A Guide to New York City’s Central Park

Loeb Boathouse Central Park Top Activities in Central Park

Summer is my favorite season in New York City! The tulips are fully bloomed, the birds are constantly chirping and you no longer have to wear a jacket at night. Outdoor activities are very limited during the Winter, but luckily NYC is home to some of the world’s best indoor museums and restaurants (which you will definitely want to check off your list during your Summer visit as well!)

During the Summer, New Yorkers spend most of their time in Central Park to relax, get some sun and picnic (if they’re not off to the Hamptons for the weekend of course). I’ve lived in New York City for 8 years and have created a one day guide that includes the most popular sights to see and activities to do in Central Park. ENJOY!

Tips before you go: Make sure you bring comfortable walking shoes. Central Park is 2.5 miles long and a half mile wide. My guide below guide requires about 3 and a half miles of walking. Fun fact: On average, the typical New Yorker walks two to five miles in a day!
There will be plenty of street vendors throughout the park so make sure to bring cash so you can pick up bottled water or snacks as needed throughout your day. I would also suggest bringing sunscreen if you plan to knock out my entire list below!

9-10AM Weekend brunch at the famous restaurant Tavern on the Green 
Located on the West side of Central Park at 66th Street & Central Park West, begin your morning enclosed in a beautiful glass room or on the outdoor patio sipping fresh squeezed orange juice and enjoying homemade pastries, French toast, eggs Benedict and more. The restaurant opens at 9am Saturday and Sunday and closes at 8:30pm. Be sure to book a reservation two months in advance (the earliest possible) as it is one of the most popular restaurants in Manhattan!
View their brunch menu here, lunch and dinner menus here.
(About half a mile walk to next destination, 10 minutes)Tavern on the Green Restaurant Central Park Top Activities in Central ParkTavern on the Green Restaurant Central Park Top Activities in Central Park
10:15 Visit the Strawberry fields “Imagine” mosaic

In memory of John Lennon, 2.5 acres of landscaped land has been dedicated to this former Beatles member. Check out the famous “Imagine” mosaic which is adorned with flowers daily. There might even be someone playing Beatles music and/or singing Beatles songs as a tribute during your visit!
Expect to spend about 10 minutes here.
(About half a mile walk to next destination, 12 minutes)
Imagine Mosaic Central Park Top Activities in Central Park10:45 Belvedere Castle
Located in the heart of Central Park, Belvedere Castle was built in 1869 and offers some of the highest and best views of the park. Typically, hours are from 10am to 5pm but it is currently closed due to renovation and will re-open in 2019. Regardless of the renovation, it is still a major tourist destination within Central Park and is worth a visit and photos!
Expect to spend about 20 minutes here.
(About 0.3 mile walk to next destination, 7 minutes)
Belvedere Castle Central Park Top Activities in Central Park11:15 Bow Bridge
Bow Bridge was built in 1862 and was constructed out of cast iron. Spanning a total of 60 feet long, it is the most iconic and largest bridge in Central Park; perfect for taking beautiful photos of the lake, Loeb Boathouse and memorable photos during your visit.
Expect to spend about 10 minutes here.
(About 800 feet walk to next destination, 3 minutes)
Bow Bridge Central Park Top Activities in Central Park
Bow Bridge Central Park Top Activities in Central Park
Bow Bridge Central Park Top Activities in Central Park11:30 Bethesda Fountain
Bethesda Fountain is located at the heart of Bethesda Terrace and is one of the most famous fountains in the world! It is very iconic to Central Park, measuring 26 feet high and 96 feet wide, featuring an 8 foot bronze angel on top. A beautiful sight to see and great for turtle and people watching.
Expect to spend about 10 minutes here.
(About 0.2 mile walk to next destination, 5 minutes)
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Bethesda Fountain Central Park Top Activities in Central ParkNoon-1:30pm Have lunch at the Loeb Boathouse & take a boat out on the lake
One of the most famous places in all of Central Park and definitely my favorite! The boathouse is over 150 years old and offers lakeside dining with delicious lunch menu options including crab cakes, ahi tuna, salads, burgers and more. You can dine inside or out on their patio while you watch the boats go by. The Loeb Boathouse offers dinner as well as weekend brunch only. View the full menu here.
House are based on seasonality which you can view here.
I would highly recommend taking a boat out for an hour after your meal! Boats are $15 an hour, but make sure you bring cash as they do not accept credit cards.
Expect to spend about an hour and a half here (lunch and one hour of boat time).
(About 800 feet walk to next destination, 4 minutes)

Loeb Boathouse Central Park Top Activities in Central ParkLoeb Boathouse Central Park Top Activities in Central Park
The Loeb Boathouse Central Park Top Activities in Central Park1:30pm Alice & Wonderland Statue & Conservatory Pond Boats
The Alice in Wonderland sculpture was built in 1959 and was made from smooth bronze. One of the most visited statues in the city, children are encouraged to play and climb on it if they wish!
Expect to spend about 10 minutes here.
(About 0.6 mile walk to next destination, 14 minutes)
Alice In Wonderland Statue Central Park Top Activities in Central Park2-4pm Visit the Central Park Zoo
I bet you didn’t know there was a zoo located inside Central Park! Check out penguins, sea lions, snow leopards, grizzly bears and more. You can watch the penguins and sea lions being fed twice a day and there is also a children’s area with a petting zoo.
Zoo hours are 10am to 5:30pm and tickets are $13 for children, $18 for adults & $15 for seniors 65+. You can purchase tickets here.
Expect to spend two hours max at the zoo.
(About 0.4 mile walk to next destination, 9 minutes)
Central Park Zoo Top Activities in Central ParkCentral Park Zoo Top Activities in Central Park4:15pm Ride the Central Park Carousel
The original Central Park carousel was built in 1871 and operated with a horse and mule underground! It has since then had four total remodels. The current carousel was built in 1908 and is one of the largest carousel’s in the US with 52 horses and 2 chariots.
Fun fact: 250k people ride the Central Park carousel a year!
The carousel is open from 10am to 6pm daily, weather permitting, and costs $3 a person.
(About 0.3 mile walk to next destination, 7 minutes)
Central Park Carousel Top Activities in Central Park4:30-6pm Picnic and people watch in Sheep Meadow
My favorite thing to do in the Summer! I typically drop by Whole Foods in Columbus Circle for a bottle of Rose, cheese and crackers. Technically you’re not allowed to have an open container in public in the city so make sure to bring some plastic cups and throw out any glass bottles when you’re finished. I would suggest popping by there beforehand to grab a snack. Be sure to bring a blanket, sunblock and a football to throw around with friends or family!
Screen Shot 2018-06-23 at 4.48.15 PM
Other popular activities in Central Park include: 
8pm ‘Shakespeare in the Park’ shows at Delacorte Theater. Purchase your tickets here.
Bike riding in Central Park. I would recommend renting a bike for an hour or two at the corner of Central Park West & Central Park South (at the Columbus Circle park entrance).

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