The two neighboring parks of Parque Central and Parque Kennedy lie at the heart of Lima’s Miraflores district, wedged between the two main avenues of Diagonal and Larco and about seven or eight blocks away from the coastal cliffs. Both are good for a sit or a stroll; when the sun is shining (a not too common event in the fog-coated coastal capital), you can expect to share the tree-studded parks with hugging couples and a large number of slumbering cats.
Parque Kennedy sits to the south of Parque Central (the two parks are divided by a pedestrian street called Virgen Milagrosa; here you’ll find the red Miraflores tour bus, Mirabus). Parque Kennedy’s souvenir market (open most evenings) is a good place to browse for traditional handicrafts and knitted items. Keep in mind that prices are high in Miraflores; if you spot a must-have souvenir, you’ll probably find a better deal outside the upscale district (and always be prepared to haggle).
Avenida Diagonal runs along the western flank of Parque Kennedy. You’ll find a number of restaurants and cafes along this street, including three sandwich bars: Miguel’s, Sandwich.com and La Lucha (all of which are good spots for late-night snacks). For people watching, pull up a street-side seat at Haiti, a large and ever-popular cafe on Parque Kennedy. The chifa restaurant on the south western corner of the park may look tempting, but the food is substandard.
Café de la Paz and El Parquetito, two popular but expensive restaurant-cafes, sit on the south-eastern side of the park. Next to them sits a passable chicken restaurant called Kiriko, along with the Flying Dog hostel. From here, head away from the bottom corner of the park along Schell and you’ll find a large Metro supermarket (good for supplies). Along Los Pinos (past the large Ripley clothing store) you’ll find a row of small and basic restaurants selling cheap meals for lunch and dinner (including some vegetarian options).
Parque Central sits alongside the northernmost end of Kennedy. One of the park’s main features is a small amphitheater in which musicians and other artists sometimes perform at night (for free – just sit in the round or stand along the fringes).
If for some strange reason you have a craving for US fast food, walk along the eastern side of Parque Central (along Larco). Here you’ll find a Pizza Hut, a Burger King and a KFC.
Cross the Diagonal near the northern tip of the park for MacDonald’s and the Cinerama "El Pacifico" cinema (as with many cinemas in Lima, new releases are often shown in English with Spanish subtitles).
For a good selection of restaurants selling high quality but affordable set lunch menús, head east of Parque Central down Manuel Bonilla. Here you’ll also find Xocolatl, an expensive but ultra-chic chocolatier.
Just to the north of Parque Central is the Óvalo, a major roundabout in the heart of Miraflores. From here you can head east along Ricardo Palma (for the Ricardo Palma Metropolitano bus stop), west along José Pardo or north along the major Avenida Arequipa thoroughfare. Alternatively, of course, you can make your way back down through Parque Central and Parque Kennedy, heading along the Diagonal or Larco on your way toward the coastal cliffs of Miraflores.