Step out the front door of your 800 Fifth Avenue apartment to find one of the great urban parks on your doorstep. Central Park offers almost 850 acres of green space: winding trails, gardens bursting with blooms, shimmering lakes, and fascinating monuments. Here are some ideas for enjoying New York’s king of parks right now and throughout the rest of the year.
We adore Central Park in the summer: the air is fragrant with hydrangeas, bee balm, cup flowers, and milkweed. Park benches and sprawling lawns are dappled in shade, thanks to 20,000-odd trees. Catch the first rays of sun with an early morning outdoor Pilates session or plan out a jogging route taking in the Hallett Nature Sanctuary, Gapstow Bridge, and the Statues of the Mall. The route options are endless: why not plot a different one for each morning of the week? Pooches love getting their exercise at the park, too, quenching their thirst at over 20 dog fountains. And while group recreation is currently on hold, 800 Fifth Avenue residents can normally engage in everything from bouldering and baseball to Frisbee and fishing.
Stretch Your Legs and Explore
Central Park on your doorstep is like having the world’s best backyard. It’ll take time to get to know it: as well as morning runs, you can plan lunchtime strolls past Belvedere Castle and the Alice in Wonderland sculpture and across picturesque bridges. There are 58 miles of hiking trails too; whenever you feel the urge to escape the urban jungle, disappear into the Ravine, the Ramble, or the North Woods for rugged pathways and wooded landscapes. To get a feel for the magnitude of the park, rent a bike and pedal your way through tree-lined paths, round the reservoir, and past sprawling lawns.
Dig into Central Park’s Culture
While the Museum Mile is temporarily shuttered, now is the perfect time to explore the free art and cultured peppered throughout Central Park. Pay tribute to Balto, the heroic sled dog: his statue is near that of a certain William Shakespeare. Visit Strawberry Fields, the memorial to former Beatle and NYC resident John Lennon. Brush up on your Central Park history by calling in at Seneca Village, the site where African American landowners thrived during the 19th century. Snap selfies by the park’s beautiful water features, including the neoclassical Bethesda Fountain. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg: the rest should keep you busy until the Met, Frick, and Guggenheim reopen.
Central Park is stunning year-round. As summer fades, the trees take on photogenic rusty hues. Cross-country skiers shuttle along the icy thoroughfares. The seasonal Wollman Rink opens to ice skaters. Establishments such as the Ballfield Cafe hawk hot drinks—ideal for warming walks among the flora that flourishes in the colder months, like the Montauk daisies in Shakespeare Garden and vibrant witch hazel in Conservatory Garden. All this—within seconds of your luxury Fifth Avenue apartment rental? Sheer luxury.