New York City is famous for the hustle and bustle of its fast-paced city life, but centrally located in the middle of Manhattan is 843 acres of serenity: more commonly known as Central Park. Spring is finally here and there is no better time than now to get away from concrete and taxis to relax on a green lawn surrounded by natural beauty.
If you’ve never been to Central Park, here are a few fun things to experience this spring:
Conservatory Garden This six-acre European garden is comprised of three different styles: French, Italian and English. Frolic through a plethora of flowers, fountains and neatly trimmed hedges and walkways on your own or catch a free tour on Saturdays at 11am. East side from 104th-106th St., enter at 5th Ave and 105th St.
Strawberry Fields Located right across the street from John Lennon and Yoko’s residence at the Dakota, this part of the park was renamed Strawberry Fields in 1981 after Lennon’s murder in front of the building several months prior. This 5+ acre field features the Imagine mosaic where Beatle fans all over the globe come to pay homage to the late great. West side between 71st-74th St., enter at Central Park West and 72nd St.
Belvedere Castle Bask in the sun and take in the view on the Great Lawn: one of the highest points in Central Park. Don’t forget to borrow a free discovery kit from inside the castle, equipped with binoculars, a map and a guide for bird watching in Ramble’s woods. Midpark at 79th St., enter at 5th Ave and 72nd St.
Friedsam Memorial Carousel Bop along to organ music while you ride one of the 52 saddles on Friedsam’s Memorial Carousel. The lines may be long, but popcorn, hot dogs and smiling faces will help make the wait worthwhile. The carousel is open daily from 10am-6pm, weather permitting. Midpark at 64th St., enter at 5th Ave and 64th St.
Central Park Zoo Watch the daily feeding of the sea lions and penguins at the Central Park Zoo and get up close and personal with the goats at Tisch Children’s Zoo (adjacent to the main zoo). Open daily from 10am-5:30pm, the Central Park Zoo is the perfect place to get your furry-fix on a sunny day. East side between 63rd-66th St., enter at 5th Ave at 64th St.
If you’ve seen all those things? Don’t worry; here are a few lesser-known areas to experience in the park:
Fort Clinton This elevated spot in the park is the place that George Washington used to fend off the British. Now you can stand on it to see a spectacular view of the Harlem Meer and some stone bases used for cannons and mortar. East side between 106th-107th St., enter at 5th Ave and 102nd St.
Great Hill If you want a good spot to picnic, this hilltop meadow is the place. You can experience beautiful views of Central Park West and the city and sylvan landscape. West side from 103rd-107th St., enter at Central Park West and 106th St.
Arthur Ross Pinetum Located just off the Great Lawn at Belvedere Castle, this is a prime spot to sit at picnic tables and admire the evergreens surrounding you. Midpark between 84th-86th St., enter at 5th Ave and 80th St.
Wagner Cove Escape the busy Loeb Boathouse and head to Cherry Hill Fountain to find a hidden staircase that leads down to an intimate cove with boats landing on water’s edge. Midpark at 72nd St., enter at Central Park West and 72nd St.
Bank Rock Bay Check out this “four-star view” of the lake and the skyline along the bay on the horizon. Keep an eye out for wildlife hanging out on the rock cliff behind you. West of the Ramble between 77th-78th St., enter at Central Park West and 72nd St
Sara Cedar Miller, the official historian and photographer at the Central Park Conservancy enthuses, “feel like you’re inside a painting when you go into the ravine and see the cascades, with branches overhanging and stone arches”. Midpark north of 102nd St., enter at Central Park West and 106th St.
And of course if you need a place to call home while exploring, we’d love to host you (and your children!). All of us at the Library Hotel Collection cannot wait to help with planning the details. Feel welcome to contact the concierge at Hotel Elysee, Casablanca Hotel, Library Hotel, or Hotel Giraffe. Enjoy your stay and let us know if you went to any of the places we recommended. We would love to hear your feedback!