What’s the most popular and best known city park in the United States? You guessed it--it’s Central Park in the heart of New York City.
This vast expanse (more than 800 acres) of playfields, paved walking paths, landscaped areas, and open green spaces has been captured and made famous in TV shows, movies, and in photographs taken by countless visitors from all over the world.
The land was set aside in 1853 to create the first major landscaped public park in America.
As a side note, Boston Public Garden established in 1837, holds the distinction of being the first public botanical garden in the United States. (see our article on Boston Public Garden in Garden Tours)
Central Park is home to a number of geographical features and manmade exhibits that appeal to a wide range of visitors from singles to couples to families with wide-eyed youngsters who can be entertained and educated while visiting one of the most famous and inviting public spaces in the world.
The Central Park Zoo is home to a variety of aquatic and land animals from around the globe and is especially popular with the young folks.
The Great Lawn, in the center of Central Park, is an expanse of more than 55 acres dedicated to grassy lawns and some landscaped areas and play fields--popular for relaxing or for fitness activities.
Through the years, the Great Lawn has also been home to a variety of musical performances ranging from pop acts to opera to concerts by The New York Philharmonic.
Several water features are prominent in Central Park.
The Reservoir, which was built in 1860 as a temporary water supply for New York City, is surrounded by a mile and a half running track, popular with joggers and fitness enthusiasts.
A 20 acre site, The Lake, is the second largest body of water in the park.
And one of the most popular and scenic water bodies in Central Park is the Conservatory Water, an area used to navigate small remote-controlled and wind-powered boats. This site was used in the filming of a scene in the movie Stuart Little.
No matter what season of the year it happens to be, there’s much to see, do, and learn about in this most famous city park.
So, anytime you happen to be in “The Big Apple”, try to schedule some time to visit this popular and scenic public area--New York’s Central Park.