Central Park is the most famous park in the United States. It consists of 843 acres surrounded by the towering walls and skyscrapers of Manhattan. It was America’s first public park and is a landscaping design masterpiece. It is a favorite of Manhattanites and visitors alike to use for running, recreational activities, tours, weddings or simply enjoying the soft green grass and beautiful scenery amidst one of the biggest cities in the U.S.
See Central Park and its attractions, and see the beauty of one of the most beautifully restored parks in the U.S.
Alice in Wonderland
This bronze sculpture of Alice in Wonderland adds a touch of whimsy to the park and is a favorite for children to visit. Alice is accompanied by the White Rabbit, Mad Hatter, and a mouse in the sculpture, and children have climbed and touched it so many times that parts of the patina have been worn smooth. Head towards 75th Street on the East side of the park to see the Alice in Wonderland Sculpture that has delighted so many over the years.
Charles A. Dana Discovery Center
The park is so large and eventful that the Charles A. Dana Discovery Center was opened in Central Park in 1993. Its mission is to act as one of the park’s visitor’s centers, providing information and details on programs, exhibits, and holiday events. A small plaza allows for space to hold community programs for you to enjoy. The Discovery Center of Central Park can be found on 110th street and Lenox Avenues in the park.
Sheep Meadow was originally home to a flock of sheep for many years before 1934. It is the ultimate green-field setting, where picnickers, sunbathers, and people who are seeking a scenic view come to lay on the soft grass and enjoy the outing. A large field surrounded by trees and towering skyscrapers that flank the trees provide a lovely yet surreal view, and many enjoy Sheep’s Meadow for that very reason.
The miniature castle stands as another of the park’s visitor’s centers and gives the highest and most scenic views of the cityscape and Central Park. It is open daily from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and also has a gift shop inside. Its castle-like appearance creates another whimsical ambiance to the park. It can be found mid-park by 79th Street.
Another lovely, scenic are in Central Park is an area called Cherry Hill. Known for the cherry trees and azaleas in the area that provides beautiful blooms in the springtime. The area was originally a turnaround with a water trough for horse-drawn carriages. It is a place of serenity and calm, and the trees offer shade, blooms, and a peaceful atmosphere to relax in.
The Conservatory Garden is six acres of formal gardens with Italian, English, and French styles represented. It can be found on the East side of Central Park, between 104th and 106th Streets. The Italian Garden presents crabapple trees and yew hedges, while the English garden area has seasonal beds with beautiful flowers, a memorial fountain, and five mixed areas of trees and shrubs. The French garden has lovely tulips, Japanese holly, and other seasonal flora to appreciate. All are spectacular displays and provide a nice quiet area to read a book or view the flowers.
The Ravine is a magical place where the skyline of the cityscape disappears, and all you can hear is running water as it trickles over a waterfall. This area makes you feel like you have stumbled into the forest as the surrounding trees and vegetation and large rock area where the water flows provide an escape from everyday life. This is the only stream-valley you will find in Central Park and offers a wilderness like setting for those who want to get away. Look for it in the mid-park area by 103rd Street.
The Mall and Literary Walk
The Mall and Literary Walk are one of the most photographed areas. A wide walkway is canopied by rows and rows of elm trees, providing a picturesque view and a favorite of visitors. It is a quarter of a mile long and at the southern end of the walk is known as the Literary Walk, where several tributes to prominent writers appear in the forms of statues. Walk the only straight walkway in Central Park, and see the amazing canopy of elm trees that shade it.
The Obelisk, also known as Cleopatra’s Needle, is the oldest human-made object in Central Park and was brought over to the U.S. from Egypt, in exchange for funds to help modernize Egypt. The area around the Obelisk has new paving, lighting, and benches to admire the extraordinary piece of history that rests on the Manhattan Island. The area is especially beautiful with all the surrounding flora in the springtime.
The park has been successfully maintained by the Conservancy, who has raised millions of dollars and who has rehabilitated the area to the beautiful place it is now. You would never know a city surrounded you until you looked up and saw the massive skyscrapers. This place was the beginning for urban parks in America, as it provided an excellent example. Tours, history, weddings, sculptures, fountains, scenic views, and more await you in this magnificent place. It offers city dwellers a chance to escape from it all, right in their very own town.