Ahhhh… Central Park! This wide-open space is New York's haven for rest and recreation. Its 843 acres house lakes, ponds, walking tracks, ice-skating rinks, a wildlife sanctuary, the Central Park Conservatory Garden and so much more. All these are aimed to provide harried New Yorkers a spot of relaxation. It is a favorite haunt of joggers, skaters, bicyclists, and those who simply want to breathe in some fresh air and get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. On the other hand, tourists love to drop by this place because this is very much part of New York. What's more, it has since gained popularity as it is often featured in movies and television shows. No wonder it is the United States' most visited city park.
The park is located in Manhattan, New York. It is bordered by Fifth Avenue (east), West 59th Street (west), West 110th Street (north), and West 59th Street (south). Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux's masterpiece is a gorgeously landscaped park adorned by sculptures, fountains, and a peaceful statuary.
It is also a National Historic Landmark, with fascinating monuments such as the Blockhouse, with is a fort that dates back to the War of 1812. Also, you can see the Obelisk (also called Cleopatra's Needle), which is North America's oldest public monument. There are also close to 30 sculptures which are attractions in themselves. Central Park is home to Bethesda Terrace's 'Angel of the Waters', the sculpture of Balto (the sled dog), the bronze monument of King Jagiello near the Turtle Pond, and so much more.
A walking path in Central Park, NYC.
Let us start at the very heart of the park, which is Bethesda Terrace. This elaborately designed terrace provides you with great views of the lake and the Ramble. It also houses the famous Central Park fountain.
Children will have the time of their life at any of the 21 playgrounds in the vicinity. There is also the iconic Central Park Carousel and the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater. There are the Central Park Zoo and Tisch Children's Zoo for an exciting foray into the animal world.
There is also something for the sports lover. The Great Lawn contains 13 acres of basketball courts, baseball fields, and grassy areas to indulge in other sports like baseball and softball. As for wildlife, you will discover that Central Park has quite a showcase. Tourists are not the only ones who come here in droves, as this is a favored oasis of migrating birds, particularly in the spring and fall – giving plenty of opportunities for avid birdwatchers.
There is plenty of entertainment to be had at the park. Watch productions of Shakespeare's plays at the Delacorte Theater, which is an outdoor amphitheater. On the other hand, the Great Lawn is the venue for concerts by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, the Metropolitan Opera and other world-class performers. Come summer, and the Park treats everyone to a dazzling lineup of performances. As for dining possibilities, try the Boathouse Restaurant and the Tavern on the Green.
Other attractions include the Belvedere Castle, a 19th century stone structure that offers stunning views of the park and the city. This is also where you can have a chance to commune with nature as Henry Luce Nature Observatory features wildlife and birds living in the Park. Also, do drop by Strawberry Fields, the garden named after the famous Beatle song. And if you have time, jog around the Reservoir.