New York City Parks
Manhattan hotel near Central Park
- Central Park
Perhaps one of the best-known attractions in New York and urban oasis in the world, the 843 acres of rolling hills, pastures, running trails, ballparks, skating rings and lakes that comprise Central Park are the most visited of any city park in the United States. And for good reason: the 19th century National Historic Landmark designed by Frederick Law Olmstead is the site of countless New York City activities. The Park has starred in hundreds of movies; the Great Lawn hosts free concerts by the New York Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Opera; celebrity sightings are common (and not just in the Shakespeare in the Park performances each summer in the Delacorte Theater). It’s where New Yorkers escape on their lunch hours; grab the first rays of sun in the spring in Sheep Meadow; and flirt in the summer at the Loeb Boathouse.
- Central Park Zoo
The first visit to the Central Park Zoo is a rite of passage for New York City’s kids - and a regular field trip for its adults. The five-acre zoo, among the top New York attractions for all ages, is maintained by the Wildlife Conservation Society. It offers the surprising reminder that inside the urban jungle there’s a real jungle (and a polar icecap), and that getting away from the schoolyard - or the office - is as easy as ducking into the entrance at 63rd street and meeting the snow leopard, mini-Nubian goats, penguins, two-toed sloths and other animals in their own habitats. http://www.centralparkzoo.com/
- Bryant Park
The gardens, promenades and walking paths that form Bryant Park are some of the prettiest - and most accessible - in the heart of midtown Manhattan. The park is perhaps best known for hosting the tents of Fashion Week for more than a decade, but on a daily basis, it’s the heart of midtown lunchtime culture. Free seating dots the park (get there early or late for the prime people-watching spots) and you’ll be lunching outside with more editors, writers and television personalities from the surrounding media offices than you can shake a stick at. Secretly, it’s one of the best places in the city to find free Wireless, and in the winter, you can ice skate for no fee at the central “Pond.” It’s no wonder Bryant Park ranks among the top New York attractions for locals and visitors. http://www.bryantpark.org/