When you think of New York City, one of the first places you’re bound to name is Central Park. It’s featured in almost every movie and TV show that takes place in NYC, and it’s hard to miss, thanks to being in the middle of the action. While it has the standard green fields and community events, it holds much more than the average park. With dozens of attractions and hidden gems waiting inside, you won’t even remember that there’s a city waiting outside of it. Step onto the winding paths of Central Park and see what’s waiting for you inside the Big Apple’s most famous park.
Gardens of Central Park
Parks tend to be known for their numerous flowers and plant life growing throughout the grounds, and Central Park is no exception. There are several gardens located at every corner of the park filled with acres of every type of plant you can imagine. Each one holds something different for guests to enjoy, and their bright colors welcome anyone to stop and smell the flowers. Strawberry Fields is a quiet area that was created to honor the legendary singer John Lennon. Conservatory Garden is a more formal garden filled with bright magnolias and lilacs to brighten up your afternoon stroll. If you’re looking for a place to host your big day in the park, Shakespeare Garden is a popular spot for events and weddings that give any celebration a floral touch.
You might think that castles are a thing of the past, but there’s one inside Central Park that’s still standing today. Belvedere Castle was built back in 1865, but it remains one of the more breathtaking places you’ll find on the grounds. When you step inside, you can stand on two balconies that offer the perfect view of the park from high above. The castle also serves as an area of scientific study where you can find historical artifacts that show you how the world used to be and how it’s studied today. You might even find some tools like microscopes and telescopes that allow you to make your own discoveries inside this legendary castle.
Statues of Central Park
Central Park’s creativity comes out in every inch of the grounds, and that includes the statues you’ll find along your path. Each one celebrates the imagination and legacy of some of the greatest figures throughout time, whether they’re real or fictional. The most famous statue is of Alice in Wonderland sitting on a mushroom with some of the friends she meets in her story. Other popular statues you can find inside include Hans Christian Andersen, Frederick Douglass and even the heroic sled dog Balto.
Central Park gives you the chance to have a night under the stars, but how about a night with the stars? Delacorte Theater is a theater located inside the park where dozens of productions hosted by the Off-Broadway performing group The Public Theater have performed over the years. They’re best known for their Shakespeare in the Park productions, where stars like Meryl Streep and Al Pacino have quoted the words of the Bard on a summer night. Each performance also comes with the perfect view of Turtle Pond and Belvedere Castle, creating an outdoor theater experience you won’t find anywhere else.
Tavern on the Green
If you’re looking for something to eat in the park, you’re in luck! Tavern on the Green is Central Park’s very own restaurant that offers both indoor and outdoor views of the surrounding gardens. Its rustic menu allows guests to take a bite of fine dining with all-natural tastes for lunch, dinner and even brunch on the weekends. You can treat yourself to world-class seafood entrees like diver scallops or Atlantic cod, or you can pair your meat with citrus flavors like their chicken breast with lemon-thyme sauce or duck breast with citrus aioli.
On the Water in Central Park
There are several lakes and ponds that cover the grounds, creating waterfront views and fun for every visitor. On a sunny day, guests can take advantage of the area by setting sail in their own way. They can rent a rowboat at Loeb Boathouse and enjoy the water up close, or they can watch from afar while their model sailboat rides along Conservatory Water. Many of Central Park’s landmarks can also be enjoyed on the water, such as the towering Bow Bridge or a view of Bethesda Fountain’s bronze angel statue. No matter what you pick, there’s always a way to explore the park from the water.