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Which U.S. cities have the best parks and public spaces?

  • February 27, 2021

Note from 10Best: Someday, we’ll all be ready to pack our suitcases again and head out on our next adventures. In the meantime, we’ll keep supporting the places that inspire us. Contact individual cities for the latest updates.

Our shared public spaces have become more important than ever in the past year, giving us a place to get outside, get active and breathe the fresh air in a safe and socially distanced way. We’re celebrating North America’s great public spaces. We asked you, our readers, to vote for your favorites. The results are in.

Click on each category below to see the full list of winners.

Best City Park: Gathering Place in Tulsa, Oklahoma

Winning park was designed with community engagement in mind — Photo courtesy of Gathering Place

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.

Full list of winners: Best City Park »

Best Public Square: Centerway Square in Corning, New York

This public square in Corning, New York is known for its clock tower and charming street lamps — Photo courtesy of Brian Maloney / Corning and the Southern Finger Lakes

The town of Corning was revitalized in 1989 when two blocks of street were replaced with the pedestrian plaza known as Centerway Square. This brick-paved area features a 50-foot clock tower, street lamps and a covered stage for live events.

Full list of winners: Best Public Square »

Best Recreational Trail: Chuck Huckelberry Loop in Tucson, Arizona

Tucson visitors and locals can get outdoors on this 130-mile loop — Photo courtesy of Pima County

The Chuck Huckelberry Loop in Tucson comprises 130 miles of paved paths and bike lanes (with more on the way). The path is open to cyclists, walkers, runners, horseback riders or skaters and connects parks and trailheads throughout the city.

Full list of winners: Best Recreational Trail »

Best Riverwalk: Detroit International RiverWalk in Michigan

Detroit’s riverfront redevelopment won over readers — Photo courtesy of Stephen McGee / Detroit Riverfront Conservancy

The riverfront redevelopment in Detroit, a city with 14 miles of shoreline along the Detroit River, is one of the city’s most exciting initiatives. The East Riverfront of the Detroit International RiverWalk stretches from Joe Louis Arena to Gabriel Richard Park and includes several parks, restaurants, splash parks and natural areas.

Full list of winners: Best Riverwalk »

Best Urban Kayaking Spot: Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio

Paddle in Cleveland on 20 miles of river — Photo courtesy of iStock / PapaBear

The Cuyahoga River runs through the heart of Cleveland, providing a popular sport for all sorts of water recreation. The Cuyahoga River Water Trail features five segments along the 87-mile river. The last segment comprises 20 miles of the river as it passes through Cleveland and into Lake Erie.

Full list of winners: Best Urban Kayaking Spot »

Congratulations to all these winning parks and public spaces!

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