Cities have everything -- great people, great food, great public transportation -- the list goes on and on. But sometimes they don't have the one thing that everyone wants, which is typically a little slice of nature. So we've located a few places within some of the world's busiest cities, where in just a few steps you feel a whole world away.
1. New York City, New York
Population: Roughly 8.4 million
Escape: Chelsea High Line
While New York City is known as an urban jungle all in itself, this little slice of green is available for those who just want to see a bit more green and a little less people. Even though Central Park is an obvious choice for little getaways, it's okay to prefer a walk along the High Line to a more massive park.
2. Venice, Italy
Population: About 270,000
Even though Venice is a fairly small city, it still gets busy come tourist season (which appears to be almost year round). So when the crowds become too much, we suggest heading to Pellestrinia, a fisherman's town just across the way. After a day of swimming at the spacious beach, book a table at Da Celeste, one of Venice's best seafood restaurants.
3. London, England
Population: Roughly 8.2 million
Escape: Secret (and not-so-secret) gardens
Why anyone would want to "get out of London" is baffling to us, there are places where peace and quiet (usually) trump noisy American tourists searching for Big Ben. While strolling through Kensington Gardens can be a hit or miss with tourists, we suggest hiding out in one of these beautiful secret gardens (that you might have to break in to).
4. Mumbai, India
Population: Roughly 13 million
Escape: Sanjay Gandhi National Park
The Sanjay Gandhi National Park is a favorite city escape for Mumbaikars, and a new program at the park provides the perfect weekend escape for those who want to just sit back, stargaze, and interact with nature without leaving the city.
5. Chicago, Illinois
Population: About 2.7 million
Escape: Oak Street Beach
One look at the picture and you're more inclined to think "Miami" than "beaches of Chicago." Indeed, this is the Windy City, and Oak Street Beach is the perfect break for anyone looking to play some beach volleyball while temps skyrocket. Alcohol rules are conservative, but sunscreen should be applied liberally.6. Barcelona, Spain
Population: Roughly 1.6 million
Escape: Parc de la Ciutadella
If you think your city escape has everything, then you probably haven't been to Parc de la Ciutadella in Barcelona. With museums, a zoo, summer music festivals, beautiful fountains and a small lake, you may never venture back out into the city again.
7. Brisbane, Australia
Population: A little over 2 million
Escape: Streets Beach, South Bank Parklands
Even though Australia has plenty of beaches, within the city of Brisbane, residents decided to build their own and call it "Streets Beach." Because Brisbane has weather that most cities only dream of, the beach is open year round and always has lifeguards on duty. Quick swim over lunch? Sounds like the perfect city escape to us.
8. Bangkok, Thailand
Population: About 8 million
Escape: Bangkok Tree House
Bangkok can get pretty busy, but there's one way to ensure that you're looking down on the crowds instead of being caught in them. Instead of staying at a regular hotel, try out a treehouse! The Tree House is an eco-friendly way to stay sane, as the only noise you'll be hearing are the singing cicadas among the mangrove palms.9. San Francisco, California
Population: About 837,000
Escape: Golden Gate Park
You'll forget about the tourists crowding Union Square and Fisherman's Wharf just as soon as you step into Golden Gate Park. While it's no secret that the park caters to over 13 million visitors a year, you'll be able to drum up your own sort of peace and quiet standing among the waterfalls, gardens, lakes and trails that make up the park.
10. Hong Kong, China
Population: Roughly 7 million
Escape: Golden Beach
Sure, there might be a some smog overhead, but you'll be able to breathe a little easier once you can relax on Hong Kong's Golden Beach. Built in the Tuen Mun district, it's the only beach in the area with a volleyball court. Just be sure to pack both your sunscreen and your A-game the next time you head down.