The following guide highlights some of the top things to see in Central Park.
The Mall and Literary Walk
The Mall is Central Park's most prominent horticultural feature with its canopy of elms. It's the largest remaining stand of American Elm trees in North America. Literature lovers will appreciate the statues of renowned authors that flank the walkway. You'll find street performers and vendors here.
One of the park's seven natural bodies of water, the Pond is a serene spot in the southwest corner. Hallet Nature Sanctuary is a wooded hill near the pond occasionally open to visitors. Check their website to see when. You'll likely recognize the famous Gapstow Bridge. Along with the skyline in the background, it's a classic NYC view.
Stop and admire the walls and pillars of the park's most picturesque architectural setting. Intricate sculptures of the seasons and the times of day adorn them. The centerpiece of the scene is the magnificent Bethesda Fountain called "Angel of the Waters." Bethesda Terrace is a great place for street musicians since the Minton tiles of the terrace's arcade provide perfect acoustics.
You can't miss Central Park's Lake. Created from a long-ago swamp, this manmade body of water is the Lake's centerpiece. To the east past Bethesda Terrace, you'll find the Boathouse Restaurant and the kiosk where you can rent a rowboat. You'll recognize the iconic cast-iron Bow Bridge in the expanse of water and skyline.
This peaceful sanctuary is dedicated to the memory of John Lennon who was murdered across the street from this part of the park. The Imagine Mosaic serves as a centerpiece for Strawberry Fields. You'll likely see flowers placed here by Lennon's dedicated fans.
Central Park Zoo
Last but not least, no visit to the Park is complete without a stop at the zoo, the park's most popular attraction. The zoo features animals from the tropical, temperate, and polar global zones. Try to go at one of the feeding times and watch the sea lions perform tricks. Those times are 11:30am, 2:00pm and 4:00pm.
More info about Central Park Zoo
Visiting Central Park Zoo wih kids? You can't miss the TISCH Children's Zoo - includes a compact nature trail featuring a barnyard full of friendly sheep and alpacas, a meandering duck pond, and plenty of places for little hands and feet to hop, scuttle, and climb.
Museums around Central Park