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The Most Relaxing Tour in New York City

Get a New Perspective on Central Park with New York Horse Carriages

In the city that never sleeps, the chance to slow down and enjoy the iconic New York City sights can be hard to come by. But in the middle of bustling Manhattan, visitors can step back to a quieter time in New York's history with New York City Horse Carriages. "When Central Park was first designed, the only pathways were for horse-drawn carriages," explains owner Karl Bruen. "We're maintaining a tradition that goes back 158 years."

Central Park was designed by noted architects Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmstead. Considered the father of American landscape architecture, Olmstead had a hand in such iconic parks as the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, Boston's Emerald Necklace, Montreal's Mount Royal Park, and the landscape around the U.S. Capitol Building. Olmstead and Vaux envisioned Central Park as an idyllic, natural space that would provide a much-needed escape from urban life. 

While the park has undergone several renovations during the intervening decades, this core function has remained constant. Just as did in 1858, Central Park offers visitors and residents alike a welcome respite from the hectic urban environment.

Seeing this iconic landmark from a horse-drawn carriage adds a layer of authenticity to the experience, providing a tangible connection to the Park's history. "It's an important way to see Central Park," Bruen says. "Of course, we're quite popular with tourists, but we also get an incredible amount of locals. They come and take a ride every year. It's a tradition."

While it may be jarring to see horses in the middle of a bustling metropolis like New York City, the horses of New York City Horse Carriages are truly the stars of the city. "People don't quite realize just how well-regulated and well-maintained our business is," Bruen explains. "They're well-cared for, well-groomed, and get their vacation time out on a farm in Lancaster County. Each carriage has its own horse and that horse is a member of your own family."

Central Park is a space for city-dwellers to remember the peace and beauty of nature, and New York City Horse Carriages hopes to facilitate this experience for its passengers. "People are surprised by how comfortable and relaxing it is," Bruen says. "It's easy to get overwhelmed by New York--there are crowds everywhere, sirens and street traffic. It relaxes people and makes them feel fantastic. People leave the tour and feel like they've recharged their batteries."

--  By Ettractions Digital Content Editor EMILY JARMOLOWICZ

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