The city that never sleeps is a bit overwhelming for first timers like us, with all the yellow cabs, tall buildings and busy New Yorkers walking so fast. To lessen this feel, we choose to start our tour with a gentle introduction by exploring its natural gem – the Central Park. It is a wonderful getaway in the middle of the busiest city in the world. Good thing, it is only a few stations away from our hotel.
As a couple celebrating their anniversary week, we wanted to explore the park in the most romantic way. Alright, maybe I’m the only one who wanted it this way :p You can’t blame me as the park offers the best romantic spots and activities for couples like us. Here are the romantic things we did in Central Park in one chilly day of May.
1. Stroll under the Green Canopy of The Mall & Literary Walk
This walkway is lined by towering trees, creating a green canopy. It is surrounded by statues of renowned authors and benches for taking in the scene. Along the pathway, we found numerous performers, roller skaters, others are vendors and like us most are just lazy strolling around. There’s also a fun run event during the time of our visit. This stretch of the park is considered one of the most photographed areas, so have your camera ready!
Location: Near South End, Mid-Park from 66th to 72nd Streets
2. Cross the Bow Bridge
The cast iron Bow Bridge is said to be the second oldest and as most travel articles says, one of the best romantic spots in Central Park. It can be agreed if there are no tourists on the bridge! Many seem to gather here to look out onto the peaceful water, with family or friends. So we just spend few minutes and cross the bridge and look it from afar. We did strike a “cheesy” pose with the Bow Bridge! 🙂
Location: Mid-Park at 74th Street west of Bethesda Terrace, connecting Cherry Hill and The Ramble
3. Witness a Proposal at Bethesda Terrace and Fountain
One of the most filmed and recognizable locations in the city were perhaps the Bethesda Terrace and Bethesda Fountain. A good sample where it was featured – the scene where Serena and Blair of Gossip Girl made up (certified fan here!). And to make it the most romantic spot ever, we witnessed a simple yet beautiful proposal with a music playing on the background by some youngsters! Congratulations to the newly engaged couple!
Location: Mid-Park on the north side of 72nd Street
4. Pretend like a King and Queen of Belvedere Castle
Perched high on a hill, this stone castle offers wonderful views of the park. We love the surrounding terraces where we act like King and Queen of our mini castle!haha 🙂 As it’s built on the highest point we spoil ourselves with the breathtaking panoramic views of the cityscape set against the backdrop of lush greens.
Note: Belvedere Castle opens 10 – 5pm daily. Located near the middle of the park at 79th Street.
5. Be Silly beside the Water Reservoir view
Fans of Sex and the City will recognise this site as many characters used to work out here. While others used to run with the loops of the water reservoir to feel like a true New Yorker or a character in this movie, we sat in one of the benches beside it, enjoy the amazing beauty and sang The 3 Ducks (May Tatlong Bibe!haha) like crazy kids! We got a video but it’s for private only! sorry :p
Location: North End, 85th Street to 96th Street, from east to west
6. Play with the 3 Ducks in The Pond (Conservatory Water)
After singing like crazy beside the water reservoir, we’re inspired to find the 3 ducks at the pond!haha 🙂 Alright, we just walk around the area and no joke, we did find the 3 ducks! This is where Stuart Little sailed too. Nearby are the Hans Christian Anderson and Alice in Wonderland statues, which are adored spots for kids and kids at heart like us.
Location: South End between Fifth and Sixth Avenues
7. Watch others Row a Boat around The Lake
The peaceful water seen under the Bow Bridge is actually the famous lake in Central park. This epic man-made lake is truly stunning. As the boat ride will eat up an hour of our time, we quietly sat down, eat some snacks and watch other couples row their boats. Others suggest hiring a Venetian gondola ride for a more romantic feel while exploring the park. Service is available daily, but prior reservations are required. Cost of boat ride is $15 as of May 2016.
Location: Mid-Park from 71st to 78th Streets
8. Have a Picnic in Sheep Meadow
This massive green expanse is a favorite of New Yorkers who flock there to picnic, play Frisbee and just soak up under the sun. It was around 10-12 degrees during our visit – a perfect weather to have a picnic or just enjoy the amazing skyline forming a dramatic backdrop. This abundant field is one of the most astounding views in the city.
Location: West Side from 66th to 69th Streets.
9. Be Poetic at Shakespeare Garden
The Shakespeare garden is filled with a variety of beautiful flowers and plants, most of which have featured in his works. It’s a spectacular place for a romantic stroll. This huge garden will really measure your literary knowledge, but there are many plaques to help you along the way. So don’t worry and appreciate the love poems of Shakespeare!
Location: West Side between 79th and 80th Streets
As suggested by LonelyPlanet and TripAdvisor, other romantic spots are the vintage Carousel, Strawberry fields – where John Lennon black and white Imagine mosaic can be found. If winter, the Wollman Rink – the Serendipity movie famous location that made everyone hopeless romantic.
With so many things to see and do, Central Park is well worth the visit at any time of year. For that ultimate romantic and magical experience, be sure to plan out your visit before to make sure you catch all those hotspots. Depending on the season and your partner likes and dislikes, it can be a moment to remember or a total disaster. As long as you complement each other and not forgetting the reason why you’re there, trust me, everything will be unforgettable.
Website: Location mentions are from www.centralparknyc.org
Have you been to Central Park? We would love to hear your comments and suggestions! 🙂