Like Times Square, Union Square and other bustling intersections found throughout New York City, Columbus Circle is full of zooming cars and quick-footed pedestrians. As one of the more heavily trafficked areas in Manhattan, it’s a noteworthy tourist attraction and busy commercial center, located at the southwest corner of Central Park. There are multiple places worth visiting nearby: the Time Warner Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Shops at Columbus Circle, and the newly opened subterranean mall, TurnStyle. With such a wide array of retail shops and stunning landmarks, the traffic circle is much more than a channel to ferry cars and the occasional horse-pulled carriage through NYC’s rush hour gridlock.

10. Columbus Circle Was Part of the Original Plan for Central Park

Just like the Grand Army Plaza – the only corner of Central Park that’s officially included in its 843-acre landscape – Columbus Circle was part of the original vision for what would eventually become the most visited urban park in the United States (and one of the most filmed locations in the world). Landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted and designer Calvert Vaux, who designed Central Park, envisioned a “grand circle” at the 8th Avenue entrance. Just like the traffic circle around the Arc de Triomphe de l’Etoile in Paris, the entryway was intended to provide an open view of the park as people approached to visit.