Right in the heart of Central Park sits a shimmering blue pearl. Have you tried Central Park Rowboat Rental?
The lake is Central Park’s crowning attraction, a tranquil place to read or watch the sunset over the water with the skyline beyond. Its shoreline meanders, giving it a serenely natural character that makes you feel like you’re miles away from the city. There are lots of ways to experience the lake. You can walk around it through the Ramble woodland or you can enjoy a sumptuous meal along its banks at the Loeb Boathouse. But for a century and a half, New Yorkers have flocked to the lake to take out rowboats and enjoy the peace of being on the water, and you should partake in the Central Park rowboat rental, too.
Central Park Rowboat Rental
The lake is an 18-acre body of water in the center of the park, right between 72nd and 78th Streets. It opened in 1958 as the very first feature of the park and almost immediately people began taking rowboats out from the rustic wooden pavilions built along its shoreline. Boating proved so popular that park designer Calvert Vaux designed a Victorian boathouse on the eastern shore in 1874. You can our piece on Central Park Boathouse Weddings to learn more about the Central Park Boathouse.
In 2015, a new boat launch was built just west of the boathouse restaurant, and on a sunny afternoon there will be hundreds of aluminum rowboats available to rent. Each boat holds up to four people and costs just $12/hour total, for all passengers. If you go over your hour time limit, it’s only $2.50 more for each additional 15 minutes. When you rent the boat, you’ll need to put down a $20 cash deposit and you’ll get a refund for whatever you didn’t use. Try to get there early–they open at 10 A.M.– on weekends or holidays to avoid a line and a crowded lake.
Check out the Boathouse’s website to learn more about Central Park rowboat rental.
The lake is also an enjoyable row because of the way it’s designed. Rather than just being an oval patch of water, the shoreline twists and turns and is constantly opening onto new views. Even though the lake isn’t large, it will still take most of the allotted hour to explore. Your ride will take you under the stunning Bow Bridge and along shorelines that offer coves, peninsulas, and bays to explore–there are many quiet spots to be found in the offshoots.
The lake feels so natural that it’s hard to believe the whole thing is manmade. It’s a testament to the genius of the park’s designers. They foresaw that people would need more than just a body of water; it needed to be a place where hearts and spirits could escape the city and commune with nature. And, even though the park is now backdropped by skyscrapers, a day on the lake is no less remarkable.