Staycation Guides: The Bronx

nycgo.com staff

(Updated 09/09/2020)

As New York City moves along the road to recovery, more shops, restaurants and attractions—at limited capacity, with new health and safety protocols in place—are opening up. Locals and visitors can help support them, and in doing so remind themselves what makes NYC the most exciting destination in the world. We’ve got an itinerary suggestion to help you start exploring the Bronx again. Wherever in the borough you may decide to go, make sure to follow the guidelines from the Stay Well NYC Pledge and check each individual business’ own rules.

Photo: Adam Pape

South Bronx and Grand Concourse

Start with: The South Bronx holds Yankee Stadium, home to the 27-time world champion New York Yankees and MLS’ New York City FC. Though the venue is not currently open to spectators or tourgoers, there are plenty of great photo opportunities outside.

Net gain: There are also nearby sports opportunities: within walking distance of the stadium is the new Stadium Tennis Center at Mill Pond Park; find a partner and reserve a court.

Walk and eat here: After a game of tennis, take a stroll on the Grand Concourse—a majestic Bronx thoroughfare with extravagant art deco facades and historic buildings along its length. Fuel up before you go at Court Deli, Billy’s Sports Bar or Molino Rojo.

More Grand Concourse: The Bronx Museum of the Arts

NYC-based artist Sanford Biggers’ exhibition Codeswitch, at The Bronx Museum of the Arts, dives into African American culture via some 50 quilt-based pieces.

The nearby Joyce Kilmer Park holds the Heinrich Heine Fountain, which honors one of the poet’s famous odes, “Die Lorelei,” based on a German mythical figure who was transformed into a siren.

Eat here: Close out the day with a bite on the patio deck at Suyo Gastrofusion or at Hungry Bird.

Photo: Brittany Petronella

Woodlawn

Start with: This August marked the 100 years since the passage of the 19th Amendment, which granted most women the right to vote. Take a trip to Woodlawn Cemeteryto visit the graves of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who helped shape the suffrage movement, and Nellie Bly, a well-known investigative journalist in the late 1800s. Other notable figures interred in the 400-acre cemetery include Miles Davis, Robert Moses, Duke Ellington and Herman Melville.

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Hit the links: While up in Woodlawn, a neighborhood also known as “Little Ireland,” play a round of golf at the 18-hole Van Cortlandt Golf Course, which opened in 1895, or 9-hole Mosholu Golf Course, both located in nearby Van Cortlandt Park.

Bronx River Greenway. Courtesy, Bronx River Park

The Bronx River Greenway

Take a trip to the park space along the Bronx River Greenway, some of which is built on the grounds of a former concrete plant. Approximately 20 miles of the greenway are already in place, including kayak and canoe launch sites as well as extensive paths for walking, bicycling and rollerblading.

The Bronx Zoo. Photo: Christopher Postlewaite

The Bronx Zoo and Arthur Avenue

Start with:The Bronx Zoo, which reopened July 24 (Central Park Zoo in Manhattan and Queens Zoo in Queens reopened as well). The current experience includes the outdoor exhibitions and grounds. Tickets must be booked in advance.

Madonia Bakery. Photo: Vincent Tullo

Eat here: After a morning or early afternoon at the zoo, enjoy an Italian meal at nearby Arthur Avenue, where a handful of blocks are transformed each Thursday to Sunday into an outdoor piazza for alfresco dining.

Stay overnight: The Opera House Hotel is a historic hotel in the South Bronx, located approximately 20 minutes from Arthur Avenue. Formerly the Bronx Opera House, it’s been renovated to preserve the iconic theater; guests can stay in the same place that hosted performances by Harry Houdini, the Marx Brothers and John and Lionel Barrymore.

New York Botanical Garden. Photo: Tagger Yancey IV

Right nearby: The New York Botanical Garden has just reopened its grounds and many of its outdoor collections. Timed-entry tickets are required and can be reserved a few weeks ahead. There are places to eat outdoors on the grounds and plenty of family-friendly activities to enjoy.

Another outdoor attraction: Wave Hill reopened July 30. Visiting the 28 acres of gardens and woodlands requires advance reservations. In addition to admiring the flowers and wooded landscape, you can take in views of the Hudson and Palisades. It’s open Thursdays through Sundays for now.

The Original Crab Shanty. Photo: Alex Lopez

City Island

Start with: City Island is a seaside escape that feels like no other place within city limits. The Bronx fishing village, full of yacht clubs and waterfront restaurants, is known for its laid-back vibe, fresh seafood dining options and range of activities—including scuba diving.

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Eat here: Grab a bite at one of the neighborhood's popular seafood spots, such as the City Island Lobster House, The Original Crab Shanty or Sammy’s Fish Box.

Bronx Equestrian Center. Photo: Julienne Schaer

Pelham Bay Park

Start with: Take a trip out to Pelham Bay Park, New York City’s largest park. It holds an 18-hole golf course, a mini-golf course, tennis courts and the Thomas Pell Wildlife Refuge and Sanctuary.

Explore nearby: Pelham Bay Park is also home to the “Bronx Riviera,” Orchard Beach, the borough’s sole public stretch of sand. The beach sits on the Long Island Sound and offers views of City Island.

Go for a ride: While at the park, you can visit one of the borough's few riding stables, the Bronx Equestrian Center, which offers English and Western riding lessons, group trail rides and pony rides for children.

Tour Your Own City

The Guides Association of New York City (GANYC) has a launched a Tour Your Own City initiative that makes it easy to find out what the Bronx has to offer, with excursions led by professional, licensed tour guides.


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