While other parks may be well known for their history, size, or connection to time and frequency standards, few are as widely known as New York City's Central Park. Occupying over 800 acres of prime real estate on Manhattan Island, a visit to Central Park is a must for any tourist coming into New York City. Even if you live here, you'll find that once you've seen the park, you're irresistibly drawn back again and again, so that visiting it becomes a daily or weekly habit for you. Over 25 million people visit it every year.

The park is a public one, designed by perhaps the most famous and influential landscaper in American history - Frederick Law Olmstead - with assistance from London architect Calvert Veux in 1857. Though Central Park was very carefully landscaped, it looks so natural that many New Yorkers visit it as a way to access nature that would otherwise have been unavailable to them in their concrete jungle. It has forested areas featuring trees and plants native to the area, rolling fields, horse riding paths, gardens, a wildlife sanctuary, and walking paths.

There is more than just nature in the park, however. There are also opportunities for almost every kid of recreation in buildings that vacuum trucks can access because there are several through roads cutting across the park. There's an ice skating rink, a swimming pool, a running track, an outdoor amphitheater, numerous playgrounds and sports fields, and even a castle! There's also a small amusement park containing a carousel. The park is a popular place to ride horse-drawn carriages and contains many dozens of statues and fountains.

There are six lakes, some small, some large, with the Reservoir being the largest, making water related activities another popular thing to do in the park, since both of the rivers in New York City are too polluted for recreation. Shrink labels on signs will direct you to the boathouse, where you can eat dinner at a fancy restaurant, rent a paddle boat and explore the lake, or even get married.

The real estate surrounding Central Park is some of the most expensive in the City, so expect to see opulent apartment buildings rather than online post card printing shops. The park also has its own precinct. Police work hard to make sure no harm comes to anyone in the park, but it is still inadvisable to be there after dark. Police and volunteer doctors patrol the park regularly by bicycle.

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