Bethesda Terrace

The richly-ornamented Bethesda Terrace overlooks the Lake and as well as the wooded shores of the Ramble. It also overlooks the Bethesda Fountain and its sculpture, Angel of Waters, which was designed by Emma Stebbins in 1873. Traditionally the ‘Heart of the Park’ Bethesda Terrace is one of the best places in the Park for people-watching. It is also easily the most photographed with early morning fashion shoots a regular occurrence and film crews visiting on an almost weekly basis. Entry to the Terrace is by way of the drive at 72nd St. or the Mall and one of the most picturesque walks through the park is along the Mall, beneath the green canopy of overhanging trees, ending with a view of the Fountain and Lake beyond.

As part of their Greensward Plan for Central Park Olmsted and Vaux were conscious of the fact that besides being a place to experience nature away from the urban sprawl the park also had to provide a place where people could gather. They needed to create a center for socializing, for people to see and be seen, Bethesda Terrace is that place. The split level Terrace also features elaborate ornamentation designed by Jacob Wrey Mould. This includes the two stone staircases that lead from the upper level to the Bethesda Fountain plaza and the Minton tiles that line the arcade ceiling. Mould is also responsible for the building several other park icons, including the original sheepfold that houses Tavern on the Green, but the Terrace, with its elaborate balustrades and sculptured seasonal details, is clearly his crowning work. It has also brilliantly fulfilled the designer’s purpose in becoming Central Park premiere spot for crowd watching. Another aspect, perhaps unforeseen by Olmsted and Vaux is the Terrace’s role as center stage to a wide variety of artists. The most famous of these is Thoth, one of New York City’s most talented and celebrated street performers and subject of the 2002 Academy Award winning film of the same name.

Besides being a favorite destination of park visitors in search of a cool place to spend a summer afternoon The Fountain is also a celebrity in its own right. It has probably appeared in more movies than any other monument in the park, exuding a timeless romantic charm that makes it a perfect backdrop for cinematographers. In fact in, the 1973 feature “Godspell”, the fountain becomes a character in its own right, with the newly recruited disciples splashing joyously around in the pool. It is a fantasy that has surely occurred to generations of summertime vistors.

Location: Mid-Park at 72nd Street

Bethesda Terrace

Central Park Bike Tour

  • Our bicycle tour has been ranked as one the top 5 things to do in Central Park by TripAdvisor. It is the only tour that covers the entire length of Central Park and it provides an excellent overview of the whole park.
  • The tour takes approximately 2 hours and it includes various stops along the way. On those stops, you can park the bicycle and go for a short stroll along some of the most stunning views of Central Park.
  • Including Bethesda Terrace, Strawberry Fields, The Bow Bridge, Balto and many more. In addition, you will also visit some of the hidden places in Central Park - the Ravine, the secret waterfall and of course our team’s favorite - the Central Park Ramble!
  • 2 Hours - $53 - Prices are per person
    Book Here.

Central Park Pedicab Tour

  • Allow one of our experienced tour guides to show you the beauty of the park from the back of a pedicab. Those iconic NYC pedicabs are one of the best things to do in Central Park!
  • Sit down and relax while your tour guide tells you about the history of the park, architecture, interesting trivia and of course points out the exact location of all those blockbuster movies filmed in Central Park
  • Reserve either 1 hour or 2 hour guided pedicab tour. If you are already in the park, don’t worry, we can send the tour guide to pick you up from one of the many designated pick up zones inside Central Park.
  • 1 Hour - $53 - 2 Hours - $89 - Prices are per person
  • Book Here.

Central Park Bike Rental

  • Biking in Central Park is one of the most enjoyable ways to explore the park and do it at your own pace.
  • You can pick up your bike from one of our convenient locations around the park. In case you are already inside the park, no worries, we can send our concierge to deliver the bike(s) to one of the many designated bike zones inside the park. At the time of booking, we will direct you to the nearest bike pick up station in the park.
  • Pack some light snacks and a water bottle, take one of the park maps we provide. When reserving your bike rental, you will have an option to include an audio guided tour.
  • 1 Hour $15 - 2 Hours $20 - 3 Hours $25 - All Day (9am -7pm) $40
  • Book Here

Things To Do

From The Philharmonic on the Great Lawn to Shakespeare in the Park to SummerStage, Central Park offers an endless array of things to do, see, hear – and, with two full service restaurants and several cafes, taste.  You can visit The Shakespeare Garden, take in a performance at the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater, take a ride on the Carousel – or just sit and people watch at Bethesda Terrace!

Contact Us

Contact Info

5th Ave. 
New York, NY, 10028

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