Central Park is one of the best things about Manhattan. The sprawling green space in the middle of the busy city is a welcome retreat during any time of the year. There is something special about walking through Central Park in the summer though and if you get a chance to do it, here are the eight spots you should make sure you see.

Belvedere Castle

Located next to the Shakespeare Theater, the Belvedere Castle is just a fun place to see in the middle of Central Park. The castle sits on the edge of the turtle pond, and you can even go inside of it when it is open. I like hanging out on the top and looking out over the park.

Bow Bridge

Central Park’s famous Bow Bridge is one of the most photographed attractions. It is worth the visit to see it, but there is almost always a dozen or more people sitting on the bridge taking selfies and just enjoying the spot. It’s a great place to watch the boats on the lake as well.

Turtle Pond

While most people like to sit at the Great Lawn, I love visiting the Turtle Pond area right across the path. This is a quiet spot which makes it a great place to come and get some work done while you are in the park. Also, you can watch the turtles swim by in the water below the castle while you are relaxing.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir

This vast reservoir right in the center of the park is a great place to run or walk as there is a massive trail that goes completely around it. There are also park benches and other spots just to sit and relax while you look out over the water and buildings behind it.

Conservatory Water

This small lake is a personal favorite of mine. It is where the Hans Christian Andersen statue is which is a favorite reading spot for children, but the lake itself often has small sailboats on it during the summer. These boats move along with the wind, and it is fun to see them gliding across the water while relaxing.

Bethesda Terrace

Bethesda Terrace is the central meeting ground in the park. There are always street performers here, food vendors and people just taking it all in. The large fountain has been the backdrop for many movies, and there is seating along the water. This is also where one of the main public bathrooms is in Central Park, which is important in and of itself.

Strawberry Fields

Strawberry Fields is the memorial that honors John Lennon. It is another trendy spot in the park as people love posing with the mosaic in the ground that says “Imagine” after his famous song. There is usually circular flowers that frame the sign here as well.

The Mall

The Mall is the place you most often see in Central Park photos. This long paved path is covered in trees, and it is a picturesque spot in the park. There are vendors and street performers that line the walkway and its one of those places where you walk, and everyone seems to be having a good time.

Honorable Mention – Balto Statue

I wasn’t aware of Balto, the dog that saved a bunch of people, before I went. My wife, however, was excited about seeing this statue though so I figured it was worth including in case anyone else wife loved the famous dog as well.

So there you have it, my favorite spots to explore in Central Park. Be sure to let me know what yours are in the comments.