A Fall Afternoon in New York City’s Central Park – What Can You See and Do?

New York City's Central Park in the Fall

Last month I was in New York City for a 24 Hour Party on the Carnival Vista. My girlfriend Susan and I had a few hours to play tourists before my flight back to Florida. It was peak leaf peepers season so it was a no brainer.

Let’s wander through Central Park.

We parked on the southeast corner of the park near the Plaza Hotel and set off on our four-hour adventure.

New York City's Central Park in the Fall

THE POND

When entering the park from this area you immediately happen upon “The Pond”. Because of its location along the perimeter, this is a great place to snap photos with contrasting elements of both man made structures and nature.

New York City's Central Park in the Fall

New York City's Central Park in the Fall

From here you can take the walkway over to the zoo…

New York City's Central Park in the Fall

…or cross the bridge over into the Hallett Nature Sanctuary.

New York City's Central Park in the Fall

HALLETT NATURE SANCTUARY

Can you spot the artisit capturing this scene with an easel and canvas?

New York City's Central Park in the Fall

We continured on through the park in search of the Literary Walk.

New York City's Central Park in the Fall

New York City's Central Park in the Fall

THE LITERARY WALK

This area of the park is known for its ancient elm trees. Some are as old as 150 years.

New York City's Central Park in the Fall

THE MALL

The Literary Walk and The Mall were the busiest areas of the park. Filled with vendors selling art and food as well as street performers, guests capturing photos and business folks off on their lunch breaks.

New York City's Central Park in the Fall

The entrance from The Mall to the Bethesda Terrace and Fountain is quite impressive!

New York City's Central Park in the Fall

BETHESDA TERRACE AND FOUNTAIN

As we made our way down the grand steps and under the archway leading to the fountain we stopped for a moment to take it all in.

New York City's Central Park in the Fall

New York City's Central Park in the Fall

I couldn’t help but notice a mime perched on a bench with his gloved hand held up across his forehead as if he were looking for someone. Was this all part of his act? There were dozens of performance artists all over the grounds that day.

Minutes later we learned he was there to assist in a special moment.

New York City's Central Park in the Fall

…a proposal…

She said yes!

New York City's Central Park in the Fall

Beyond the fountain you can sit at the edge of The Lake and look out onto Loeb Boathouse.

LOEB BOATHOUSE

Loeb Boathouse offers guests bicycle and boat rentals and there is the most charming little eatery along its shoreline.

New York City's Central Park in the Fall

Both Susan and I being Disney fans, we headed east from Loeb Boathouse and set a course for the Alice in Wonderland statue passing by the Trefoil Arch on our way.

New York City's Central Park in the Fall

New York City's Central Park in the Fall

KERBS BOATHOUSE

This path led us over to the Conservatory Water and Kerbs Boathouse. How adorable are these tiny sailboats gliding across the pond?

New York City's Central Park in the Fall

ALICE IN WONDERLAND

We were so excited to finally make it over to the Alice in Wonderland Statue on the north side of the Conservatory Water.

New York City's Central Park in the Fall

The statue was more of a junge jim than a piece of art and it was hard to capture a photo without tiny humans clamoring about.

THE RAMBLE

The Ramble is the piece of land situated to the north of The Lake and was one of the very first parts of Central Park to be built. Yes, built. This 36 acre garden canopy was planted by park designer Frederick Law Olmsted.

New York City's Central Park in the Fall

New York City's Central Park in the Fall

It would be easy to get lost in this section of Central Park.

We made our way south and ended up high on a rock overlooking The Lake.

New York City's Central Park in the Fall

BOW BRIDGE

After traversing our way down the face we had an amazing view of Bow Bridge which leads park guests from The Ramble onto Cherry Hill.

New York City's Central Park in the Fall

New York City's Central Park in the Fall

New York City's Central Park in the Fall

CHERRY HILL

Cherry Hill happens to be famous for it’s fountain.

New York City's Central Park in the Fall

The fountain was intended as a scenic turnaround for horse drawn carriages as well as a watering hole for said horses.

New York City's Central Park in the Fall

But you may recognize Cherry Hill Fountain as the one that the actors from “F.R.I.E.N.D.S.” frolicked around in the TV show’s opening credits.

There are several other sites in the park that we weren’t able to cover in the four hours that we had that afternoon so I’ll save that story for another day….