9 Places You Need to See in Central Park

Central Park is New York City's backyard, with 843 acres of green that comprises a sizeable six percent of the island of Manhattan. Some 40 million people visit Central Park every year and enjoy the park's many famous sights. Here are nine of the very best Central Park attractions.

01 of 09

The Great Lawn

Summer Fun
Stacey Bramhall/Getty Images
Address
79th Street &, W 85th St, New York, NY 10022, USA
Phone
+1 212-310-6600

The Great Lawn is 13 acres of green grass with baseball fields, basketball courts, and lots of room for sports and leisure activities. The Great Lawn is also the site of free concerts every summer, including performances by the New York Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Opera. Mid-park, from 79th to 86th sts.

02 of 09

Central Park Zoo

Central Park Zoo NYC, USA
Christopher Jacobs/Getty Images
Address
E 64th St, New York, NY 10021, USA
Phone
+1 212-439-6500

See the zoo that the movie Madagascar made famous (though note that the movie took some creative license, since there are no lions or hippos or giraffes here). However, the Central Park Zoo has plenty to see, including sea lions, monkeys, penguins, and more. A special children's zoo lets kids get close to goats, sheep, and pigs, too. East side of park, btwn E. 63rd & E. 66th sts.

03 of 09

Strawberry Fields

Strawberry Fields (John Lennon Memorial), Central Park, New York, New York USA.
Blaine Harrington III/Getty Images
Address
W 72nd St, New York, NY 10019-4369, USA
Phone
+1 212-639-9675
Iconic Attractions
4.3

Strawberry Fields was designed as a garden of peace in honor of John Lennon. When Lennon lived in the nearby Dakota apartment building, this was his favorite oasis in Central Park. A black-and-white mosaic with the word "Imagine" now marks the entrance to Strawberry Fields. Fans leave flowers, poems, and other tributes in remembrance of Lennon. West side of park, btwn W. 71st & W. 74th sts.

04 of 09

The Reservoir

Central Park in Autumn, New York City
Ellen Rooney/Getty Images
Address
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, New York, NY 10128, USA

The Reservoir (officially named the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir)  is best known for the 1.58-mile track surrounding it. Thousands of runners get their exercise here daily. Spring runs are particularly scenic thanks to the ornamental cherry trees that bloom along the loop. 85th to 96th sts., from east to west

Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09

Belvedere Castle

Belvedere Castle
Scott Dunn/Getty Images
Address
79th St, New York, NY 10021, USA
Phone
+1 212-772-0288

This 19th-century stone castle rises above Vista Rock, the second highest natural elevation in the park. From the castle's tower, you'll find breathtaking views of Central Park and the city. The castle also houses the Henry Luce Nature Observatory, which features exhibits on the birds and other wildlife found in the park. Mid-park at 79th St.

06 of 09

Sheep Meadow

New York City, Central Park
Sylvain Sonnet/Getty Images
Address
1802 65th St Transverse, New York, NY 10065, USA
Phone
+1 212-310-6600
Iconic Attractions
4.9

Sheep Meadow is a lush, green meadow boasting a great skyline view. It's perfect for sunbathing, picnicking, or just taking a break from the city. Herds of sheep grazed in this section of the park from 1864 until 1934. In fact, the shepherd lived in a nearby building that is now the famous Tavern on the Green restaurant. West side of park, btwn W. 66th & W. 69th sts.

07 of 09

Bethesda Terrace

Bethesda Terrace, Central Park
joe daniel price/Getty Images
Address
72 Terrace Dr, New York, NY 10021, USA
Phone
+1 212-310-6600
Historic Attractions
4.8

Bethesda Terrace was designed to be the heart of Central Park. The ornate terrace features the famous fountain and views of the lake, the lawn, and the Ramble. Mid-park at 72nd St.

08 of 09

Shakespeare Garden

A man reads under a magnolia tree in New York City's Central Park during springtime
Stacey Bramhall/Getty Images
Address
79th St Transverse, New York, NY 10024, USA
Phone
+1 212-310-6600
Parks & Gardens
4.7

Shakespeare Garden is a beautiful little oasis of flowers. Sit on the rustic benches or under the mulberry tree and admire climbing roses, daffodils, violets, tulips, and other blooms. Only flowers mentioned in Shakespeare's plays or poetry are planted here. West side of park, btwn W. 79th & W. 80th sts.

Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09

Loeb Boathouse

Loeb boathouse and boaters
Sherry Galey/Getty Images
Address
Park Drive North, E 72nd St, New York, NY 10021, USA
Phone
+1 212-517-2233

At the boathouse at the eastern end of the lake, you can rent rowboats and bicycles or take a ride in a romantic gondola. You can also dine on a deck overlooking the lake or grab a snack on the terrace. East side of park, btwn E. 74th & E. 75th sts.

Back to List

9 Places You Need to See in Central Park