By Denise Oliveira
Home to a well-known botanical garden, a zoo, and the Yankees Stadium, the Bronx also houses a long list of attractions that remain unexplored by the majority of New Yorkers who don’t think to go a little farther north of Manhattan for art, culture, and dining. “Whatever your interests are, there is something here for you,” says The Bronx Tourism Council’s executive director, Olga Luz Tirado, noting that tourism in the Bronx rose by 14 percent from 2013 to 2014.
Full Access NYC asked Ms. Tirado for some Bronx highlights, and we bring you 10 ideas:
1. City Island: Spend a day visiting this historic waterfront community. You can fish on the Long Island Sound, visit art galleries, eat fresh sea food, and get to know the local residents. “It’s our own Nantucket,” Ms. Tirado said.
2. Canoeing: Go canoeing on the Bronx River and explore the local fauna, including muskrats and beavers. With the green, country-like setting, you won’t believe how close you still are to the city.
3. Hiking: Take a hike and see the coyotes in Van Cortland Park, or explore Pelham Bay Park, which is actually the largest public park in New York City.
4. Art Deco: “After Miami, the Bronx is the Art Deco capital of the United States,” Ms. Tirado said. Take a walking tour of the Grand Concourse area, and explore the architecture. You might top it off with a visit to the Bronx Museum of the Arts.
5. Little Italy: Visit Arthur Avenue, an authentically Italian community where third and fourth generation Italians are still running the businesses their grandparents and great-grandparents started, Ms. Tirado said. It’s the perfect destination for grocery shopping and dining, and you’re sure to hear lots of Italian still being spoken.
6. Peace Out: Stroll the grounds, attend a class, or simply sit and meditate at Wave Hill, a public garden and cultural center that is helping the community get back to nature. Charles Darwin and Queen Victoria both visited.
7. Yankees Stadium: Visit on a non-game day so you can take a leisurely tour of the Yankees Museum.
8. Edgar Allen Poe: Visit the farmhouse where he spent the last years of his life.
9. Discover new cuisines: Did you know the Bronx is home to a large Garifuna population? The Garifuna in the Bronx are mostly from Honduras. They own several restaurants, and it’s an opportunity to try new foods, Ms. Tirado said.
10. First Wednesdays Trolley Tour: Arts & Culture: Hop on a trolley and get to know the South Bronx Cultural Corridor. This is just one of the many regular tours offered in the Bronx; check out a full listing here.