Guide To NYC: Central Park

Central Park

Central Park is a 843 acre oasis in the middle of the concrete jungle. It includes meadows, forests, lakes, monuments, and architecture. The park itself is so vast, it can be hard to see it all in a day. Even visiting Central Park numerous times, I found myself missing a lot of the different activities, because I was only able to hit 2 or 3 of the activities in a day. I will be highlighting the best things to see, and also places to eat in the park (or just pack some snacks on you because you will get hungry quickly!).

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What To See

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The Pond
  •  The Pond
    • This serene body of water is a great place to take a break from the bustling city. The hill above the pond is the Hallet Nature Sanctuary, which is occasionally open to visitors. The Gapstow Bridge, located at the pond’s northern point, has been in numerous photos and films, and also a great place to pop the question.
    • East Side at 62nd street
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Central Park Zoo
  • Central Park Zoo
    • Children and adults will love this zoo as it contains a variety of different animals, from 3 different global zones, such as tropical, temperate, and polar. Feeding times are at 11:30am, 2pm, and 4pm, make sure to get there at least 15 minutes before the show to get a good viewing spot!
    • East Side between 63rd and 66th streets, enter at 5th avenue at 64th street
    • Monday-Sunday 10am-5:30pm
    • $12 for general admission
    • $9 for seniors
    • $7 for children
    • $0 for children under 3
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The Mall
  • The Mall
    • This promenade is lined by towering elm trees, creating a canopy which looks gorgeous any time of the season. Along the walkway you will find statues of renowned authors, as well as benches to sit and take in the view. You will also find street performers, vendors, and roller skaters and skateboarders.
    • Midpark from 66th to 72nd street
Sheep-Meadow
Sheep Meadow
  • Sheep Meadow
    • This field is a favorite of New Yorkers to go and play Frisbee, soak up the sun, or have a picnic. This is also a great place to people watch, and just relax, but if you want a shady spot, get there around 11am when the park opens as people come flocking in quickly.
    • West Side between 66th and 68th street, enter at Central Park West and 66th street
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Bethesda Terrace
  • Bethesda Terrace
    •  Check out the Bethesda Terrace with views of the grand Bethesda Fountain (aka “Angel of the Waters”) and the lake. Step inside the terrace to view the walls and pillars which are adorned with statues by Jacob Wrey Mould, and look up at the ceiling at the intricate Minton tiles while musicians play all around you.
    • Midpark from 71st to 79th street, enter at 5th avenue and 72nd street
    • This is one of my favorite places to go in Central Park…so I think it is only right to include a couple more pictures of the area 🙂

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Stunning, right?

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Conservatory Water Boat Race
  • Conservatory Water
    • This pond is a favorite spot for kids to operate miniature remote-controlled sailboats, and has been featured in many photos, films, and books. Nearby is the Hans Christian Anderson and Alice in Wonderland statues, which is another beloved spot by kids.
    • East 72nd street
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The Lake
  • The Lake
    • Take a romantic boat ride around the lake, or let someone else paddle for you on a Venetian Gondola ride. It is located by the Loeb Boathouse Restaurant (past Bethesda Terrace), and it also expands out to the Bow Bridge, before opening up to an expanse of water and skyline.
    • Boat Rides
      • $12/hour
      • $2.50 for each additional 15 minutes
      • $20 deposit
    • Gondola Rides
      • $30/half an hour
    • Midpark at 74th street, enter at Central Park West and 72nd street
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Strawberry Fields
  • Strawberry Fields
    • It is a peaceful retreat that was created in memory of John Lennon, who lived, and was murdered just across the street. The centerpiece is the Imagine mosaic, which is adorned with different arrays of flowers strewn across it.
    • West Side between 71st and 74th street, enter at Central Park West and 72nd street
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The Ramble
  • The Ramble
    • This hilly woodland is filled with winding paths, streams and ponds, rustic structures, and a dense forest canopy, which makes it feel like you’re escaping to the Adirondacks. It is also the city’s prime bird watching spot, with over 230 species of birds to view from.
    • Midpark from 73rd to 79th street, enter at Central Park West and 72nd street
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Belvedere Castle
  • Belvedere Castle
    • Take in the views of the great lawn, the Ramble, and Turtle Pond from Belvedere Castle, which is one of the highest points in the park. There is a visitor’s center, and you can receive a free discovery kit (2 forms of ID is required, one is kept as a deposit, and returned to you once you hand back the kit), and the kit includes binoculars, a map, and a guide for bird-watching in the Ramble’s woods. The Central Park Conservatory also offers a free mobile app that includes interactive maps, audio commentary, and up-to-date listings of events
    • Midpark at 79th Street, enter at 5th avenue and 72nd street
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Conservatory Garden
  • Conservatory Garden
    • Experience the charm of a European garden without having to buy a ticket to Europe. With 3 styles of gardens, it will appease to everyone. From the Italian garden, containing a great lawn, 12ft high jet fountain, and wisteria pergola, to the French style containing concentric ring flowerbeds, and the three-dancing-maidens water fountain, and finally to the English garden including a pool with a statue of two children inspired by The Secret Garden.
    • East Side from 104th to 106th, enter at 5th avenue and 105th street
    • Free tours: Meet at Vanderbilt Gate, east side at 105th street; Saturday 11am

Where To Eat

boozy brunch at the boathouse
The Loeb Boathouse Central Park
  • Restaurants

    • The Loeb Boathouse Central Park
      • Monday-Friday 12pm-4pm, 5:30pm-9:30pm
      • Saturday-Sunday 9:30am-4pm, 6pm-9:30pm
      • E 72nd Street
      • 4.1 Stars
      • American
        • American restaurant and bar notable for its prime lakeside setting in the middle of Central Park
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Tavern On the Green
  • Tavern On the Green
    • Wednesday-Friday 11am-10:45pm, 11pm-1am
    • Saturday 9am-10:45pm, 11pm-1am
    • Sunday 9am-10:45pm
    • Monday-Tuesday 11am-10:45pm
    • 67 Central Park West
    • 3.4 Stars
    • Grill
      • Restored Central Park icon for American fare in an elegant setting with courtyard and garden seating
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Café Sabarsky
  • Café Sabarsky
    • Thursday-Sunday 9am-9pm
    • Monday & Wednesday 9am-6pm
    • Closed Tuesday
    • 1048 5th Avenue
    • 4.1 Stars
    • Austrian
      • Sweet-toothed art lovers pause for Viennese pastries and savory dishes at the Neue Galerie’s café
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Le Pain Quotidien
  • Le Pain Quotidien
    • Monday-Thursday 7am-8pm
    • Saturday-Sunday 7am-9pm
    • 2 W 69th Street
    • 3.9 Stars
    • Organic
      • Classic light fare and organic breads fill out the menu at this rustic-chic bakery/café chain
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Ballfields Café
  • Ballfields Café
    • Monday-Sunday 10am-7pm
    • 65th Street Transverse
    • 4.2 Stars
    • Café
      • Self-serve snack shop with alfresco tables serving hot dogs and burgers with beer
  • Vendors
    • There are many different types of food vendors located around the park, so if you are looking for some great, inexpensive food, keep your eye out for them!

“Investment in travel is an investment in yourself” – Matthew Karsten

 

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36 thoughts on “Guide To NYC: Central Park

  1. Absolutely wonderful post on Central Park – for me it’s memories of my childhood! Your pictures do justice to the main reason NYC does offer quality of life beyond all the skyscrapers and hype, and all your updated information is excellent for visitors to zero in on what really interests them. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am loving your blog! I really love how you write and how awesome your posts are! I am following you now! I really want to go to NY, well I love travelling to anywhere haha I also love the images, they are very beautiful! Thank you for following too! x

    Zoel Hernández | zoelhernandez.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Stunning photos, and a great little guide to one of NYC’s best spots. I visit NYC often and no matter what else I have planned, I always make time for at least a short stroll in the park!

    Like

  4. Ye gads. So thorough. How long did this take you to write? Congrats it was well worth the effort. Thanks for following me so I could in turn find ‘this’ 🙂 Right off now to read some more…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words! I work full time, so it took about 3 days to piece all the info together since I wanted it to be very precise, otherwise I could have done it in a day with no breaks 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed the post! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

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