9. Conservatory Garden

A fountain located in Central Park's Conservatory Garden
Image via Flickrgigi_nyc

The six-acres of formals gardens inside the Conservatory Garden are just as bright and colorful in the fall as they are in the spring. During the autumn season the garden’s crabapple allees turn reddish-orange and there is a beautiful chrysanthemum display. The garden’s Stewartia trees take on hues of orange, red, and purple while the Star Magnolias turn yellow and bronze. The garden is located on the east side from 104th to 106th Street.

In addition to beautiful fall foliage, the Conservatory Garden is also full of history. This area of the park gets its name from a giant glass conservatory that stood on the site from 1898 to 1934. Landscape architect Gilmore D. Clarke transformed the site, bringing in elements of French, Italian, and English gardens, and opened it to the public in 1939. The entrance of the garden is through a giant iron gate that once stood at the entrance to Cornelius Vanderbilt II’s Fifth Avenue mansion. As an officially designated quiet zone, the conservatory is the perfect place for a peaceful retreat on a crisp autumn day.