Not far from Times Square’s neon lights, New York’s Upper West Side offers totally different experiences. Enjoy peaceful tree-lined streets stretching between two of Manhattan’s beautiful large parks filled with grassy spaces and shady trees. Visit wonderful performing arts centers featuring New York’s highly respected companies.
The Upper West Side runs north and south for 50 short blocks between Central Park West and Riverside Park. Keep young kids happy with a walk along the edges of either park to let them run on the grass, climb rocks or scamper on playground equipment.
In Central Park, jog around the reservoir or the lake and enjoy sunshine or play soccer on the Great Lawn. Stop at the visitor center in the 1869 Belvedere Castle, stand in line for a free concert at the open-air Delacorte Theater or see an engaging performance at the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre. Walk to Strawberry Fields and the John Lennon Memorial and gaze at the Dakota apartment building where the musician once lived.
Like Central Park, Riverside Park was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted in the 1800s. Use newer additions of skate parks, tennis courts and Hudson River kayak launch sites. Gaze up at the tall Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, unveiled in 1902 with a parade of veterans from the U.S. Civil War.
Between the parks are residential streets lined by row-houses and luxury co-ops built more than 80 years ago. The renovated 1929 Beacon Theatre now hosts top-name musicians and comedians. Choose from the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Ballet, the New York Philharmonic and other performing arts organizations at the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts. Catch a rising star at Juilliard School recitals. Bring kids to the American Museum of Natural History for dinosaurs and much more.
Along with refreshing parks and stimulating cultural spots are numerous restaurants and clubs. Schedule morning coffee, Sunday brunch, fine dining or a late-night dessert around your many other activities in the Upper West Side neighborhood.