THE BOATHOUSE (LOEB BOATHOUSE)
East 72nd St in Central Park
As one of the most romantic places in New York to have a drink or rent a boat, the Boathouse has been enjoyed by New Yorkers since the 1870s.
The Zagat review says it all:
“It’s all about the ‘unbeatable location’ at this lakeside American restaurant, where “the decor is Central Park” and watching the rowboats drift by ‘feels like being on vacation’; the menu’s ‘not overly exciting’ and the service just ‘so-so’, but for tourists and natives alike, this ‘must-have’ NYC experience truly ‘sells itself.’”
Despite the fact that it’s touristy and overpriced, the setting is so exquisite that it indeed makes you feel like you have been whisked away from the city.
Boating on the Lake has been popular with New Yorkers since the 1860s. In 1872, Calvert Vaux, the Central Park architect, designed a wooden boathouse to provide space for boat docking and storage. The original structure, which was located where the boats are now stored, stood for about 80 years before becoming dilapidated and subsequently being torn down.
In 1954, Carl M. Loeb, an investment banker and philanthropist, donated a significant sum of money to enable the construction of the boathouse that we see today. The new boathouse is also a restaurant, known for its outdoor terrace overlooking the Lake. One can rent a rowboat or a gondola from 10am-dusk every day from April to November.
Dining at the Boathouse is optional, but visiting there, especially on a beautiful, sunny day, is a must.