery Green did.
Just three years old — and celebrating that milestone with a celebration Wednesday afternoon — Discovery Green got plaudits for its abundance of entertainment, with T+L noting that it has hosted over 800 events in that short time, including the recent Big Dance concerts by Kings of Leon and Kenny Chesney.
"It’s a place where people can kick back and relax,” Discovery Green founding president Guy Hagstette told the magazine, while noting that the transformation of the 12-acre stretch of the east side of Houston's downtown from parking lot to green space has also spurred $500 million in development in the area.
Other new and revitalized parks that made the list include Chicago's Grant Park, City Park in New Orleans, San Diego's Balboa Park and Governors Island in New York — you didn't think the Big Apple would be completely shut out, did you?
One area in which Travel + Leisure missed the mark? Recommending visitors check out Discovery Green during the sweltering days of August. While Houston Restaurant Week is a great time to explore the city's restaurants on the cheap, it's not when we want to be outdoors. Houstonians know March, April, September and October are when Houston's weather is most fitting for an outdoor adventure.
Is Discovery Green better than Central Park? What about Hermann or Memorial? Tell us what you think.