Central Park is a green oasis in the middle of Manhattan, the largest park of the city, approximately 843 acres set aside for the recreation of New Yorkers and visitor alike. Although the park seems "natural", the largest surviving piece of Manhattan un-encrusted with asphalt and masonry, its landscape and scenery are completely men-maid, based on designs by Frederick L. Olmsted and Calvert Vaux. Among the many activities offered by Central Park, you will find: bicycling, boating (rowboats and kayaks for rent), carousel rides, carriage rides, ice skating, swimming and more.
In 1856 the city bought most of what is now the park for 5 million dollars, the land was desolated, covered with scrubby trees, rocky outcropping, and a garbage dump. In 1858 the plan by Olmsted and Vaux was chooses among other and the construction of central park started. In the initial 20 years of construction 10 million cartloads of dirt were shifted.
About 25 million people visit the park each year, which takes a toll on the landscape and facilities. The not-for-profit Central Park Conservancy, founded in 1980, now maintains the park under contract with the city.
Central Park offers a multitude of colors during all seasons and provides beautiful walking paths. The park is divided in two areas, the southern and northern part. Many different attractions are located inside the Park, from the historic Belvedere Castle with incredible panoramic views, to the famous Strawberry Filed, an area dedicated to the memory of John Lennon, who was killed in 1980, a mosaic floor bearing the word "Imagine", the colorful and elegant botanical garden, the Bethesda Terrace and its great Fountain and the popular "The Mall" with many street artists that here showcase their works.
There are also several ponds and pools inside the park, the largest is the Reservoir (dedicated to Jacqueline Kennedy), Harlem Meer and The Lake are the other 2 largest. The Park is also famous for all the old bridges that cross these ponds and that have been featured in many movies. You should consider spending at least 1 day visiting the Park.
Central Park attractions:
The Historical Castle "Belvedere" with an incredible panoramic view of the park.
The famous Strawberry Field, an area dedicated to the memory of John Lennon, killed in 1980, a mosaic floor with the inscription "Imagine"
The Botanical Garden, colorful and elegant, the entrance on Fifth Avenue and 105th street is through the Vanderbilt Gate, is considered one of the best examples of wrought iron work in New York City.
The Bethesda Terrace with its large and famous fountain and "The Mall" is a beautiful tree-lined avenue that hosts many street artists with their works.
The famous Bow Bridge, the most romantic bridge in New York!
The Reservoir, the lake dedicated to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.
The Shakespeare Garden, a wonder to visit in spring and summer.
Balto, the sculpture dedicated to the most famous dog ...