In the midst of Manhattan is one of the greatest urban parks in the United States. Central Park is a large rectangle of just over 840 acres which offers an outdoor getaway in the heart of New York City. If you were to follow the road that skirts the outside perimeter of the park, it’s six miles (aka 10k) all the way around.
Known for many appearances in television and movies, Central Park hosts close to twenty-five million visitors annually. The nonprofit Central Park Conservancy is contracted to manage the park by the NY Department of Parks and Recreation. Automobile traffic is kept out of the park on weekends and evenings, making the park very inviting to local resident recreational use. Runners, joggers, cyclists and skaters will find ample trails and paths throughout the entire park.
The official borders of Central Park are West 110th Street (Central Park North), Central Park West, West 59th Street (Central Park South), and Fifth Avenue. It’s easy to walk throughout the park but one specialty the park is known for are the horse-drawn carriages. In nice weather this can be a great way to give your feet a break and not miss out on any of the Central Park experience. The park web site lists an extensive description of plantings and their blooming schedule, allowing flower fans to catch their faves right at their peak.
The Great Lawn of Central Park might look familiar from movies (The Fisher King) or from being the location of some famous concerts (Diana Ross, Simon & Garfunkel). This thirteen acre lawn is at the center of the park layout which you can find in the area between 79th and 85th Streets.
Adjacent the Great Lawn is the Metropolitan Museum of Art, located along the east side of Central Park at 5th Avenue and 82nd Street. This is one of the world’s premiere art collections, and the building itself, which spans four city blocks, is famous for its size alone.
Also found in Central Park is the world-famous Central Park Zoo. Located at 64th Street and Fifth Ave, the zoo is easily reached via subway, bus or on foot from just about anywhere in Manhattan. What was once some crude cages of exotic animals back in the 1860s is now a state-of-the-art facility with natural habitats and a leading education program and participates in a variety of animal preservation programs for endangered species.