An emerald expanse in the thriving, concrete jungle that is New York City, Central Park lies in the heartland of the Manhattan borough. It commences its labyrinthine stretch from Midtown, all the way to Harlem. It was created in 1857 by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, who envisioned a sprawling green space in the center of the island. The park spans 843 acres (341.15 hectares) and bustles with life throughout the day, even as the layered, multi-hued fold of the city's skyline unfolds at its hem. The park's 21 playgrounds are speckled with ornate fountains, sculptures, myriad bridges and arches, together forming an urbane respite where several come to find peace from the city's chaotic pace. Attractions within the park include the Bethesda Fountain, the Conservatory Garden, Belvedere Castle, and Central Park Zoo.
The High Line is an urban oasis filled with beautifully manicured landscapes. It sits above the city on old train tracks that were installed as part of the West Side Improvement Project back in 1929. The line was primarily used to transport goods along the Lower West Side, but with the advent of vehicles in the 1950s and more accessible routes elsewhere, the last train eventually ran in 1980. Thereafter, the elevated tracks fell into disrepair, and the whole structure was nearly demolished. It was instead converted into an innovative public park, delighting locals and visitors alike. Today, the High Line is a cherished sanctuary away from the bustle of city life.
This small but beautiful botanic garden features a Japanese garden, as well as the Cranford Rose Garden, herb garden, the Children's Garden, and the Steinhard Conservatory of indoor flowers and plants. In all, there are 52 acres and 12,000 varieties of botanicals, ranging from the tiny bonsai to the towering oak. Self-guided tours, individual classes and certificate programs are all available. Students come with your valid id cards, if you want to avail of a discount.
Although its reign as a summer resort destination in the 50s and 60s has long since ended, this lovely beach is set for a come back once people realize how beautiful and close-by this beach truly is. Located on the south shore of Long Island in Queens Rockaway Beach provides New Yorkers with a beach that is accessible by subway. This beach is perfect whether you want to swim, surf, fish, play volleyball, or just enjoy strolling besides the ocean. Don't miss out on visiting the 1908 St. Rose of Lima Church to admire the classic architecture of the Rockaway subway stop.
The 1923 Yankee Stadium was a historic landmark in the world of Major League Baseball. Some of the sport's greatest players spent their careers there, including Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio. Though they'll never be able to replace that historic monument, the franchise debuted their new stadium in 2009, directly across the street from the old park. The "new" Yankee Stadium has many new features, such as expanded walkways, more concessionaires, and a renovated Monument Park. Lifetime fans will notice familiar touches, though, the biggest among them being the outfield frieze back in its original location around the upper deck. Suite and party facilities are available for those looking for something slightly more private. Check the website for pricing, schedules and other info.
Open to visitors from April until November, the Bailey Arboretum offers up a world of color during that time: daffodils kick off the season, followed by flowering trees and a variety of annuals and perennials all through the summer. This arboretum has a particularly wonderful collection of conifers, and features a sensory garden for the physically challenged. Many events are hosted here, along with guided walks and other educational opportunities. No entrance fee for children 16 and under; $3 for adults.
Central Park Tours & Bike Rentals was established in 2006. Dedicated to providing a wide selection of tours and fun activities at the best prices available, this is a great choice if you're looking for an unforgettable experience in Central Park.
Central Park's Heckscher Playground is the oldest and also one of the largest at 1.8 acres (0.73 hectares). The playground has standard features such as swings, slides, and see-saws, as well as a large grass field and six softball fields. Other highlights include a group of concrete hills with a series of ladders and tunnels and a water feature for kids to play in. The playground has its own restrooms and snack carts located in the Heckscher Building.
Located near the southwestern corner of Central Park, Umpire Rock also known as Rat Rock was named after the rats that used to throng this place at night. It is a 55 feet (17 meters) wide and 15 feet (4.6 meters) tall rock with several crevices caused by glaciation millions of years ago. Visitors at the park come here to climb this massive natural structure and get amazing views of the park around them.
Take a bike tour with the tour operator Central Park Sightseeing and experience Central Park like never before. Along with guided bike tours to Central Park, they also offer walking, pedicab and horse and carriage tours. Ride along the paved paths and learn about the park’s history. Make sure to stop at scenic spots and click a lot of pictures.
Located in Central Park, Hallett Nature Sanctuary is an urban forest that was transformed into a bird sanctuary in 1934. Named after the birdwatching enthusiast George Hervey Hallett Jr., this area is spread across an area of 4 acres (1.6 hectares). Overlooking The Pond, this bird sanctuary is visited by migratory birds. Animals like squirrels, turtles and coyotes are also found here. Avid bird watchers can hike along the trails and explore the picturesque area, if it is not during the nesting and migratory season.
Located within the sprawling confines of the Central Park, the outdoor Wollman Rink is one of the city's premier ice skating spots. Opened in 1949, this rink has drawn native New Yorkers and travelers from around the globe to partake in a city tradition. The atmosphere is fun and relaxed, and amateurs are certainly welcome. Try and visit on the weekdays, as the weekends bring large crowds and lines. Skate rentals and lockers are available and the snack bar beats the in-between hunger pangs. During the off-season, the space becomes a roller rink or hosts events.