Central Park is one of the most iconic landmarks of New York City. This expansive 843-acre green space surrounded by the skyscrapers of Manhattan – beautiful through all seasons and weather – is a wonderful place to connect with nature in the middle of the big city.
Home to many attractions including lakes, forests, meadows, sculptures, and monuments, it offers a variety of activities for park visitors to enjoy. This place attracts millions of tourists every year and is one of the favorite locations for New Yorkers to escape from the busy and often stressful city life.
The area is vast and requires at least a day or more to explore and experience the plentiful delights the park has to offer. Let me take you through some of the “must visits” when at Central Park.
The Mall – The beautiful promenade lined with towering American elm trees is a perfect place for taking a stroll. At the southern end of the Mall is the Literary Walk, which is flanked by statues of renowned literary figures including William Shakespeare, Sir Walter Scott, and Robert Burns and many others. It is also a spot for street performers, roller-skaters, skate-boarders and vendors.
Dairy – The Victorian Gothic style structure was constructed in 1870 to provide milk and snacks for children, as during those times, fresh milk was difficult to get at any place in the city. Now it serves as an Information Centre, providing details about the park, its events, activities etc. It also houses a gift shop where beautiful souvenirs can be purchased.
Bethesda Terrace – This architectural marvel, is one of the key highlights of the park. The walls and pillars of the terrace are adorned with intricate sculptures. Many of the city’s finest street musicians can be seen performing there as this place provides a wonderful backdrop and natural acoustics for them to perform. Grand Bethesda Fountain, also known as ‘Angel of the Waters’, located nearby, gives additional beauty to this place.
Belvedere Castle – Perched high atop Vista Rock, is the second-highest natural elevation point in Central Park; this little stone castle offers breathtaking vistas of the park and the Manhattan skyline.
The Lake – This large, beautiful lake is the most popular place to hang out. Rowboats can be rented for boating to experience the beauty of the area surrounding the lake. There is also a restaurant and bar – Loen Boathouse overlooking the lake for those who would like to stop by for some delicious food and drinks while enjoying the magnificent view of the lake.
These are a few key attractions in this sprawling park. Take your pick and explore the beauty and grandeur of this park at your own pace. It is a must visit place even if it appears too expansive to explore at first look.