Around this iconic music hall is a great number of restaurants, unique vendors, museums, historic high-rises, and countless stories. Yet with all that, there is around Carnegie Hall, one might wonder if there’s a long trip to be made out of the city to be able to visit nature. Thankfully, this is not the case. Whether you’re a tourist, visiting the city for friends and family or a local looking for some nature around you, read on for some of our favorite aquariums, parks, and places to watch aquatic life.
Central Park Zoo
Just a fourteen-minute walk and visitors arrive at the neighbouring Central Park Zoo, one of the premier attractions for generations of New Yorkers to see and learn about the wonders of animals, land and sea. Here, famous faces like the chinstrap penguin, king penguin, macaroni penguin, gentoo penguin, California sea lion, grizzly bear, and snow monkey reside in a series of habitats, some of New York’s most interesting and eccentric residents. The California sea lions here have regular feeding shows, and love to show off their smarts to the crowds. The four species of penguin and the tufted puffins also have regular feeding shows, with their lovable antics above water and below for all to see. Aside from these close-up looks, there is also a 4-D theater, where groups can experience nature programming and family films.
The Pond and Hallett Nature Sanctuary
One of New York City’s most charming green spaces is only two streets away: The Pond at Central Park and the Hallett Nature Sanctuary! These two connected features are the heart of Central Park’s Southeastern edge, rich in hiking paths, enchanting streams, fields of flowers, birdwatching opportunities, and the colors of Fall. Visiting aquatic fowl species enjoy the pond, while hundreds of bird species (210 to be exact!) stop by this end of Central Park during their migrations. There are also resident populations of red-eared slider turtles, snapping turtles, rabbits, ducks, and woodchucks who can also be observed. Whether you want to see the waterfalls and streams, the leaves and flowers, or wildlife in a green corner of New York City, The Pond and Hallett Nature Sanctuary is a great choice.
Central Park Lake
This destination is a bit farther into southern Central Park at a twenty-minute stroll, but well worth it for its scenery and variety of wildlife. One of New York City’s largest reservoirs, it is also home to a number of endemic and released turtles, such as the red-eared slider, musk turtle, box turtle, painted turtle, and snapping turtles. Birdwatching is also a great activity here, another major stop for the hundreds of bird species that pass through Central Park as an urban league of their migratory routes. Also of note are the cherry trees that bloom each spring on the neighboring hill, a great location for reading outdoors, picnicking, or a date.
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