Top spots for recreation in U.S. cities

Our shared public spaces play an important role in society, giving us a place to get outside, breathe some fresh air, be active and take in the scenery. To celebrate these amazing spots across the nation, 10Best partnered with a panel of experts to make the nominations, then we asked you, our readers, to vote for your favorites. The results are in.

Click on each category below to see the full winners list:

Best City Park: Forest Park in St. Louis, Missouri

Forest Park wins best city park in the U.S. for 2023 — Photo courtesy of Steve Jett – for Forest Park Forever

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, over 1.5 times the size of New York’s Central Park. The green space is widely used for outdoor recreation and features bicycle paths, jogging trails, baseball diamonds, soccer fields, boating and skating.

Full list of winners: Best City Park »

Best Public Square: Campus Martius in Detroit, Michigan

Campus Martius is an award-winning gathering placeCampus Martius is an award-winning gathering place — Photo courtesy of iStock / SerrNovik

Campus Martius Park serves as Detroit’s gathering place, where locals and visitors alike can come to take in the skyline views, people-watch around the Woodward Fountain, grab a meal from a food truck or go ice skating in winter.

Full list of winners: Best Public Square »

Best Recreational Trail: Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail in Orange Beach, Alabama

Enjoy the outdoors at the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry TrailEnjoy the outdoors at the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail — Photo courtesy of iStock / Cavan Images

You’re spoiled for choice at the Hugh S. Branyon Backcountry Trail complex, which offers seven trails across six different ecosystems. You can trek through wildflowers and tall pines on the Rosemary Dunes trail, take in the views from the overlook on the Gulf Oak Ridge trail, and enjoy the abundance of complex amenities, like the Butterfly Garden and the Pavilion.

Full list of winners: Best Recreational Trail »

Best Riverwalk: Detroit International RiverWalk in Detroit, Michigan

Take in the waterfront views on the Detroit International RiverWalkTake in the waterfront views on the Detroit International RiverWalk — Photo courtesy of Stephen McGee

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

Enjoy a bit of nature and city skyline on the Cuyahoga RiverEnjoy a bit of nature and city skyline on the Cuyahoga River — Photo courtesy of Ron Skinner

The Cuyahoga River runs through the heart of Cleveland, providing a popular spot for all sorts of water recreation. The Cuyahoga River Water Trail features five segments along the 85-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 nominees! Remember to visit 10Best.com daily to vote in our Readers’ Choice contests.

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