Belvedere CastleA couple of weeks ago, I learned there’s a castle right in the middle of Central Park. Today was crisp and sunny – and seemed to be the perfect day for a visit. And when I got up there this morning, there was an added treat as the leaves are just changing, turning the park orange and red.P1110138 P1110136

Belvedere Castle was built in 1869 simply as a folly, but since 1919, it’s been Central Park’s weather station. As well as still doing its duty to the community with weathervanes atop its roof, it’s also open to visitors Tuesday through Sunday.

When I got there, it was bustling with tourists and families – as well as a photo shoot. I checked out the lovely views of the Lower Reservoir and a wooded area called The Ramble before heading to the top of the castle – and looking at it from even higher.P1110121 P1110083 P1110084 P1110130 P1110125

Photo shoot

Photo shoot

Heading inside...

Heading inside…

Teeny bare rooms

Teeny bare rooms

P1110104 P1110101 P1110108

The castle was only mini – it has two rooms, a very narrow staircase and scant information – but thankfully what it lacked in history exhibits, it made up for with those lovely, lovely views.

P1110107 P1110105 P1110102P1110112 P1110132

Belvedere Castle is right in the middle of the park off 79th Street, and it’s easy to access from the 81 Street subway stop and near plenty of other family-friendly attractions like the Natural History Museum. But rather than head to any other sights, I just enjoyed those changing trees.

Did I mention it was lovely?P1110075 P1110076 P1110142