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Central Park Tour

Glasgow, United...
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Central Park Tour

Hi all

Looking forward to seeing central park, but being such a large area is it best to get a tour to see all the best bits or should we just walk it ourselves and find them ?

If its best to take a tour which route is the best one to use to get the most out of the park

Central Village...
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1. Re: Central Park Tour

Check the CP website - not sure what tours you are speaking of - it is easily done on your own....however, the website is the place for more detailed information!

Poppa

www.centralparknyc.org/‎

Edited: 26 December 2013, 03:11
Central Village...
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2. Re: Central Park Tour

Just checked the CP site myself and there are guided tours - not every day or in certain weather conditions.

However, there is a plethora of information for visitors to CP.

Poppa

New York NY
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3. Re: Central Park Tour

Personally I think it is best to do it on your own. I don't think you get much value paying somebody to give you a tour. Furthermore, many of the people operating the pedicabs and stuff are very recent immigrants so I wouldn't really expect them to know a lot of the history and everything. They're just trying to make some quick cash to survive - they're not park conservators or anything.

Manchester, United...
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4. Re: Central Park Tour

I prefer to make my own tour.. Maybe research a few spots in CP you are interested in seeing in particular and work out a little route before you set off.. This way you're not tied down if you need to take a rest or want a few minutes to appreciate something, plus the best aspect of doing it yourself, it's free!

Manhattan
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5. Re: Central Park Tour

First to the original poster - the Park is a little more than 4 km by a little less than 1 km so you will never see all of the best bits. It does help to do some research to get a sense of what things you want to see and do. Also, for me, the best time to tour the park is when no organized tours are being given - early in the morning. The Park is a world class artistic masterpiece that sits in the middle of many world class cultural institutions. The Park is a pathway between them. The Central Park Conservancy is the keeper of the Park. They run small free and now not free tours of specific bits of the Park. If there is a tour that fits your interests and schedule, go for it but please make a donation to the Park.

MoreF is right - most of the pedicab people know little or nothing about the Park. Tourguidestan who no longer does pedicabs is a major exception.

As someone who has been a conservancy women's committee docent and has given hundreds of paid and volunteer tours of the Park for visitors and locals since about 1988 and who regularly helps out people see what is around them who are glued to their smartphones and maps I can tell you that taking a tour does make a difference. It gives you a starting point and context so you can understand the Park wherever you chose to explore next.

I had a brief interchange with one of the TA monitors about the lack of meet ups on this board so in an effort to change that --- If you PM me with your dates and places you might want to see in and around the Park - perhaps a public small group walking tour with your interests in mind can be created -- and/or a TA meet up where the group might be larger and the tour even more informal than usual but fun none the less. Who knows!

thestarryeye.typepad.com/explorenyc

Glasgow, United...
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6. Re: Central Park Tour

Hi

Thanks for the replies , all good info, I would never of went with a pedicab we have them here and they know nothing of the area, i saw the tours on CP website thats what prompted me to ask on the forum,

I think we will just do a big loop round the park or maybe plot a route on the computer by ourselves , 4km is smaller than i thought.

We are going 10th feb 2014 till 17th but not sure which date we will we go to the park as we have not had a chance to Wright a plan

Syracuse, New York
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7. Re: Central Park Tour

Also remember, you are going in the dead of winter. It could be slippery, snowy, cold or a combination of all 3. I wouldn't get your heart set on a tour of the Park but rather have it as a maybe with a plan B. Perhaps go to a museum & then cut through the park in a cab on the way to your next destination or go somewhere (like the American Wing Cafe in the Met Museum) where you can eat & see a view of the Park.

Edited: 26 December 2013, 19:24
Manhattan
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8. Re: Central Park Tour

No I would walk through the Park from 1 museum to another. You will see nothing from a cab on the transverse road. You will also see very little following the six mile route of the Park loop. The good bits are off road.

Newark, New Jersey
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9. Re: Central Park Tour

The tour is free and is given by park rangers. It seems like both a good way to get in a hike and see the highlights in context with some history. I always think having an historical perspective helps whenever possible, and I've thought of taking this tour myself.

Terrigal, Australia
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10. Re: Central Park Tour

A contrary opinion ( to the opinions expressed by NYC residents in previous posts) - from a fellow traveler/visitor to fantastic NYC.

We visited for 16 nights @ Easter '12.

What we thought at the time to be a very touristy proposition -and against our better judgement and usual independent travel - turned out to be a very good idea. We went with the pedicab to gain orientation of CP.

The pedicab rider/driver explained that they are licensed - to apparently qualify for a license they have to demonstrate and pass a knowledge test.

The guy that we had was extremely knowledgeable - very enthusiastic about his job - spoke very good English and enabled us to gain an overall picture of the history - past & present of the park - together with an understanding of particular landmarks/sites.

Armed with this orientation and a good guide book we then set off to explore beautiful CP on foot - we loved CP so much we returned on a number of occasions to walk and explore.

I would recommend a pedicab trip to 1st time visitors !

Have a great trip !

Edited: 27 December 2013, 05:09