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Since 1857, Central Park has been an oasis of natural beauty in the midst of Manhattan Island. The vast park -- over three square kilometres -- contains not only walking paths, gardens and woods but also museums, theatres, restaurants and a zoo. Holiday rentals in Central Park put you within easy distance of one of New York's most famous landmarks.
The original plan for Central Park, developed by designers Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, envisioned a natural-seeming (although in fact carefully planned) landscape of hills, woods and water for New Yorkers to stroll or drive through. Although the park has changed in many ways over the years, it still plays this role. Walking or jogging in Central Park gives locals and visitors alike the chance to enjoy both the park's greenery and the stunning Manhattan skyline. Accommodation near Central Park is highly sought-after because of these unique and spectacular views.
Central Park is more than just a place for nature, however; it's also home to some of New York's best-known cultural institutions. The Delacorte Theater is an open-air amphitheatre, home to the annual Shakespeare in the Park. Another more unusual theatre is the Swedish Cottage, originally brought to the US as Sweden's exhibit in the 1876 exposition. Today it houses a permanent marionette theatre. In addition to the theatres, Central Park also houses the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, the world's most visited art museum.
From holiday apartments near Central Park, visitors can explore some of New York's best-known -- and most unusual -- sites. Famous landmarks in the park include Belvedere Castle, a medieval-style folly that houses an exhibition space and offers stunning views of the park. The Central Park Carousel is a magnet for children of all ages, as are the park's two ice-skating rinks, one of which doubles as a swimming pool in summer. Despite its relatively small size, the historic Central Park Zoo might take up a day all by itself.