There are two large lakes in Central Park. The largest one Jacquelyn Kennedy reservoir ( I wrote about it in one of my posts) and the next one is just "the Lake". Located on the East Side of the Park between 74th and 75th Streets, boating on the Lake has been a favorite since the park opened more than 150 years ago.
Boats have been at the core of Central Park’s vitality since the 1860s. Before any boathouse was even imagined, six rustic landings originally dotted the water's edge.
A number of kiosks functioned as ticket booths where visitors could hire rowboats, gondolas and even multi-seat call boats. By 1869, over 250,000 boaters had the pleasure of paddling around Central Park each year.
A series of rustic shacks and landings were built on the lake. In 1865, there were six of these shacks total.
In 1874, Calvert Vaux, one of the original architects of the park, personally took on the $2,360 project - about $45,000 in contemporary currency - of building a two-story schooner-garage.
In 1924, Vaux's boathouse was replaced by a rustic, wooden structure that by the 1950s was in need of repair. Philanthropist Carl M. Loeb and his wife Adeline generously donated $305,000 to help create The Loeb Boathouse that stands today.
Loebs—along with the Guggenheims, the Lehmans and others—represent a generation of banking families whose firms helped finance the growth of corporate America in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Carl Loeb founded the investment bank Carl M. Loeb & Co. with his sons in 1931, having left Germany nearly 40 years earlier to work in the U.S. metal industry.
Today at the New York Boathouse visitors can enjoy a meal in any season, with overhead heating helping to extend as long as possible the pleasure of dining on the deck overlooking the Lake. Because the Loeb Boathouse is so incredibly picturesque, it has, been featured countless times in various movie and television productions.
One of the episodes of Sex and the City shot at The Boathouse Restaurant. When Big sees Carrie standing on the small dock outside the restaurant, he leans in to kiss her and as she tries to back away from him, they both fall into the pond and start cracking up hysterically. The Boathouse is also the spot where Sally lunched with her friends, one of whom was Carrie Fisher, at the beginning of the 1989 romantic comedy When Harry Met Sally.
In the more recent 27 Dresses, the Boathouse figures prominently as the place where Katherine Heigl’s character’s parents were married. The final scene from one of the most romantic movies "Autumn in New York" was shot on this lake.
Boating in the park is very affordable- $15 for an hour (up to 4 people per boat). Row boats can be rented at the Loeb Boathouse daily, 10:00 am to 5:30 pm, April through 1 of November
Rowing boats is super romantic as well! Take your significant other rowing and I promise you'll both enjoy it!