The 9 Best Places to Tour in Central Park Plus a Hidden Gem

When you come to New York City, you absolutely must visit Central Park while you’re here. Central Park is one of the city’s most iconic locations and there are plenty of reasons why. We put together a list of some of the best places to tour in Central Park so you get an idea of how to get the most memorable experience during your visit whether you book a pedicab tour of Central Park with us or choose to go the self-guided route.

1. Tavern on the Green

Address: 67th Street & Central Park West, New York City, NY 10023

“Tavern on the Green has proudly served locals, presidents, royalty, artists, actors, and first-time visitors since 1934.”

You may have seen Tavern on the Green featured in the Ghostbusters or Wall Street movies. Tavern on the Green is an iconic restaurant that started off as a sheepfold, an enclosure that housed sheep—yes, sheep— until 1934. Since then it’s been restored and reopened several times and now serves American food in an elegant setting and features courtyard and garden seating areas. Celebrities have been spotted dining at this award-winning restaurant and it maintains very positive reviews from those that dine here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Tavern on the Green expensive?

Plan to spend $14+ on starters and appetizers and $20+ on main dishes.

Does Tavern on the Green have a dress code?

Yes, Tavern on the Green has a dress code. The dress code is smart casual. They don’t allow athletic/running/jogging attire or men with sleeveless shirts in their main restaurant but they are permitted at the Tavern To Go Outdoor Seating Area.

2. Bethesda Terrace and Fountain

Charles Smith/CC BY-SA 2.0

Address: 72 Terrace Dr, New York, NY 10021

Right at the heart of the beautiful Bethesda Terrace, you’ll find the iconic Angel of the Waters fountain standing proud and tall, overlooking visitors. Two grand staircases that compose an upper and lower level allow people a scenic route to Central Park Mall and the Naumburg Bandshell. In 1868 the Bethesda Terrace Fountain sculpture was created by Emma Stebbins and made history as the first time a woman received a public art commission in New York City. Be sure to take a look at the gallery to get a good look at the beautiful landscape and architecture, though, there’s nothing quite like visiting Bethesda Terrace and Fountain for yourself!

Frequently Asked Questions

What months does the fountain run?

The fountain doesn’t run based on a season, instead it runs based on the weather. The best way to find out if the fountain will run is contacting Central Park Conservancy.

Is there a way to get to the fountain without a lot of walking?

Yes, there are entrances to the park at West 72nd Street and Central Park West and East 72nd Street and Fifth Ave. Terrace Drive is an extension of 72nd Street and connects the two entrances. The Bethesda Terrace and Fountain are on the north side of Terrace Drive, midway between the east and west entrances, about one and a half blocks from either entrance. The West 72nd Street entrance is right across the street from the B and C subway station. This makes it easy to take a taxi to either entrance. You can also book a pedicab tour to Bethesda Terrace and Fountain, we may even be able to pick you up directly from your hotel!

Do you need to book in advance to visit Bethesda Terrace and Fountain?

If you’re interested in booking a tour of Bethesda Terrace and Fountain, we suggest you book ahead of time to secure the date and time you prefer. Have questions about booking a tour? Contact us and we’ll answer your questions and help you reserve your tour.

What are the closest hotels to Bethesda Terrace?

Some of the closest hotels to Bethesda Terrace and Fountain are:

  • (0.73 mi) The Sherry-Netherland Hotel

  • (0.72 mi) 1 Hotel Central Park

  • (0.69 mi) Hotel Beacon

  • (0.64 mi) The Pierre, a Taj Hotel, New York

  • (0.69 mi) Loews Regency New York

What restaurants are near Bethesda Terrace?

These are some of the closest restaurants to Bethesda Terrace and Fountain:

  • (0.39 mi) Bemelmans Bar

  • (0.35 mi) Laduree

  • (0.45 mi) Lady M Cake Boutique

  • (0.43 mi) The Leopard at des Artistes

  • (0.42 mi) Sant Ambroeus

You view more surrounding restaurants and read reviews from real customers here.

3. Dakota Building

Ajay Suresh / CC BY 2.0

Address: 1 W 72nd St, New York, NY 10023

The Dakota Building is New York’s most famous apartment building. If you’ve never heard of The Dakota, you’re probably wondering why we would recommend travelers to Central Park to visit an apartment building but we promise we have plenty of great reasons. The Dakota is filled with a long history of mystery and even humorous exclusivity that has attracted the attention of thousands since it was erected in the late 19th century. Is it haunted? Seems so. Should you visit? Absolutely.

Frequently Asked Questions About The Dakota Building

How can I reserve a room in the Dakota Building?

The Dakota is a residential building and doesn’t function like a hotel. However, there are several hotels closeby that you can book during your stay in Central Park. Scroll down below to see our list of the closest hotels.

Which celebrities live in the Dakota Building?

Celebrities that currently live in the Dakota Building include Yoko Ono, Roberta Flack, and Maury Povich and his wife Connie Chung. You can read more about current residents here.

How many apartments are in the Dakota?

Originally, The Dakota Building had 65 apartments, but space on the tenth floor was converted into more apartments making the total number of units 94.

Do you need to book in advance to visit the Dakota Building?

We recommend that you book in advance to secure your spot at one of our pedicab tours to the Dakota Building. See our tour information here.

What hotels are near the Dakota Building?

These hotels are near the Dakota:

  • (0.39 mi) Hotel Beacon

  • (0.69 mi) The Mark

  • (0.58 mi) Trump International Hotel and Tower New York

  • (0.64 mi) Mandarin Oriental, New York

  • (0.65 mi) The West Townhouse

What restaurants are near the Dakota Building?

Restaurants near The Dakota:

  • (0.26 mi) The Leopard at des Artistes

  • (0.21 mi) Magnolia Bakery

  • (0.21 mi) Pappardella

  • (0.29 mi) Tavern on the Green

  • (0.15 mi) Ella Social

What else is near the Dakota Building?

Some attractions near The Dakota:

  • (0.34 mi) American Museum of Natural History

  • (0.37 mi) Beacon Theatre

  • (0.32 mi) Bethesda Fountain

  • (0.23 mi) New-York Historical Society Museum & Library

  • (0.36 mi) Hayden Planetarium

4. Bow Bridge

David Joyce / CC BY 2.0

Address: Bow Bridge, New York, NY 10024

Interested in visiting one of the most iconic bridges in the world? This long and low 87-foot cast iron bridge connects The Ramble and Cherry Hill in Central Park. It’s classical Greek design offers a romantic and intimate setting for visitors and gives a breathtaking view of the park and Manhattan.

Bow Bridge Reviews

Great photo opportunity “The Bow Bridge offers fantastic views of Central Park. It is a great photo opportunity but it will be busy!”

Romantic “Romantic scenery, beautiful view on Bethesda Terrace, breath-taking landscape of Manhattan - ideal place for photo and for making a proposal.”

Amazing views “The bridge commands some amazing views of the lake… it is a cast iron bridge… it is painted light in colour and is generally full of people… it has been a part of many movies…”

Frequently Asked Questions About Bow Bridge

Do you need to book in advance to visit Bow Bridge?

For guided tours of Bow Bridge, we recommend booking ahead of time to secure your spot. Learn more about our guided pedicab tours of Bow Bridge and book here.

What is there to eat near Bow Bridge?

There are several great restaurants to choose from near Bow Bridge:

  • (0.20 mi) Momofuku Noodle Bar

  • (0.15 mi) Loi Estiatorio

  • (0.20 mi) Per Se

  • (0.13 mi) Marea

  • (0.19 mi) Angela’s Sandwich Shop

You can see a list of more restaurants near Bow Bridge here.

5. Central Park Zoo

MusikAnimal / CC BY 3.0

Address: East 64th Street, New York, NY 10021

Don’t pass up on the opportunity to encounter over 130 different species of animals from around the world, right here at the Central Park Zoo.

Central Park Zoo Reviews

For penguins and Sea Lion lovers

“I took my daughter to this wonderful Zoo which house various kind of wild animals, sea creature and birds from around the world. It is worth visiting..”

Cute Place

“A lovely zoo to visit is not big one but cute and welcoming, well worth to visit at any time.”


Visited the Zoo on the last morning of our holiday. We were there just after it opened so it wasn't too busy. We really wanted to see the bears and snow leopards and were not disappointed. We were also lucky to be able to speak to one of the keepers which was great to be able to learn more about the animals.

Fantastic zoo!

Even though is on the small side you can enjoy encounters with sea lions, pengiuns, grizzly bears and snow leopards. My favourite experience though is the tropical zone, where you can walk among parrots, peacocks and lemurs. Fun for kids of all ages 2-99. There is an additional children zoo close by, where kids can feed sheep, goats and ducks. Hurry up and visit this place. Enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions About Central Park Zoo

How much time should we plan to spend at Central Park Zoo?

You should plan to spend 2-4 hours at the zoo.

When does Central Park Zoo open?

Central Park Zoo opens daily at 10:00 a.m. and closes at 4:30 p.m.

Is it comfortable to visit Central Park Zoo during the winter?

There are some indoor exhibits at Central Park Zoo but plan to be outside most of the time.

How much are tickets for entry in Central Park Zoo?

General Admission which includes entry to the Main Zoo and the Tisch Children's Zoo:

  • Adults (13 & older) - $12 Seniors

  • (65 & older) - $9

  • Children (3-12) - $7

  • Children 2 and under - Free

Central Park Zoo also offers a package deal that includes admission to the main zoo, children’s zoo and the 4D theater. These are the current online prices, expect to pay more in-person:

  • Adults - $16.20 online

  • Seniors - $13.50 online

  • Children - $11.70 online

  • Children 2 and under - Free

6. The Hidden Gem: Conservatory Garden

Cultivar413 / CC BY 2.0

Address: 1233 5th Ave, New York, NY 10029

Conservatory Garden is one of Central Park’s hidden gems. It’s a lush, 6-acre garden filled with beautiful flowers, trees, shrubs and wildlife. The garden is divided into three parts: the north garden, the central garden, and the south garden. You’ll find the Three Dancing Maidens fountain at the north garden, a mass of beautiful violets at the central garden, and bronze statues of the boy and girl from The Secret Garden book. Conservatory Garden is the only formal garden in Central Park.

Conservatory Garden Reviews

Beautiful gardens

“Three BEAUTIFUL gardens composes the landscapes: French, English, and Italian. European gardens are extremely beautiful landscaping and greenery. These Conservatory Gardens makes the perfect background for wedding photography and other professional photo shoots as I was planning on having my wedding to be photographed here.”

A place to relax for 30 minutes

“What a great place to relax after say a visit to the Museum of the City of New York. It's a little oasis at the north east of Central Park. The gardeners have created a beautiful series of gardens with ponds, sculptures, plants, flowers and shrubs, clearly designed to provide colour all the year round. If I worked nearby I'd be taking my lunch to relax here.”

Makes one forget the city madness

“Such a quiet and peaceful place to relax. So many varieties of f