Discovering Central Park’s Hidden Gems

Central Park is one of New York City’s most well known and beloved attractions. In fact, some of the park’s lawns, fountains, sculptures, and features are among the most visited locations in the city. However, a park this big and this old is sure to have some secrets. Read on to learn about some of Central Park’s hidden gems, and see if you can locate them on your next visit.

Shakespeare Garden

Located just east of the American Museum of Natural History, Shakespeare garden is a charmingly tranquil spot perfect for a quiet afternoon stroll. The garden is made up of flowers and plants mentioned in the writer’s works, and each section features a plaque with a quote. You’ll also find a unique curved granite bench, designed in such a way that if two people sit on opposite ends, they can whisper between each other.

Bank Rock Bay

Popular among bird watchers, this quiet spot sits at the northern end of the Lake. Here you’ll find a narrow inlet of water surrounded by trees, dotted with trails, benches, and a lovely wooden bridge. It’s an ideal sanctuary for reading, writing, and reflecting.

The Ramble

Stretching from 73rd to 78th streets, the Ramble is a maze of pathways that wind across 38 acres of lush woodland. Designed to contrast with Central Park’s more manicured spaces, the area channels a wild, natural landscape. The location is also a favorite among bird watchers, and it’s estimated that you could see 50-60 species in a day at the Ramble. 

Blockhouse No. 1

If you’re interested in the park’s history, check out Blockhouse No. 1, the oldest known building in the park. This small fortress, located near the park’s northwest corner, was actually built to defend against the British during the war of 1812. There isn’t too much to look at on the outside, but the building has certainly seen a lot over its two centuries.

Conservatory Garden

Much of the park is carefully looked after, but not with the same care that goes into the lovely Conservatory Garden. Envisioned by master landscape architect Olmsted, this formal garden is comprised of three sections of varying styles: Italian, French, and English. Stroll through the picturesque paths and appreciate this look back into the golden age of Gardening. The garden is located on the east side of the park, next to 105th Street.

If you’re a NYC local, have you checked out all these hidden gems? If you haven’t, then you have your itinerary ready next time you’re wondering what to do in Central Park. And if you aren’t based in the city, book yourself a stay at The Excelsior so that you can explore the Central Park activities and hidden gems — after all, we’re located less than a block away.

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