Six Top Attractions of Central Park, New York

You’ll never be short of attractions in New York but from my first day in the city I continually gravitated back to Central Park. It really is the heart of the city and I’m fascinated by this expanse of green space in the middle of Manhattan so here’s a selection of top spot and photos in Central Park New York which I hope captures what a wonderful place it is.

Central Park has so many things to see and do. I used Central Park as my walking route from my hostel located in the Upper West Side to Lower Manhattan and to access all the other city attractions. I tried to vary my routes and made a point of checking out specific places in Central Park but here are just a few of the things the Park has to offer.

The Lake

Boating on the Lake in Central Park
Boating on the Lake

I wandered past The Lake on my very first day in New York and instantly fell in the love with Central Park just on this view alone. The perfect combination of beautiful greenery, idyllic little rowing boats and the amazing obelisk like skyscrapers in the background.

Bethesda Terrace

Bethesda Terrace, Central Park
Bethesda Terrace

Connecting The Lake and The Mall areas of the park, the terrace is a stunning piece of architecture, is always busy and the stairs either side seem to be a very popular workout spot for locals.

Bethesda Fountain - Angel of the Waters in Central Park, NYC
Bethesda Fountain – Angel of the Waters

Plus it has this amazing view of the Bethesda Fountain and the Lake behind from the top and you may recognise this spot from lots of movies including Home Alone 2, Ransom and Enchanted.

Horse Drawn Carriages

Horse Drawn Carriages do tours of Central Park
Horse Drawn Carriages do tours of Central Park

Has been some controversy surrounding the horses and much debate over the welfare of the horses. The issue has become political and sees a clash between animal-rights activists and the carriage drivers who have long been resident in the park and could lose their jobs should proposed bans be imposed.. Personally I did not see any animal that looked unhealthy or mistreated but I guess we’ll have to watch to see what happens with this issue. If you plan to take a ride, the horse and carriages start off on Central Park South between 5th and 6th Avenue. I did not hire one but I did notice prices seemed to vary quite a bit but there is also alternatives such as rickshaws if exploring on foot is a bit much for you.

Belvedere Castle

Belvedere Castle, New York Central Park
Belvedere Castle

A really rather odd find in Central Park is this “miniture castle” which was build in 1869. It gives a nice view point and is open to the public for a fee but I found it quite difficult to find. One of the quirkier attractions of the park.

Strawberry Fields

John Lennon Memorial
John Lennon Memorial

The famous memorial to John Lennon is a simple black and white mosaic with the title of his legendary song Imagine in the centre. Another very popular spot but people do seem to respect that this is a quiet spot and some even bring flowers to place on the memorial.

The Mall

Central Park Mall
It’s always busy at the Mall

The Mall is a beautiful spot and iconic filming locations for silver and small screen alike but if you want that empty leafy avenue photo you’ll need to be up early and I mean super early before all the stalls set up.

Overall, Central Park really is a stunning place. Despite being in the centre of one of the world’s biggest cities there is plenty of spots where you feel like you’re out in a country park somewhere and not once did I feel like the park was crowded. Most midweek visitors will be tourists and so you need to avoid walking into peoples shots all the time and you will also have to dodge the numerous weddings taking place throughout the day but even then you’re sure to find your own quite spot somewhere to take your own snaps uninterrupted.