Traveling to New York City, in and of itself, should be on any person’s bucket list. There’s nothing like walking down a bustling street while doing the Brooklyn bend on a good slice of white pizza. There is a pace, structure and attitude that can only be found in this city.
One place on the Island of Manhattan that is not to be missed is the beautiful 843 acre setting of Central Park. The park boasts over 2600 trees and over 9000 benches. Central Park is located in Midtown Manhattan and is hard to miss since it comprises about six percent of the entire island.
Seeing everything in the Park in one day can be quite a feat, but one of the ways to get around the Park is rent a bike at one the many bike shops in or around the park. Having a bike allows visitors to beat traffic and get around to see all of the Park.
One place to visit is “The Mall,” which was designed to be the grand promenade of the Park. Visitors will quickly recognize it from a number of movies and television shows. Take a stroll, or have a seat on one of the benches and people-watch among large elm trees.
Another way to enjoy the Park is to take a walk on the wild side and hit the legendary Central Park Zoo. One will be able to see polar bears, harbor seals, snow monkeys, king penguins, red pandas, snow leopards and a rain forest full of tropical birds.
The Central Park Zoo is open 365 days a year. Admission prices are as follows:
Child (3-12) $5.00
Senior (65+) $7.00
One way to get around the Park while sitting back and enjoying the scenery is to take a trip in a horse-drawn carriage. Visitors can find rides at Central Park South near 5th Avenue to take them up through the park. A basic ride is 30 minutes as the carriage goes by Wollman Rink, The Pond, Central Park Zoo, Sheep Meadow, the Mall, the Dairy, the Carousel and the Dakota Building. The cost is approximately $34 per carriage, plus tip.
See the Park from the water by visiting the Loeb Boathouse, another famous icon of Central Park located at the north tip of the eastern side of the Lake. One can dine at the Boathouse Restaurant or rent a row boat to enjoy the lake and the city’s skyline.
Row Boat Rentals — weather permitting
$12 first hour
$2.50 each additional 15 minutes
$20 cash deposit required
Many visitors like to go to the Bethesda Terrace and Bow Bridge to see one of the most photographed and filmed locations in Central Park. At the Bethesda Terrace one can get a glimpse of the the sculpture “Angel of Waters” and the Lake. With Bow Bridge close by, take a walk over to look at one of the most beautiful cast iron bridges in the world. From the bridge one can also see beautiful views of trees with the skyline of the city in the background.
The Carousel is a popular meeting spot that draws over 250,000 riders per year. The original carousel dates back to 1871 and has been replaced several times, but it is just a popular as ever.
Another attraction is Belvedere Castle, which allows for great views of Central Park’s famous Great Lawn. Those who climb to the top of this castle, designed in 1865, will get a great view in any direction of the park.
Over 25 million visitors per year can’t be wrong – Central Park is a great place to spend a day.