If you are planning a trip to New York City, a visit to Central Park is likely on the top of your list. If it isn't, it should be. This beautiful park encompasses 843 acres of green space, water bodies, bridges, gardens, castles, fountains and several other attractions. It is also full of history, being built in 1857 as a way to promote a sense of community in the Big Apple. If you are planning to visit to Central Park in the near future you will want to look at our top 10 unique ways to get the most out of your experience.
One of the best ways to take in Central Park is by bike because you can slowly visit all the attractions, such as the John Lennon Imagine Mosaic, where you will likely be able to listen to live musicians playing his songs. You can also take in the scenery of the Bow Bridge, Belvedere Castle and the Central Park Reservoir. If you want to be sure to get the best out of your visit, you can sign up for the Central Park Bike Tour, which is led by an official local who will give you all the details on the fascinating park.
No trip to New York is complete without a taste of the local food. You can take a Hell's Kitchen Food Tour and Central Park Stroll, where you will begin your day visiting Manhattan's favourite local restaurants. Then you can burn off the calories with a stroll in the park. You will see all the sites and learn about lots of interesting facts, including information about Central Park's real estate value and where the only straight path in the park leads.
To ensure some rest and relaxation at the park, you can throw down a blanket and open up your picnic basket on the Great Lawn or Sheep Meadow. If sitting on the lush green grass isn't your thing, you can head over to the Great Hill and feast on a picnic table while taking in the scenery.
Central Park actually has a Calendar of Events that offers different daily programs for you to enjoy. You can sign up for the Northern Forts Tour, the Iconic Views of Central Park Tour or take in some fishing clinics, nature-focused storytelling, concerts, dance performances or yoga classes. Whatever your interests are, Central Park will have you covered.
5. Television and Movie Sites
If you take in the Central Park TV and Movie Sites Walking Tour you will get to visit more than 30 on-screen locations and learn about the films they appear in. Some of these include the Boathouse Restaurant from Sex and the City and When Harry Met Sally as well as the Bandshell from Breakfast at Tiffany's. You'll also get to visit the Wollman Rink from Love Story and Serendipity.
6. Local Tour
On the Highlights of Central Park Walking Tour you will get to visit film locations as well as learn about all the local architecture and design of the park. You can wander off the main path to see all of the lesser-known sites. It's a great chance to take breathtaking photos of fountains, bridges and green space.
For the best views of Central Park you will want to head to the Loeb Boathouse where you will be treated to a delicious meal and some of the most magnificent lake views. You can even row around the lake and enjoy the sites of several different variety of bird species. Bow Bridge is another spot that allows you to capture the lake view. If you head to Belvedere Castle you can take in views of the vistas of the Ramble, the Turtle Pond and the Upper West Side.
A Pedicab Tour of Central Park offers a very unique way to see the park, allowing you to cover way more space than if you walk or bike. Your local tour guide will show you all the important sites such as the Literary Walk, Strawberry Fields and Tavern on the Green. As a bonus, your tour guide will end by dropping you off at Fifth Avenue, the shopping and museum mecca in the city.
9. Shakespeare Garden
This is considered the most inspirational spot in Central Park. It covers four acres where you will find stones showcasing famous Shakespeare quotes, plants mentioned in Shakespeare works and bronze statues. It is quite a historical site considering it was designed in the 1880s.
The Sunset Tour of Central Park will take you to 27 different locations during the golden hour for some of the most magical pictures you could ever take. You will get to play some fun trivia games to keep you entertained as well as taking in breathtaking views of Bethesda Fountain, the Central Park Zoo, the Great Lawn, Shakespeare Garden and Strawberry Fields.