It’s easy to find tons of reasons to spend a weekend in Manhattan, but some of the other boroughs? Not so much. Yes, Brooklyn measures up when it comes to great food, nightlife, and parks (we’ve listed countless things to do on this site), but what about one of the most overlooked NYC boroughs – The Bronx? Yes, despite any preconceived notions, there’s plenty to do in The Bronx. Here are some reasons you should seriously consider visiting.
The Bronx has the perfect combination of city and country.
A frequent complaint about New York City is that there’s not enough greenery, but this isn’t true in The Bronx. Aside from being the home of the New York Botanical Garden, The Bronx is also home to NYC’s largest park, Pelham Bay Park, as well as Van Cortlandt Park, which houses two public golf courses and an outdoor pool. Be sure to bring comfortable shoes when you visit either, because these parks are big and worth a day trip to see.
The borough is just as historical as Manhattan.
If you’re a history buff, you should definitely plan to visit Edgar Allan Poe Cottage – the home where Poe wrote some of his most famous works. You can also check out The Bartow-Pell Mansion, both a landmark and museum, to see what living in NYC was like for the wealthy in the 1800s. (Hint: There were no penthouses, but they did have several acres of beautiful gardens!) But, if you’re more interested in modern history – you can take a tour through the Grand Concourse, South Bronx, and other significant neighborhoods and cultural attractions.
As far as performing arts, The Bronx offers more than hip-hop.
The Bronx is full of varying kinds of art and music, not just the hip-hop culture that it’s known for. The Bronx Opera Company performs at the Lovinger Theatre, along with various other Bronx-based locations. Lehman Stages, an organization within the City University of New York, creates unique productions featuring both student and professional artists, and sponsors a children’s theater as well as The Bronx Repertory Company.
The food is ah-mazing.
New York City is known for its food scene, and the restaurants throughout The Bronx are no exception. Whether you’re craving soul food, ethnic food, seafood, or some classic New York pizza – The Bronx has it all. Don’t miss Arthur Avenue, called the “real Little Italy,” where you can shop at local markets and buy fresh mozzarella, handmade pastas, and every Italian specialty you can think of. For other cuisines, Ceetay in the up-and-coming Piano District offers fantastic sushi, and you can’t skip ordering a locally-brewed pint from the Bronx Brewery.
And, of course, all the other stuff you already know about the Bronx is great too.
There’s nothing wrong with visiting an area and sticking with the classics. Yes, watching a baseball game at Yankee Stadium is a lot of fun. And yes, the Bronx Zoo is fantastic. But, keep in mind that it’s okay to be a tourist (even if you live in NYC) and try something totally new. From booze-infused trolley tours to art galleries to NYC shopping, there’s plenty to do in The Bronx. You just have to hop the train and head north.