Everyone’s heard of the magnificent park located on the island of Manhattan. We’ve all seen it as the backdrop to many blockbuster films and some of us have been lucky enough to experience its spectacular beauty for ourselves.
As one of the most visited urban parks in the world, Central Park boasts an enchanting collection of places to visit and activities to do, all within the park itself.
If you’re planning to visit this iconic park, don’t be thinking that you can casually cover it all in one day, because with over 800 acres of parklands, lakes, bridges, gardens and monuments, it can get a tad overwhelming (I speak from experience). Who ever heard of a hurried and stressful stroll through a park anyway?
If, like most people you don’t have a whole week to roam the winding paths of Central Park, there are a few places you should definitely try and visit even if you have a limited amount of time. Plus, you probably want to venture out of the park and explore the rest of the city too! There is, after all, much to experience in The Big Apple, am I right?
For the traveller who doesn’t want to miss a thing in the beautiful Central Park, here are a few must see spots to visit while you’re there…
1. Bethesda Fountain
The fountain represents the first fresh water system in New York City, which was developed in 1842. The angel on top of the fountain carries a lily flower, which is a symbol of the purity of the water. You will find the fountain in the middle of the park, just above 72nd street.
2. Row Boats
From April to November you can paddle your own rowboat through the willow branches on the picturesque Central Park Lake, right next to the Bethesda Fountain and terrace. It’s only $15 to hire a boat for an hour and you can organise your rowboat at The Loeb Boathouse.
3. The Carousel
Since 1871, the Central Park Carousel has been delighting children throughout the summer months. This iconic park favourite can be found in the middle of the park at 64th street.
4. The Zoo
General admission to the zoo ranges from about $10-$20 depending on the type of experience you are after. Highlights are the zoo’s 4D theatre and the penguin and sea lion feeding sessions. You can enter the zoo on 64th street and 5th Avenue.
5. The Bow Bridge
Originally built in 1959, the historical Bow Bridge is a favourite spot for many photographers. Its romantic setting is why it has been in so many movies, including ‘Enchanted’, ‘Night at the Museum’ and ‘Autumn in New York’. You’ll find the Bow Bridge in the middle of the park at 74th street, just West of Bethesda Fountain.
6. The Loeb Boathouse
Enjoy a delightful brunch at the Lakeside Restaurant at the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park. The Boathouse is also a popular place for weddings. How romantic! Hint: you can see the boathouse when standing beside the lake, just behind Bethesda Fountain.
7. Belvedere Castle
Belvedere Castle is one of Central Park’s visitor centres and gift stores. Here you will find the best view of the surrounding parklands, which is a great way to get your bearings in such a large park. You can find the castle in the middle of the park at 79th street.
Have you explored the natural beauty of Central Park? Let me know in the comments below, which part of the park is your absolute favourite.
Until next time,
Images via Dollar Photo Club