Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in New Rochelle, NY

  • Published 2023/03/17

The city of New Rochelle, in Westchester County, New York, deserves far more attention.

It has plenty of recreation to offer visitors, with miles of shoreline, many public parks, and a municipal marina.

Downtown, you will see cinemas, art galleries, a Walk of Fame, highly regarded restaurants, and boutiques.

Its neighborhood features a collection of stately and elegant homes with gorgeous architecture and landscaping.

Some of these homes date from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Its waterfront boasts unmatched beauty and public accessibility, a good portion of coastline, famous beach clubs, four parks, and recreational opportunities.

Here are the best things to do in New Rochelle, NY:

See the Sights at Glen Island Park

Aerial view of Glen Island Park

Louis Vaccaro /

Glen Island Park is one of Westchester’s unique jewels.

John H. Starin developed the park as a summer resort for residents.

His Glen Island was also the first theme park in the city.

It initially exhibited the Western world’s five cultures on individual islands linked by causeways, footbridges, and piers.

Today, the islands have merged into a 130-acre property.

Stone gazebo at Glen Island Park

Joanne king /

They now offer picnic areas, activities, pathways, boat launches, and a lovely crescent-shaped beach with access to Long Island Sound.

Today, you can still see the sculptures, cannons, and castles with round towers, coursed rubble stone, and arched openings from John Starin’s resort.

Also, find castles reflective of Germany’s Rhineland, constructed as beer gardens and restaurants in the late 19th century.

The island’s bathhouse, courtyard, castles, bridge house, and sea wall are also breathtaking sights.

People admiring Glen Island Park's scenery

Isabel L. Silva /

Go Cruising at Dine and Sail

Start your three-hour adventure on the sailboat Camelot docked at the New Rochelle Marina on western Long Island Sound.

Enjoy a meet-and-greet, then sit back and unwind as the sailboat travels the gorgeous waters of the Sound.

Captain Luc is United States Coast Guard certified and will gladly show you the ropes around sailing and the workings of his boat.

You can also lounge around the cushions and watch the world go by in the spacious covered cockpit, enjoying the breathtaking views.

Captain Luc will then don his chef hat and prepare an incredible meal!

He has had vast experience for 30 years as a professional chef for dignitaries such as Pope John Paul II and Queen Elizabeth.

Start the meal with hors d’oeuvres like sweet and spicy meatballs, then savor delicacies like grilled garlic-butter shrimp.

Brunch may comprise goodies such as eggs benedict and deviled eggs, while dessert may include Belgium chocolate.

After this leisurely repast, return to the marina with brand new memories and appreciation for Long Island Sound.

Go Rock Climbing at the Rock Club

Rock climbing is a unique sport that builds strength, coordination, and focus simultaneously.

It is an enjoyable and friendly sport anyone can enjoy, from complete beginners to seasoned climbers.

The Rock Club is a premier rock climbing gym in New Rochelle.

It offers group and individual classes to help beginner climbers out on their rock climbing adventure.

Those who are a bit more experienced can take advanced classes to sharpen their bouldering techniques or learn to lead a climb.

With Top Rope, a belayer controls the rope as you scale the tallest walls in the gym.

With Bouldering, strength and movement converge as you climb up shorter walls with a padded floor beneath.

With Rent-a-Belayer, expert belayers guide your experience by helping you select routes and holding the ropes.

Devices will automatically belay you as you climb the walls.

Take Beautiful Pictures at Hudson Park and Beach

Hudson Park and Beach is a ten-acre outdoor space with outstanding views of the Long Island Sound.

It’s a prime destination for photography, concerts, and community events.

Visitors can easily admire the Sound, watching the yachts and sailboats go past.

Because of its lush scenery and panoramic views, the park lends itself well to being a prime photography destination.

It offers a recreation area, children’s playground, two beaches, and a music bandshell used throughout the year for concerts.

It also has a gazebo surrounded by walking trails and a mini-library where visitors can take and leave books.

There are many rocks and trees that children can climb for entertainment.

Organized events at the park include the Snapper Fishing Derby, the Lighted Boat Parade, and seasonal events like the 4th of July Fireworks.

Go Island-Hopping at Five Islands Park

Five Island Park is a 15-acre space comprising five islands, allowing visitors to visit a natural oasis amid the industrial buzz of city life.

Oakwood Island, the largest island, has a picnic area, sandy sunbathers’ beach, and recreational areas.

Wooden footbridges connect Oakwood Island to Big and Little Harrison Islands, constituting a 1.2-mile loop through the park to Long Island Sound.

You can only access the two other islands, Tank and Sedge Islands, by boat.

The premises feature a restroom, pavilion, amphitheater, children’s playground, and fishing dock.

The park is perfect for running and walking if you want to relish the beautiful natural scenery.

Families can play with their kids, and friends can enjoy games.

Likewise, couples can have an evening date.

The LL Bean Discovery School, which provides kayak and canoe tours of Long Island Sound, is on Oakwood Island.

Play with Your Friends at Hour to Exit

Discover clues, find hints, and solve puzzles to escape the escape room, all within an hour.

Hour to Exit is in the center of downtown New Rochelle.

Escape game lovers created the space for fellow fans of the game.

This escape room features exciting games with fun stories.

In Pandora’s Box, Pandora has opened the box that Zeus has strictly forbidden, and you must bravely shut it before curiosity leaves you stuck forever.

In Elude the Illusionist, Zoltar is a stage magician entertaining audiences every night while his competition seems to mysteriously disappear.

You have one hour to sneak into Zoltar’s dressing room and find out what happened to the other magicians.

In Dorm Rooms, your dorm RA goes home on the weekend of your big party.

Find the key, escape, and plan a party that will go down in college history!

Enjoy a Strenuous Workout at Sky Zone Trampoline Park

The Sky Zone Trampoline Park is a chain of indoor trampoline parks featuring fitness programs, freestyle bouncing, dodgeball, and others.

They continuously invent excellent ways to gather, play, and compete.

Test your speed, strength, and agility on the Ninja Warrior Course.

Reach new heights on the Freestyle Jump, and jump and swerve at Ultimate Dodgeball.

Rock the rims on Skyslam and battle your friends gladiator-style on Skyjoust.

Climb the fidgeting ladder and plant your flag on Skyladder.

Practice your most daring stunts without fear at the Foam Zone.

Sky Zone is the perfect active place for your parties, whether a Sweet 16, bachelor party or birthday party.

You can also throw an exciting group event for your coworkers, team, class, or more.

Sky Zone will likewise be happy to support your group or organization’s fundraising initiatives.

Step Back in Time at the Thomas Paine Cottage

Exterior of the Thomas Paine Cottage

Dmadeo, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

From 1802 to 1806, Thomas Paine lived in the Thomas Paine Cottage.

Paine was a Founding Father, a Revolutionary War hero, and the author of the pamphlet Common Sense.

The pamphlet sold over 100,000 copies in its first three months, sparking the American independence movement.

In 1805, Paine wrote his last pamphlet addressed to Philadelphia citizens, Constitutional Reform, in this house.

The cottage hosts weekend events such as the Colonial Fair, Colonial Tavern Night during October Artsfest, and the December Toys for Tots drive.

The cottage contains some of Thomas Paine’s few existing artifacts, such as a chair and cast-iron stove given by Benjamin Franklin himself.

The cottage’s front room reflects 18th-century life.

School groups and special programs visit the cottage to check out both original and reproduction artifacts.

Upstairs, you’ll find 18th-century artifacts such as a trundle bed, rope bed, Bible and spectacles, nightstand with a candle, period coverlet, and cross-stitch sampler.

Permanent exhibits in the other rooms feature the Huguenot settlement of New Rochelle, which contains the 1689 deed to purchase the city.

You can also spot a rare breech-loading swivel gun used to defend the Huguenot city, La Rochelle, during the siege in France.

Another cottage exhibit reflects local history from the Revolutionary War, Civil War, Siwanoy Indians, famous New Rochellians, and more.

Spend a Day at Davenport Park

The 20-acre Davenport Park is a peaceful landscape overlooking the Long Island Sound, where visitors will find a serene outdoor sanctuary.

Most of the parkland comprises an expansive grassy area lined with benches, sloping down to rocks on the shore.

Find a Shakespeare Garden filled with select plants paying tribute to Shakespeare’s work, including ivy taken from the cottage of his future wife.

You’ll also see more greenery with historical roots.

For example, check out the 13 trees planted by the George Washington Bicentennial Commission, representing the 13 original colonies.

The park is a wonderfully expansive open space, ideal for sunbathing and kite flying on windy days and sledding on wintry days.

Athletes can train on the field, and introverts can enjoy a quiet picnic and read books on the green.

You can also create your own outdoor yoga studio as you spread a mat and watch the sun rise and set.

Davenport Park is another brilliant spot for celebratory photography, with the scenery making for a stunning backdrop for your photos.

Hang Out at Beechmont Tavern

After a fun outdoor excursion in New Rochelle, a night of delicious drinks and wings with great company would be a nice treat, and Beechmont Tavern is your place!

The pub serves the best wings in Westchester County with a great selection of cold beers.

There are also lots of TV screens at the pub, where you can watch your favorite sports while enjoying your food and drinks.

Look out for its Karaoke Fridays and Happy Hour for more fun hangouts with your friends and loved ones!

Beechmonth Tavern is located off North Avenue.

Pamper Yourself at Touche Moi Massage

Touring around New Rochelle can be tiring too, but it also means a great and relaxing massage at Touche Moi Massage, which works like magic.

The spa offers Sports, Prenatal, Deep Tissue, Swedish, Lymphatic, and Medical Massage, which are unique and tailored to your needs.

All these you can enjoy up to 120 minutes of relaxation in a warm and cozy atmosphere.

Gift cards are also available if you want to get your loved ones a relaxing treatment while in New Rochelle.

You can find Touche Moi Massage on North Avenue.

Get Closer to Nature at Ward Acres Nature Preserve

Not only that Ward Acres Nature Preserve is a wonderful spot to soak in nature, but it also made a great contribution to the history of New Rochelle.

It was originally a part of the estate of American banker Watson Dickerman until his wife sold a huge part of the property to Robert Ward after Dickerman died.

Today, the 62-acre preserve still houses the barn, farmhouse, forge outbuilding, stone walls, and trail system, and is surrounded by meadows and woodland areas.

You’ll see lots of mature trees like Beech, Tulip Tree, Cherry, Oak, Ash, and Maple.

Ward Acres Nature Preserve is everything you can ask for to get in tune with nature!

Catch a Game at Flowers Park

For traveling sports enthusiasts, Flowers Park is the best spot in the city to catch a game.

The 20-acre park features nice sports fields with wonderful turf, where you can enjoy watching baseball, softball, and soccer games.

There are regular games happening at the park, so chances are, you’ll have enough entertainment as soon as you get here.

Flowers Park also has a nice playground for the little ones to play and socialize with other visiting kids.

You can find it on 5th Avenue.

Get Your Cup of Coffee at Pop’s Espresso Bar

Mornings are best when started with a great cup of coffee, which you can grab at Pop’s Espresso Bar.

The coffee shop’s award-winning avocado toast and breakfast staples are all customer favorites alongside a delicious espresso, latte, or cappuccino.

There are also other delectables to choose from and everything is worth a try.

And if you love meat, its pork belly sandwich is another popular pair for any cup of coffee you may want to get from Pop’s Espresso Bar.

The coffee shop is located off Huguenot Street.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Admire the Larchmont Manor Park

A stone bench overlooking the waters at Larchmont Manor Park

Serge Yatunin /

Larchmont Manor Park is one of the most exciting and beautiful places in New Rochelle.

It sits along Park Avenue and has a lovely tree-lined masterwork with about 13 acres and a shoreline of over 5,000 feet.

It’s one of the rare waterfront areas on Long Island Sound open to the community to enjoy the natural beauty.

Scenic view of Larchmont Manor Park

Serge Yatunin /

People know it for its droll pathways, striated rocks, breathtaking views, and gazebos.

Glacial rock formations have formed an array of trees and shrubs, the rolling lawn, and incredible natural sculptures.

Spot summer houses and three gazebos on capes for you to sit and enjoy a view of the Sound, the rocky shoreline, and the boats.

The park also includes nearby Fountain Square, a classic bronze mermaid statue, and other areas.

The waters of Larchmont Manor Park

Joao Paulo V Tinoco /

Catch Fish with Sound Bound Fishing Fleet

If you want to spend time outdoors while improving your angling skills, hook up with Sound Bound Fishing Fleet.

Find them at Mamaroneck, New York, 12 minutes from New Rochelle.

Sound Bound Fishing Fleet is Westchester’s popular fishing haunt that started with six-passenger charter boats.

Today, the fleet comprises four vessels of different sizes.

Sound Bound offers a range of day and night trips, seven days a week.

Its captains and crew have tons of experience fishing the Long Island Sound.

Sound Bound is equipped for any fishing you have in mind, from record-breaking striped bass to bottom fishing for jumbo blackfish and humpback porgies.

Other catches include weakfish, flounder, bluefish, and fluke.

If you want a cruise, go on one of their NYC Party Cruises, which brings you down the East River for breathtaking views of the New York City skyline.

Save the Planet at Sheldrake Environmental Center

Sheldrake Environmental Center is a 60-acre environmental and wildlife sanctuary.

It’s home to creatures dwelling on land and water surrounding the reserve.

Sheldrake has a lake, half a dozen trails of various lengths, and lots more.

They get kids excited about discovering nature and create the best possible curriculum to connect them to the environment.

At the center, young children can join school field trips, nature camps, preschool classes, and others.

Trained naturalists will guide them through outdoor activities like nature crafts, walks, and hands-on ecology lessons.

Preschool and elementary programs spark a lifelong love of nature, and adult programs forge nature connections and personal enrichment.

Appreciate the Arts at Pelham Art Center

Pelham Art Center is a non-profit committed to providing ways to appreciate, study, and experience the arts.

It strives to be a lively and engaging art space that gives learning opportunities and improves art practices and skills.

It welcomes participants from different backgrounds to forge connections and exchange ideas.

Every year, it presents six or seven top-caliber art exhibitions featuring local, national, and international creators in various media.

View public art in the nearby courtyard, in nearby Wolf’s Lane Park, and outside the Pelham Art Center building.

The center has worked with well-known artists to create site-specific displays that stimulate and excite the community.

It also aims to make art accessible to everyone through programs like affordable art classes, art education, and need-based scholarships.

Final Thoughts

New Rochelle has emerged as a significant player among commuter and vacation cities, and it is easy to see why.

Enjoy the city’s beautiful waterfront parks, eclectic food scene, urban-suburban meld, hubs of entertainment and knowledge, and diversely creative population.

See how New Rochelle provides a welcoming haven for people from all walks of life.

Visit this unique corner of New York State today!

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