Although all of Riverside Park is beautiful and worth visiting, the one place I would suggest above all is the 79th Street Boat Basin. The walking path is right next to the Hudson River and there are great views of the river, George Washington Bridge, and the coasts of Manhattan and New Jersey.
If you have a day off from work during the week, I’d recommend grabbing lunch to go in the Village and taking it up to the Boat Basin. There, you can walk out either on the Trump Pier, which extends fairly far into the water and has a lot of room to sit, or go to the docks where the boats are tied up. I enjoyed sitting on the wooden dock and watching both the visitors and the houseboat residents.
Hanging out on the piers is a good way to feel like you’ve escaped the city. During the day it’s quiet enough that you could get some work done or simply read for pleasure, write, listen to music, or sit with friends. Spending some time by the water in the unexpected atmosphere of a houseboat dock helped me relax and see the city from a much different angle.
If you’re looking for a place to unwind or to get away from Manhattan for a while, bring something to eat and something to do (or nothing to do, that works just as well) and head up to the 79th Street Boat Basin.