A Guide to Central Park in Fall

Take a stroll through beautiful Central Park in fall … my favorite time of year to visit this iconic park!

A Guide to Central Park in Fall (in Pictures)! Take a walking tour of NYC's Central Park in autumn ... the fall colors are bucket list worthy! This iconic US park is a top travel destination in Manhattan and autumn is the perfect time to visit. | Hello Little Home

Fall in New York is my favorite time of year. It’s so pretty, and the horrible summer humidity is gone for the most part, although it’s not rare to get a 70 degree day.

I especially love Central Park in fall … talk about gorgeous!

I live a couple blocks from Central Park on the Upper West Side, and I like to spend as much time there as possible, especially in autumn. Central Park fall foliage is absolutely stunning, and the park is not nearly as crowded as it is during summer.

Have I convinced you to visit yet? Just in case you can’t make it, I thought it would be fun to give you a tour of Central Park in Autumn.

A Guide to Central Park in Fall

Central Park is the best place to see fall foliage in NYC as far as I’m concerned, so you’ll want to plan your timing carefully for peak color.

The leaves generally start changing in October, but I found that the best time to see the prettiest colors was in late October and early November … which is when I took these photos. Of course, it’s a little different every year.

Shall we get started on the tour?

My husband and I exploring Central Park in fall! | Hello Little Home

It’s fall, so we have to have a hot drink, right?

My husband joined me on this tour of Central Park fall foliage, and we stopped at Voila Chocolat for hot chocolates before getting started … definitely a good call!

Joel had dark chocolate, and I had the daredevil hot chocolate. It was a little spicy, and we both agreed it was the best.

After grabbing our drinks, we headed to the Jackie Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, one of my favorite spots in the park. The water reflects the city, and depending on where you are standing, you can see the Upper East Side, the Upper West Side, Midtown, and farther north, as well.

Jackie Kennedy Onassis Reservoir in Fall, part of a Guide to Central Park in Fall (in Pictures)! Take a walking tour of NYC's Central Park in autumn ... the fall colors are bucket list worthy! This iconic US park is a top travel destination in Manhattan and autumn is the perfect time to visit. | Hello Little Home

The building with the two towers below is the San Remo, a fancy co-op.

You can spot it throughout the park. It also makes for some great pictures by the reservoir!

View of the San Remo across the Jackie Kennedy Onassis Reservoir ... part of a Guide to Central Park in Fall (in Pictures)! Take a walking tour of NYC's Central Park in autumn ... the fall colors are bucket list worthy! This iconic US park is a top travel destination in Manhattan and autumn is the perfect time to visit. | Hello Little Home

After walking part way around the reservoir, we took a detour into the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which was decorated for fall, too!

They just closed the roof for winter, but you can view Central Park from many of the Met’s windows.

If you’re there in the evening, stop at the Balcony Bar for a drink and some snacks.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art decorated for fall, part of a Guide to Central Park in Fall (in Pictures)! Take a walking tour of NYC's Central Park in autumn ... the fall colors are bucket list worthy! This iconic US park is a top travel destination in Manhattan and autumn is the perfect time to visit. | Hello Little Home

After leaving the museum, I couldn’t resist running through the leaves.

Aren’t they gorgeous?

Fall leaves in Central Park, part of a Guide to Central Park in Fall (in Pictures)! Take a walking tour of NYC's Central Park in autumn ... the fall colors are bucket list worthy! This iconic US park is a top travel destination in Manhattan and autumn is the perfect time to visit. | Hello Little Home

I think my favorite place to enjoy autumn in Central Park is The Pool.

It’s located just north of the park entrance at W 100th and Central Park West.

The area around the Pool is a lot quieter than the reservoir, and it’s waters reflect the leaves so beautifully.

View of The Pool in Fall, part of a Guide to Central Park in Fall (in Pictures)! Take a walking tour of NYC's Central Park in autumn ... the fall colors are bucket list worthy! This iconic US park is a top travel destination in Manhattan and autumn is the perfect time to visit. | Hello Little Home

You can also see nearby buildings reflected in The Pool’s water.

You’ll notice that there’s still a lot of green leaves in the park. Fall tends to arrive late in New York, I’ve found!

Buildings reflected in The Pool, part of a Guide to Central Park in Fall (in Pictures)! Take a walking tour of NYC's Central Park in autumn ... the fall colors are bucket list worthy! This iconic US park is a top travel destination in Manhattan and autumn is the perfect time to visit. | Hello Little Home

After admiring The Pool, I headed up the Great Hill. I love this spot in Central Park!

It’s almost always quiet up there, so it feels like you’ve found a secret hideout. At the top of the hill, you’ll find a running track, plus lots of quiet spots to enjoy the outdoors.

I found a ghost leaf and couldn’t resist snapping a few pics!

Ghost leaf ... Guide to Central Park in Fall (in Pictures)! Take a walking tour of NYC's Central Park in autumn ... the fall colors are bucket list worthy! This iconic US park is a top travel destination in Manhattan and autumn is the perfect time to visit. | Hello Little Home

No matter where you are at in Central Park, you’ll spot signs of the city all around you.

Can you spot the water tower below?

View of the City from The Great Hill, part of a Guide to Central Park in Fall (in Pictures)! Take a walking tour of NYC's Central Park in autumn ... the fall colors are bucket list worthy! This iconic US park is a top travel destination in Manhattan and autumn is the perfect time to visit. | Hello Little Home

There’s also a path on the west side of the Great Hill that’s a great place to find colorful fall leaves.

It feels like a secret hideaway … you’ll probably have it to yourself.

Fall Leaf | A Guide to Central Park in Fall (in Pictures)! Take a walking tour of NYC's Central Park in autumn ... the fall colors are bucket list worthy! This iconic US park is a top travel destination in Manhattan and autumn is the perfect time to visit. | Hello Little Home

My husband and I were the only people there … this almost never happens in NYC.

So peaceful …

Path on the Great Hill | Guide to Central Park in Fall (in Pictures)! Take a walking tour of NYC's Central Park in autumn ... the fall colors are bucket list worthy! This iconic US park is a top travel destination in Manhattan and autumn is the perfect time to visit. | Hello Little Home

It was starting to get dark, but I found a location for my next picnic … remember those 70 degree days I mentioned earlier?!?

Picnic Tables Surrounded by Fall Leaves | A Guide to Central Park in Fall (in Pictures)! Take a walking tour of NYC's Central Park in autumn ... the fall colors are bucket list worthy! This iconic US park is a top travel destination in Manhattan and autumn is the perfect time to visit. | Hello Little Home

After heading down the hill, I started walking south again.

I love the old stone steps you’ll find throughout Central Park.

Stone Stairs Covered in Colorful Leaves | A Guide to Central Park in Fall (in Pictures)! Take a walking tour of NYC's Central Park in autumn ... the fall colors are bucket list worthy! This iconic US park is a top travel destination in Manhattan and autumn is the perfect time to visit. | Hello Little Home

I couldn’t resist one more stop at the reservoir before heading home.

It’s so beautiful in the early evening as the setting sun reflects off the buildings on the Upper East Side!

Sunset View of The Upper East Side | Guide to Central Park in Fall (in Pictures)! Take a walking tour of NYC's Central Park in autumn ... the fall colors are bucket list worthy! This iconic US park is a top travel destination in Manhattan and autumn is the perfect time to visit. | Hello Little Home

Best Places to Enjoy Central Park in Fall

Central Park is huge, and this tour is just the tip of the iceberg!

There are tons of other locations to check out in fall in Central Park. Here are some of my favorites:

  • The Harlem Meer – Another pretty body of water in Central Park. If you here at mealtime, walk over to Frederick Douglass Boulevard on the northwest corner of the park, then head north for lots of great restaurants. The Harlem Tavern has a huge outdoor space for warm days, something for everyone to eat, and it’s right by the subway.
  • The Conservatory Garden – This is a nice spot to get away from the crowds (it’s a designated quiet zone) on the east side of the park.
  • The Ramble – This hilly area just north of the The Lake is a great place to surround yourself in nature! Stop by Belvedere Castle for great views of the city and park while you’re there.
  • The Lake – Fall in Central Park is the perfect time to walk around The Lake and take lots of pictures! I like to start on the west side and eventually make my way over to Bethesda Fountain. After checking out the fountain, walk The Mall and you’ll be surrounded by beautiful, tall Elm trees.
  • The Pond – Located just a few feet from Fifth Avenue, The Pond is the perfect place to enjoy a little reprieve before heading back into the city.
  • Pack a Picnic – I love an autumn picnic in Central Park! Pick up supplies before heading into the park. I like to stop at Whole Foods, since they have everything from sandwiches to salads to chips to drinks. There’s one at Columbus Circle and one at Columbus/W 97th Street, then there are Midtown and Upper East Side locations (both are further from the park though). There are tons of great picnic locations in Central Park, but my favorite spots are just north of the reservoir, the Great Lawn, or the Sheep Meadow.
  • Bridges – You’ll find bridges located throughout the park. They’re a great place to get a wonderful view of Central Park fall foliage … and maybe a photo or two!

A Guide to Central Park in Fall (in Pictures)! Take a walking tour of NYC's Central Park in autumn ... the fall colors are bucket list worthy! This iconic US park is a top travel destination in Manhattan and autumn is the perfect time to visit. | Hello Little Home

Have you ever visited Central Park in fall?

P.S. For more vacation inspiration, check out all of my travel stories!

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I’ve never been to NYC, but someday, I’ve promised myself, I will. Thanks for sharing.

great photos!
b

You captured the beauty of Central Park perfectly, Ginnie! Amazing photos!

You’ve really captured the beauty of Central Park, Ginnie! Amazing photos!

As a former New Yorker and avid runner I miss Central Park. Thanks for the tour, there really is no other park like it:)

[…] Central Park. The best place to picnic, exercise, or just walk around and people watch. Walk around the Reservoir to the northern end for great skyline views. Check out my pics of fall in Central Park here. […]

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