While we love our own Washington Square Park to bits, we have to admit that Central Park is also stunning…and chock-full of history. New York would be a very different city without the foresight of building a central park for its residents and visitors.
Taking a Tour of Central Park opens its secrets
The City Parks Department provides free tours that introduce visitors to highlights of the grounds. But there are also modestly priced tours that provide more in-depth information on certain parts or monuments in this 778-acre oasis in our city.
Here’s a taste of what visitors (and natives alike) can explore through the Parks Dept.:
The Iconic Views of Central Park Tour is just that; guides will lead you to some of the most quintessential features in the park. Highlights will include:
- Sheep’s Meadow,
- Bethesda Terrace
- The Mall
- Literary Walk
- Bow Bridge
You’ve definitely seen the Bow Bridge, pictured here at the beginning of the post, in lots of movies. (Spider-Man 3, Great Expectations, Autumn in New York and probably every Woody Allen movie). The epitome of romance, we tell you! Stop at the Boat House for coffee and enjoy the dazzling lake views.
Before it was Central Park
African-American property owners lived in an area called Seneca Village during the 1800s, before the park was even established. On the Seneca Village Tour, visitors can learn about the former residents’ pre-park lives. The property was confiscated when the land was officially designated to become a city park.
The Legendary Landmarks Tour steers visitors through the greatest hits of CP highlights: Belvedere Castle, Turtle Pond, Great Lawn and more.
Go with a guide
Guides on the Ramble Tour will help you to navigate the winding paths of the Ramble, a wild garden in the northern environs of the park. Believe us, it’s wise to take a tour with someone who knows how to get around. We can’t even begin to tell you how many times we’ve gotten lost in the Ramble!
There are a variety of other treks for different interests, and they pretty much run all year round, weather permitting. Spring and autumn would be the perfect times to savor the views. The excursions run from about an hour to an hour and a half each and cost a mere 15 bucks. What a deal!
Image via John Wisniewski/Flickr