The Great Outdoors in the Heart of NYC!

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by RLB2 on August 21, 2011

I would think that most people have heard of Central Park in New York City, and if they haven't they will when they get there. It's a public park in the centre of Upper Manhattan that was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead and Calvert Vaux in 1858. It covers an area of around 843 acres and is 2.5 miles long and 0.5miles wide. I think it really is considered to be an oasis within the city and it provides not only a place for runners, joggers, cyclists and roller skaters to exercise outside, but also an area to relax and take the kids to play. in fact if you were visiting New York with a family it would be a perfect place to spend an afternoon.

Being that we were only in NYC for a couple of days, we decided that we should try and have a walk from one end to the other, so we got the underground to Harlam and wandered into Central Park from the north. As we were only walking through the park to get a feeling for it we didn't have time to take advantage of all of the amenities that the park has to offer. There are lots of walking tracks and bridle paths. two ice skating rinks, one of which is a swimming pool in July & August. We were there in May so we didn't get to have a look at it as a pool. There are several artifical, altough they are natural looking, lakes. One of which is called the reservoir and has a great running track all the way around the edge. There is a huge amphitheater called the Delacorte, which shows Shakespeare in the Park, I was really gutted about missing one of the performances, that are by all accounts fantastic. As if that wasn't enough there is also Central Park Zoo, which is open 10am till 5.30pm in the summer and is only $12 for an adult.

When I go back to New York I will make sure to at very least run and around the track in Central Park. Our visit was so brief that I feel like I didn't get the best from it. What we did get though was a great escape from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan. That isn't to say that Central Park was deserted, it was really quite busy, but it was a different kind of busy, it was people enjoying themselves in a recerational way. The park is also a great way to cut out some of the busier streets and you can just dip in and out of it on your way somewhere else. It was also a much cooler place to be than the concrete jungle outside it, so if the temperatures are soaring everywhere else head to the lakeside in Central Park.

Safety in Central Park is ok, during the day at least as long as you are in a group you will be ok. But at night I would avoid it unless there is something specific going on there. There had been a few attacks on women prior to our visit and we were advised to avoid certain areas during the day and the whole place after dark. Having said that I didn't feel unsafe when we were there, so I think if you just go with your gut instincts you should be ok.
Central Park
59th To 110th Streets Between Fifth Avenue And Central Park West
New York, 10023
(212) 310-6600

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