Party Earth Review No place epitomizes the spirit of New York City quite like Central Park, an 843-acre swath of green that stretches from 59th Street to 110th Street, making it a much-needed and much-loved escape for the city’s overworked... ... read full review
New York, NY 10019
1, A, B, C, D: Columbus Circle; B, C: 72nd Street, 81st Street, 86th Street, 96th Street, 103rd Street, 110th Street; N, R, Q: 5th Avenue-59th Street
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Upper West Side, New York –
No place epitomizes the spirit of New York City quite like Central Park, an 843-acre swath of green that stretches from 59th Street to 110th Street, making it a much-needed and much-loved escape for the city’s overworked urbanites.
Seven bodies of water and countless sprawling lawns provide a playground for everyone from adventurous young professionals to families, aspiring creative types, and tourists looking to kick back and enjoy some quality leisure time.
Those in the mood for lazy-day sunbathing or napping under trees will find plenty of cozy corners to do so, while more athletic types take to the park’s streets for biking, running, and rollerblading, or flood the baseball diamonds, tennis courts, volleyball courts, and free public pool that doubles as a skating rink in the winter.
The park’s winding forest paths in The Brambles attract hip young couples looking for a romantic stroll, as do the park’s exquisite meandering gardens, the quaint Turtle Pond and its inhabitants, and the whimsical Belvedere Castle, a miniature fortress that will make anyone forget they’re in one of the busiest urban centers in the world.
Visitors hungry for more action can rent rowboats on the lake, take a ride on the legendary carousel, or watch the sea lions laze in the center courtyard of Central Park Zoo.
While tourists tend to take in the park from the comfort of horse-drawn carriages, in-the-know New Yorkers prefer to sip cocktails at the iconic Boathouse restaurant, enjoy Shakespeare in the Park at the open-air Delacorte Theater, or critique the showy chapeaux at the various fundraising events that draw the city’s socialites.
A day spent picnicking and relaxing in Sheep Meadow with a good bottle of wine and great company should be enough to convince any visitor that they’ve found the heart and soul of New York City within Central Park.
The middle and southern areas of Central Park tend to draw the biggest crowds, but don’t miss the north end. It’s woodsier and more secluded, and contains some great attractions like the Conservatory Garden, the Blockhouse – built in 1814 to defend the city against the British – and, of course, the free public pool.
People of all ages, cultures, and professions, along with their dogs.
Summer events include the free Shakespeare in the Park and Summer Stage, a live concert series with a mix of free and ticketed shows.
Sports available year round, including tennis, cross-country skiing, ice skating, and horseback riding, with some recreational programs initiated by the park and other unaffiliated sports leagues.
Attractions and activities include several visitor centers, the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center, various themed guided tours, the Central Park Zoo, annual fundraising events, and ubiquitous street performers.
The park is also the staging ground for the conclusion of the annual New York City Marathon.
Several concession stands with outdoor seating, including the Ferrara Italian Café at Merchants’ Gate and the Ballplayers’ House. The Loeb Boathouse and Le Pain Quotidien are full-service restaurants.
Rowboat rentals $30/deposit plus $12/first hour, $3/every additional 15 minutes. Zoo tickets $12/adult. Call or check the website for information on tennis court rentals, ice skating, and event tickets.
Any beautiful day. Crowded on spring and summer weekends.
The storied Plaza Hotel at the south east corner of the park is a New York landmark that has been featured in movies like Scent of a Woman, Funny Girl, Almost Famous, and Arthur, as well as literature, The Great Gatsby, and popular TV shows, The Sopranos, Friends, and Sex and the City.