Central Park is vast and contains many wonders. There is no better way to see these wonders than by traditional horse and carriage. In fact, the horse and carriage ride is itself one of the attractions of the park. Everyone knows that it is the best way to get around the park, especially if you are a tourist on a one day visit. If you are new to the experience you will find that it enhances the pleasure of seeing the sites considerably.
As the park is so vast, you will never see and do everything in one day. Here are ten of the best attractions the park offers.
Escape from the hustle and bustle of the city by visiting this tranquil spot. Take a stroll along the many winding pathways that border the water. The Pond has the Hallet Nature Sanctuary which is occasionally open to the public, as well as the iconic Gapstow Bridge. It is inhabited by 240 migratory bird species and is populated by Crab apple and Forsythia trees which contribute to the serenity of the place. The Pond also has the best sunset views in the park.
Central Park Zoo.
One of the most popular attractions in the park, the zoo has animals from three global zones – tropical, temperate and polar. The zoo provides its animals with homes as close to their natural habitat as possible. The zoo spans five acres and has over 130 different species. It also has a children’s area where kids can interact with domestic animals such as goats, sheep and cows. The zoo is active in the preservation of endangered species such as red Pandas and Tamarin monkeys.
This is a famous promenade lined with tall elm trees which create a green canopy overhead. In particular, it boasts a large number of the rare American Elm trees. At the Southern end of the Mall is the Literary Walk which has statues of famous authors such as Shakespeare and Robert Burns. The Mall is a well-known gathering place for skaters, rollerbladers as well as street performers and vendors.
A favourite spot for New Yorkers to picnic and sun bathe, Sheep Meadow is an expanse of fifteen acres. It offers one of the most impressive vistas in the city with its dramatic midtown skyline. The Sheep Meadow regularly admits up to 30,000 visitors per day during the summer months. It has been the site of many protests, concerts and hippie ‘love-ins’ over the years, lending it a strong sense of history.
Considered by many to be the heart of Central Park, this structure has as its centrepiece the Bethseda Fountain, and its walls and pillars are adorned with sculptures that represent the seasons and times of the day. The excellent acoustics of the arcade attracts New York’s finest street musicians and its beautiful architecture has lured many film makers.
As well as being a popular place for model sail boating, the Conservatory Water has two of the most famous sculptures in the park – Hans Christian Andersen and Alice in Wonderland. These attractions make the Conservatory Water a popular place for kids to hang out. The statue of the Danish children’s author is also the site of a story telling programme every summer.
A centrepiece of Central Park, the Lake is a stunning 18 acre, man- made body of water, popular for birdwatching and boating. Swans, ducks, Egret and Herons populate the Lake and many of its flora and fauna can be viewed from row boats as well as Venetian style gondolas. The famous Bow Bridge spans the lake and at its Eastern point is the popular Boathouse restaurant.
Dedicated to the memory of one of New York’s favourite adopted sons, Strawberry Fields is a part of the park that John Lennon visited many times with his wife and son during his stays in the city. The centrepiece of the area is the ‘Imagine mosaic’ which has become a gathering place for fans of Lennon from all around the globe.
This is 38 acres of lush woodland filled with winding pathways, streams and ponds. It is a popular bird watching spot as it boasts approximately 230 species. It has abundant flora including the Black Cherry and Black Locust as well as native American trees such as the American Sycamore, the Kentucky Coffee tree and the Yellowwood. The wildness of the Ramble contrasts beautifully with the formality of nearby structures such as the Bethseda Terrace.
This attraction is famous for its magnificent views of both the park and the surrounding city. Inside there is a visitors centre which offers information about the park. Designed in 1865, the stone castle today combines function with romance to make it one of the most popular monuments in Central Park.
So, there you have it. Ten of the best reasons to visit New York’s Central Park.
If you are on a single day visit to New York and you want to experience the park, the best way to do it is by taking a horse and carriage ride which will take in many of the wonders the park is home to, as well as offering the pleasure of the ride itself. We offer a 20 minute and a 45 minute ride in the finest carriages. No matter what the season, we are there for a comfortable and enjoyable ride through one of the greatest tourist attractions in the Western world. So, don’t hesitate. Book a ride with us today!