Central Park is in New York City, attracting over 40 million visitors. Locals visit the park, making it more than a popular spot to unwind. The park is located in Manhattan and runs from the top section of Midtown to the southern part of Harlem.
It stretches from 59th Street (Central Park South) to 110th Street, covering 1.4 square miles (Central Park North). Central Park offers it all, from baseball fields and bike pathways to a zoo. Because seeing all of Central Park would take forever, we have compiled a list of our favorite sites that we recommend you should visit.
Because the park is so large, there is a lot to see. Many visitors enter the park through the well-known gate near the Plaza Hotel on Fifth Avenue. However, we have certain areas that are not overrun with tourists so that you may experience Central Park in its natural state.
1. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir
This artificial lake is a popular jogging spot, and it was originally Mrs. Kennedy’s favorite route (hence the name). While you are in the city’s heart, it feels like miles away from the buildings that you can see through the trees now and then.
If the jogging route around the reservoir does not exhaust you, consider the 7-mile running route up East Drive and back down West Drive. Be aware that the hills are difficult! Check out this page for more information on possible running routes. If biking is more your thing, Central Park has plenty of locations to do it.
2. Sheep Meadow
Sheep Meadow is a lovely green space in the heart of Central Park’s lower section. Its relaxing environment, along with subtle echoes of city sounds in the background, makes it an ideal location for escaping the hustle and bustle of the city.
Because of the contrast of the tall skyscrapers sticking out behind the greenery of the trees, it has been featured in many films and images. This is one of our favorite sites in Central Park, particularly in the summer. Grab a couple of sandwiches or lunch from one of the neighboring cafés and have a modest picnic in the sheep meadow.
3. Strawberry Fields
Strawberry Fields is located on the western edge of Central Park, near 72nd Street. At the Imagine Mosaic, John Lennon admirers gather to sing together. The memorial is next to the Dakota Building, which was the site of John Lennon’s assassination on December 8, 1980.
His wife continues to live in the building and visits the memorial regularly to lay flowers. This location has history, but it also has a calm and tranquil ambiance. This is undoubtedly a sight to behold while visiting Central Park.
4. Renting a rowboat in Central Park
Renting a rowing boat to go around Central Park Lake is another fantastic pastime in Central Park. With a 22-acre footprint, this is Central Park’s second-largest body of water and provides a diverse range of vistas from a rowing boat. For $15 per hour, you may rent a boat from the Loeb Boathouse and take a leisurely or even romantic voyage.
5. The Bridges of Central Park
In Central Park, there are 13 lovely bridges to admire. The beloved Bow Bridge will be familiar to most of you. It is popular for marriage proposals and a photographer’s favorite motif. Bow Bridge, on 74th Street, sits in the heart of the park.
6. Weddings in Central Park
During your visit to Central Park, you might be lucky enough to see a wedding. The park is one of the most popular wedding and proposal destinations globally.
7. Visiting the Central Park Zoo
Everyone in the family will enjoy a trip to the Central Park Zoo. The zoo is situated across Fifth Avenue from the park gate (corner of 63th Street).
8. The Harlem Meer
The Harlem Meer, located in the Harlem area, is completely isolated from the crowds of tourists. This is a fantastic place to unwind near the water. However, this park region contains the widest variety of trees and other flora. It is a popular site for anglers and nature lovers (check out the beautiful rose blooms in spring).
9. Le Pain Quotidien in Central Park
In Midtown Manhattan, this is our favorite café. The Sheep Meadow is just north of Le Pain Quotidien in Central Park. While relaxing amid the greenery, you can unwind with a cup of coffee, a wonderful piece of cake, or a refreshing Brooklyn beer. You must try a slice of their Chocolate Bombe Cake, one of their specialties and a personal favorite of mine! Near 69th Street is the café.
10. In the winter months: ice skating at the Wollman Rink
This sequence has been in various films and may be recognizable to you. The Wollman Rink is one of the city’s most popular public ice rinks, and we can see why, considering its stunning Central Park setting. Even in the cold, Central Park has a lot to offer.
A popular spot for film scenes
Several movie sequences have been filmed here. A Central Park backdrop appeared in scenes from films such as When Harry Met Sally, Manhattan Love Story, Kevin Alone in New York, and The Other Woman. Central Park has appeared in several literary situations (for example, “Catcher in the Rye”).
If you are visiting places and want a pre-look at places, here’s an article about the best things to do along the High Line.