Covering 843 acres of land, Central Park can easily take days to fully explore. The size of this man-made park is what allows Manhattan natives to step outside their busy lives and the bustle of the city to reconnect with nature and find tranquility in the 8th largest city in the world. If you’re a visitor to New York City, finding your way around this mammoth park and deciding what to do and see can be a challenge.
The first order of business will be to decide whether to see it on foot or bike. Given the size of the park, going on foot will severely limit how much of it you will see. If you have a particular destination in mind, walking still may be your best choice. Perhaps you’re just heading to the Conservatory Gardens on the North End or you’re wanting to stroll The Pond on the South End. If so, taking a cab to near your destination may suffice as several roads traverse the expanse of the park.
If, on the other hand, you plan on truly immersing yourself in an area of the park, you may elect for a guided walking tour. It cannot be overstated how large the park actually is or how hard it can be to find all those special spots of interest hidden amongst the trees, lakes and winding paths. A walking tour can help you get the “lay of the land”. Additionally, guides are full of information regarding the rich history of the park and attractions.
For those wanting to see more of the park, there is no better way than renting a bicycle. Experiencing nature through a car window is no experience at all. The entirety of the park is covered in scenic paths for riders, meandering through its fields, meadows and woods. There are bicycle tours available for those wanting a tour of the highlights and a knowledgeable guide. Or, you can strike out alone, renting a bike with a security chain. Both options have their advantages, it truly is just a matter of taste.
A guide can keep you on track and offer insights to the parks history, while an independent rental will allow you to stop whenever and wherever you want to take in more of the favorite spots you find. It should also be noted that private, guided tours can be arranged in advance as well – giving you the best of both worlds.