My Central Park, New York City

4.9
#68 of 121 in Outdoors in New York City
Central Park is an urban park in Manhattan, New York City, between the Upper West Side and the Upper East Side neighborhoods of Manhattan. It is the fifth-largest park in New York City by area, covering 843 acres (3.41 km2). Central Park is the most visited urban park in the United States, with an estimated 37.5–38 million visitors annually, and is the most filmed location in the world.

Following proposals for a large park in Manhattan during the 1840s, Central Park was first approved in 1853 as a 778-acre (3.15 km2) park. In 1857, landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted and architect/landscape designer Calvert Vaux won a design competition for the park with their "Greensward Plan". Construction began the same year, and the park's first areas were opened to the public in late 1858. Additional land at the northern end of Central Park was purchased in 1859, and the park was completed in 1876. After a period of decline in the early 20th century, New York City parks commissioner Robert Moses started a program to clean up Central Park. The Central Park Conservancy, created in 1980 to combat further deterioration in the late 20th century, refurbished many parts of the park during the 1980s and 1990s.

Central Park's main attractions include landscapes such as the Ramble and Lake, Hallett Nature Sanctuary, the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, and Sheep Meadow; amusement attractions such as Wollman Rink, Central Park Carousel, and the Central Park Zoo; formal spaces such as the Central Park Mall and Bethesda Terrace; and the Delacorte Theater. Central Park has a biologically diverse ecosystem with several hundred species of flora and fauna. Though many visitors participate in passive recreational activities such as carriage-horse rides, the park also contains sports facilities, as well as concerts and events such as Shakespeare in the Park. Central Park is traversed by a system of roads and walkways and is served by public transportation.

Central Park's size and cultural position has served as a model for many urban parks. Because of its wide influence, the park was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1963 and as a New York City scenic landmark in 1974. Central Park is owned by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (NYC Parks) but has been managed by the Central Park Conservancy since 1998, under a contract with the municipal government in a public–private partnership. The Conservancy, a non-profit organization, contributes 75% of Central Park's $65 million annual budget and is responsible for all basic care of the park.

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My Central Park Reviews

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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5.0
57 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • The park is the heart of the city. Thee is something new with every visit. Take time to enjoy it and avoid the traffic. A walk home after a day of galleries is the best way to end the day.  more »
  • My husband and I were in New York on Vacation from Florida. We decided to go see central park. Everyone was friendly we enjoyed our visit but were disappointed the castle was closed and not enough...  more »
Google
  • A must do when in Manhattan! We strolled through the park on our way to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Then, returned again to enjoy some park musicians and artists. There are so many things to do. You can just walk as we did, you can eat at the park restaurant, you can rent a remote driven sailboat or row a real live boat in the lake. We enjoyed the park statues and sculptures. It was summer, so it got a bit hot during the mid day. My recommendation is that you visit in the early morning or early evening in the summertime. I have also been to Central Park in the fall. This is my favorite season to visit. The trees are so beautiful. It is hard to believe that you are in the middle of a city! I would not recommend going to the park at night since it is not safe then. During the day, I felt very safe.
  • A necessary stop on any visit to NYC. During the summer, the park gets you some much needed shade and is an experience in and of itself. Lots of street performers/buskers offer entertainment, but the park itself is enough of a show and needs nothing else to recommend it. The architecture of the bridges and tunnels is amazing, there are plenty of unique points of interest, and you even have a zoo if that is what you are interested in.

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