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.
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.
Tucked away in Queens is an old-fashioned testament to film and television. The actual studios of the one-time Paramount East Coast production house are closed, but the museum provides tours about film making where you can see makeup, costumes and well-known movie sets. There are several theaters for film screenings and a gift shop for souvenir hunters.
With a permanent collection numbering over two million individual works of art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or simply the Met, is not only a New York City landmark, it is the United States' largest art museum and the fifth-most visited museum of any kind in the world. Designed by Richard Morris Hunt, the museum encompasses more than 1.5 million square feet (139,355 square meters) of exhibition space. European paintings on display include those by world-renown masters like Monet, Degas, Van Gogh, Cézanne, Titian, and Vermeer. The vast collection has been split between several galleries, arranged by geographic origin and other thematic schemes. The Egyptian art gallery is especially enticing, as are the Met's repositories of Asian, African and Medieval art. Others include Islamic, Roman, and Greek art, the Arms and Armory section, the Costume Institute, and European Decorative arts. When weather permits, contemporary sculptures are displayed at the open-air roof garden. Apart from being a treasure trove for art lovers, The Metropolitan Museum of Art offers a fun-filled and educational experience for all ages.
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 powerhouse in the modern art world doubles as one of the best-known museums on the globe. Its galleries burst with intriguing exhibits showcasing mediums ranging from painting and drawing to print and illustration. Photography fans will also find a lot to love at the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art). Classic artworks closely associated with the museum include Andy Warhol's Marilyn Monroe and Pablo Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. Should your appetite for food begin to compete with your appetite for art, there is a charming restaurant on site, as well as a gift shop to browse on your way out.
Built in the late 17 Century, the Military Park actually served as a training ground for Newark's militia. However, today it serves the locals with a beautiful park to relax and enjoy the evening. The park contains monument of the 'Wars of America' and a large concrete sword. The park also has an underground parking area. The Military Park hosts a variety of local events like the Common Greens, a popular farmers market, annual festivals like the Africa-Newark Festival and other concerts.
Resting behind an opulent French-Gothic Revival visage, the cathedral is rightly situated in the heart of the city. Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart was constructed over the course of nearly a century, specifically built to feature views of the mountains to the west and downtown Manhattan to the east. First proposed in 1859, the cathedral's cornerstone was finally set forty years later. It wasn't until 1954 that the church was completed and consecrated. Pope John Paul II visited this gargantuan cathedral in 1995, performing an evening prayer that earned the cathedral the rank of basilica. Rightly dubbed as the Monument of Faith, this elegant basilica is adorned with sharp arches and glorious chandeliers giving way to the stunning altar. The Cathedral Basilica regularly holds concerts that are open to the public, played on the largest pipe organ ever created by the Schantz Organ Company. Commanding Newark's beautiful landscape, the basilica is one of the most treasured edifices of the city.
This gorgeous Downtown Newark park is a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Featuring 360 acres (145 hectares) of walking paths, vast lawns and water features. Have a picnic, go for a stroll along the riverbank or ride your bike. In the Spring time the 4,000 Japanese Cherry Blossom trees bloom, making for beautiful scenery.
The Thomas Edison National Historic Site is an important landmark that conserves the working laboratory and abode of the world renowned scientist, Thomas Edison. This historical site is the place where Edison made his inventions that benefited the entire human race. Explore the laboratory on your own or you can avail special audio tours. For more details, check website or call ahead.
Afro-American Historical and Cultural Society Museum started off to preserve the records of struggles of the African Americans. The museum has galleries where history lectures are delivered about the culture of the period. The museum has records of slave trade in New Jersey, artifacts, newspapers and photographs from the period. Tour around the library to find more facts about the African American community and be sure to visit the replicas created by the museum to represent the period's rooms, halls and kitchens.
Embrace your wild-side at New Jersey's top zoo - the Turtle Back. Affiliated to the Essex County Parks Department, don't miss the opportunity to get up close and personal with the exotic and breath-taking animal world. Gray kangaroos and kookaburras from Aussie-land, American alligators, penguins, red pandas, Himalayan leopards, Komodo dragons, stunning reptiles and marine life form part of the family of 800 that call this haven home. The globe-spanning ensemble comprises of 150 species, most rare and endangered, and justify Turtle Back's commitment to conserve wildlife and educate society on the same.