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Central Park in a Day?

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Edgerton, Wisconsin
posts: 11
reviews: 52
Central Park in a Day?

I'll be taking my first trip to NYC the first week of January. We're plenty used to hiking/enjoying the cold.

It is possible to see the sculptures, bridges, arches, and points of interests in a day? We are planning a carriage ride as well as skipping the zoo. We have an entire day plotted just for the park.

I've looked at various maps. I'm just curious how much time we should expect and how much walking we will be doing.


North Yorkshire
posts: 911
reviews: 11
1. Re: Central Park in a Day?

I would say a day would be ok. The paths weave all over the place and I found it quite easy to lose my bearings. But if you've time to stroll and enjoy what you come across you should be fine. Get a good map and skip the carriage ride!

Brooklyn, NY
Destination Expert
for New York City
posts: 20,194
2. Re: Central Park in a Day?

Skip the carriage ride and plan your course on a map. It'll be a long day, but it can be done. Try to leave some time to wander.

New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for New York City
posts: 80,942
reviews: 2
3. Re: Central Park in a Day?

Most of us on the forum are against the carriage rides so please don't use one. The horses are not well treated and you really don't get to see that much of the park anyway since they're limited to the roads where you'll be traveling next to cars. If you don't want to walk the whole time, there are pedicabs that do tours. I think one entire day at the park in Jan. would be overkill. The beauty of the park imo is the contrast between the busy city and the peacefulness of the park. Split your visit up and explore the bottom half one day and the top half another.

Poughkeepsie, New...
posts: 217
reviews: 1
4. Re: Central Park in a Day?

I agree don't do carriage ride!

New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for Santa Fe, Heidelberg
posts: 6,329
reviews: 27
5. Re: Central Park in a Day?

The park is large, but you can do whatever you want. There's some places that are well known, and others (mostly in northern part of park) which, while still nice, are less visited. It's the sort of place where if you spend an hour or two (esp. perhaps around the lake) you will get a good sense of it. So it just matters what you want to see.


BTW, on nice days the best thing to see is the people in the park, rather than the park itself.

BTW2: What's amazing about CP is that it was mostly designed and built, its not "natural"! It was made in 1857 so that NYC residents would have a "visit to the country" while in the city.


London, United...
posts: 307
reviews: 46
6. Re: Central Park in a Day?

And maybe, just maybe, the OP is able to use her own judgement skills regarding the rights and wrongs about carriage rides, instead of being browbeaten.

Louisville, Kentucky
posts: 1,429
reviews: 11
7. Re: Central Park in a Day?

I don't think anyone was trying to intimidate her out of the carriage ride. They were just letting her know that there are other options with are animal friendly and more fun.

Edgerton, Wisconsin
posts: 11
reviews: 52
8. Re: Central Park in a Day?

Thanks for the input everyone. I do want to see statues and things not on the main roads. Its sad to hear the horses aren't well kept. I'm not against "animal tourism" but I'm also from an area where carriage competitions are huge and the animals are pets just as much as show animals/transportation.

We're short on days for the trip and without trying to cram I don't think we'll get a 2nd half day at the park. We'll plan on dressing warm and popping in and out as we need to get warm and eat!

posts: 7,144
reviews: 6
9. Re: Central Park in a Day?

For someone who is planning to walk and hike and really see the Park, spending 50 dollars for 20 minutes plus tip in a carriage will not leave the roads and goes very slowly makes no sense whatsoever.

Glasgow, United...
posts: 1,989
reviews: 39
10. Re: Central Park in a Day?

I agree-To get a good feel and explore-comfy shoes scarf ect go on foot- you can read up on the map and decide what exactly you defo want to see, also lots of movies have been filmed in the park. Watch a few before you go!

You can take sanwiches ect with you or come out and have lunch - look up menu pages for ideas, then head back in- cold never bothered me!