Blake Walsh

25 Best Things to Do in The Bronx, NYC

  • Published 2022/12/19

The Bronx is famous as the birthplace of rap/hip-hop music and is home to Yankee Stadium and various sites of significance in American history.

Some of its top tourist attractions include the traditional and cultural hub known as Little Italy and the world-renowned Museum of the Arts.

In the Bronx, you’ll also find one of the largest research and conservation programs of plants and several museums and botanical gardens dedicated to plants and flowers.

If you find yourself traveling here, then check out this list of the best things to do in the Bronx, New York:

Check Out the Wildlife at the Bronx Zoo

The grand entrance of the Bronx Zoo

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The zoo was inaugurated in 1899, features more than 4,000 animals across 650 species, and covers 250 acres.

Lions at Bronx Zoo

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The Bronx Zoo is one of the biggest zoos in the world and is the largest urban zoo in the USA.

It’s overseen by the wildlife conservation society and consists of many true-to-life animal habitats.

A tour vehicle along Bronx Zoo

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It’s also close to several NYC landmarks, like the Rainey Memorial Gates, Astor Court, and RockefellerFountain.

Flamingos at Bronx Zoo

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Learn History at the Van Cortlandt House Museum

Snow covered pathway at Van Cortlandt House Museum

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This 18th-century house on a 1,000-acre civic park was converted into a museum.

It has various ancient heirlooms on display, along with arts and crafts owned by the Cortlandt family.

Located in Van Cortlandt Park, the building was erected in 1748 for Frederick Van Cortlandt.

It was deemed one of the finest Georgian-style houses in the nation.

Walk Around the Bronx’s Little Italy

People waiting in a queue outside a shop at Bronx little Italy

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If you are in town and looking for a place to shop for exotic items or souvenirs, Little Italy is an excellent place to wander around.

The area is famously known for being one of the Bronx’s traditional, cultural, and economic hubs.

Popular among tourists for its European feel, its markets are filled with exotic imported items.

Street view of Bronx's Little Italy

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They offer bargains at the most affordable prices, which is one of the primary reasons why tourists and locals flock to this area.

food market stall in Bronx's Little Italy

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Here, you’ll also find local crafts and authentic traditional items you won’t be able to buy anywhere else.

The food culture in the restaurant is also decidedly European.

It’s the best place to walk around, whether alone or with a group of friends.

Uncooked sausage for sale in Bronx's Little Italy

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Plan an Adventure at Everett Children’s Adventure Garden

Opened to the public in 1998, Everett Children’s Adventure Garden is a one-of-a-kind plant museum dedicated to kids and recreational activities.

It is a fine place for lone travelers or groups of friends.

If you have kids with you, this must be on the top of your must-visit list.

From bolder mazes to more than 40 fun-filled nature discovery recreational activities, a plaza, and a place to have a picnic with your family and friends, Everett’s Gardens is a full-on package of natural adventure activities for kids.

Be One with Nature at the New York Botanical Garden

Lotus in a pond at NY Botanical garden, Bronx

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Located at 2900 Southern Blvd, the botanical garden is known as a “living museum.”

It’s home to more than a million plants organized in beautiful natural displays of their natural habitat.

A pond with plants at New York Botanical Garden

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Some of the garden’s salient features include an Aboriginal American forest spanning 50 acres, complete with a forest, waterfall, and hills.

People walking around New York Botanical Garden

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It comprises 50 luxuriant gardens, a dense indoor rainforest, a desert environment, and uncountable varieties of plants.

The garden is famously known for being home to one of the most expansive plant conservation and research programs in the world, employing around 600 staff members to preserve the plants.

Models of new york buildings at New York Botanical Garden

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Open Up to Creativity at the Bronx Museum of the Arts

Street view of the Bronx Museum of Arts

Jim.henderson, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Established in 1971, the art museum is famous around the world for its fantastic collection of 20th-century American art and contemporary pieces.

Along with its specialty focus, the museum is known to temporarily host works of artists and designers from Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Front exterior view of Bronx Museum of the Arts

Dmadeo, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

There are more than 800 art sculptures, exotic photographs, and sensational paintings in its permanent collection.

The museum hosts many events and tours for educational institutions, leading to connecting the gap between ethnic and cultural diversity through pure expressions of art.

Enjoy the View at the Wave Hill Estate

Exterior of Wave hill estate

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Twenty-eight acres of natural scenic beauty, facing the Hudson River, with horticulture gardens, a cultural center, and a phenomenal view of the New Jersey Palisades—tempted yet?

The Wave Hill Estate is a beautiful place to relax while visiting the cultural center and its visual arts displays.

The smaller house, Glyndor, was converted into an art gallery.

Meanwhile, the old garage was turned into a visitor center and gift shop for tourists.

Learn Nautical History at the Museum Near Pelham Bay Park

 Bronx Victory Memorial in Pelham Bay Park

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This area is a small community with rich historical significance.

Located near Pelham Bay Park, the museum contains crafts and artifacts of the local shipping industry, with more than a few model ships, tools, and memorabilia on display.

The museum boasts an impressive collection of ship sails, various model boats, photos, and additional artifacts.

Visit the Barrow Pell Mansion Museum

View of the majestic Pelham Bay Park Mansion Museum

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Located at Pelham Bay Park, the mansion museum offers a peek into the mid-19th century.

For tourists interested in classic architecture and relics of the past, taking a guided tour of this place is a must.

The mansion has been kept in good condition and is filled with a luxurious display of arts, crafts, and classic furniture, giving tourists a look into the life and times of the rich of the old times.

Admire the Flowers at the Haupt Conservatory

Haupt conservatory in Bronx with lawn in the foreground

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After watching the beautiful botanical garden in the UK, Lord Britton and his wife, Lady Elizabeth, ordered the construction of this conservatory.

Top half of Haupt Conservatory

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Starting with just a few species, this conservatory now houses numerous seasonal, medicinal, and economically important exotic plants from all around the world.

The Haupt Conservatory also holds several flower-themed special events throughout the year, including the holiday train and orchid shows.

People walking in front of Haupt Conservatory

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Get Sporty at Van Cortlandt Park

Van Cortlandt Park during snow

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The city’s third-largest park, Van Cortlandt Park, features two golf courses, a soccer stadium, tennis court, swimming pool, cricket stadium, running trails, and other recreational activity spaces.

If you are looking for a place for hiking, then it is a good option.

Body of water at Van Cortlandt Park

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It has five well-known hiking trails, the largest freshwater lake in the Bronx, and a verdant oak forest.

Spanning more than a thousand acres, it is a place of historical value and boasts beautiful city views.

Locals and non-resident tourists alike swarm to this site on weekends and holidays.

A school race at Van Cortlandt Park

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Explore the Best Places to Eat in the Bronx

City Island lobster house in Bronx

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Enjoy Italian at Antonio’s Trattoria, famous for its authentic Italian family recipes, thin-crust pies, and homely experience.

Treat yourself to a good meal at City Island Lobster House, which serves quick bites of American comfort food and seafood specialties.

Experience quality eating on a budget.

Try out Cuban cuisine at Havana Cafe, which offers a posh fine-dining experience.

There’s also a mojito lounge with intimate and outdoor seating options available.

Check out the seafood at The Original Crab Shanty, a widely popular family-friendly restaurant with seafood and Italian recipes as its focus.

Have some Spanish cuisine at Cafe Colonial Restaurant, a Latin-fusion restaurant and the best place to try quality wine in the Bronx.

Take a Guided Historical Tour

Some tourists prefer guided tours to sites of historical and traditional significance on their travels.

If you are one of them, then there are many walking tours to historical sites of the Bronx that you can be a part of.

A historical tour usually consists of Bronx 101 tour, walking around in the Bronx Little Italy region, and wandering around the historical sites of south Bronx.

Many specialized guided tours focus on educating tourists about the local specialties and cuisine, and traditional culture.

Wander Down the Hall of Fame

Bronx hall of fame

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The hall of fame for great Americans, planned by Stanford White, is a 630-foot stone corridor with 98 figures.

It’s located at Bronx Community College.

Statues along Hall of Fame

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Wander down the hallway that celebrates the great Americans of the past, who have been immortalized in beautiful stone sculptures on the University campus.

It is a kind of shrine, remembering the great women and men for their sacrifices and involvement in the nation’s development.

Tour the Valentine-Varian House

Valentine-varian House in Bronx

Dmadeo, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The history of the Bronx intersects with the Revolutionary War at some points.

A tour of this place will help you better understand the Bronx’s role in American history.

The second oldest house in the Bronx, the Valentine-Varian House dates back to 1758 and is known for its involvement in the Revolutionary War.

Statue at Valentine-Varian House

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This place was converted into a museum in 1960 and collects artifacts, photos, and memorabilia related to the history of the Bronx.

A variety of fascinating pieces of history can be seen on display, telling the tale of its turbulent past.

Return to the Old Maritime Era at City Island Nautical Museum

Exterior view of City Island Nautical Museum

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If great wooden boats fascinate you and you’ve got a heart for the sea, you can’t miss visiting City Island Nautical Museum.

This exhibition is full of commentaries and photographs on the history of the shipbuilding and yacht industry that was so pivotal in City Island’s history.

The Nautical Museum of City Island is home to several stunning exhibits and artifacts, including boats built by talented and dedicated boat-builders.

This museum is also home to famous yachts that were created here, naval warships produced during wartime, and the successful 12-meter sloops that have defended America’s Cup on many occasions.

In the City Island Nautical Museum, you’ll find historic nautical exhibits in its main hall, foyer, and gallery.

The Walsh Library features an expansive collection of maritime historical texts and other literature such as novels, paintings, and photographs.

Sail lofts, shipyards, yachts, and shipbuilders are all honored at the nautical room of City Island Nautical Museum.

To commemorate the founding of City Island, the Community Room displays memorabilia and photographs, and other artifacts, such as maps and Native American arrowheads.

Go on a Breathtaking Sunset Ocean Voyage with Riptide III

This fishing charter in 701 Minnieford Avenue, Bronx, offers an exciting city fishing trip on the Long Island Sound, where you might catch striped bass and bluefish.

The Riptide III is a captivating 90×24 foot adventure boat that can comfortably accommodate up to 100 passengers for a breathtaking sunset ocean voyage from City Island to the mouth of New York Harbor.

Their Sunset Cruises are a great way to see all of the city’s highlights, including the Statue of Liberty, as well as going beneath eight bridges and pacing by LaGuardia Airport.

Your night out will be complete with a boat trip to the city’s most exciting harbor, where a live DJ and an unforgettable open-air dance session await you under the millions of bright lights illuminating your way across the gorgeous New York City skyline.

On the 4th of July, Riptide III will take you to the front row for spectacular fireworks over New York Harbor with an open galley to partake in a night’s worth of food and drinks.

Cheer on the Yankees

Aerial view of Yankee Stadium

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Located in New York City, the Bronx baseball stadium known as Yankee Stadium has been the home ballpark for New York’s Major League teams like the New York City Football Club Soccer team and the Yankees Baseball team.

Constructed with $1.2 billion in public subsidies, this stadium gained a $2.3 billion investment in 2009 to replace the old Yankee Stadium and became MLB’s sixth-largest stadium based on the seating capacity.

This ballpark sits on the 24-acre area where the Macombs Dam Park once stood, and the 8-acre site of the old stadium became the public park Heritage Field.

Gate 4 entrance of Yankee Stadium

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The new Yankee Stadium is like a faux-reincarnation of the old Yankee Stadium by incorporating the design aspects from the original ballpark.

When designing this contemporary building, its architect was inspired to recreate a similar feel and attitude to what had been at the heart of New York baseball culture on one of New York’s most beloved ballparks of all time.

Just like its predecessor, this new stadium has also served as an entertainment venue for some other events, concerts, and even college football games.

Field of Yankee Stadium

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Admire the History and Architecture of the Opera House Hotel

When visiting New York City, The Opera House Hotel provides an unmatched experience thanks to its excellent service, extensive Bronx facilities, and unique historical décor.

The Opera House Hotel is a well-known destination in the South Bronx and was previously the magnificent Bronx Opera House’s residence.

Visitors today stay in the same location that formerly produced sublime theatrical performances.

King- or queen-sized bedrooms with Stearns & Foster beds and cushioned leather frames are featured in the Opera House Hotel’s distinctive rooms.

Moreover, it is a sophisticated gathering spot for business visitors and organizations, offering first-rate Bronx lodging and cutting-edge business services.

Unwind, Play a Game of Golf, and Snack at Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point

Signage of Trump Golf Links

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The 18-hole Jack Nicklaus trademark design course at Trump Golf Links is located in the center of the Bronx.

They provide modernized locker room amenities and a premium golf shop featuring the trendiest in golf apparel and accessories.

Imagine utilizing the distinctive and stunning waterfront setting Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point has to give as the background for your forthcoming event.

View of Trump Golf Links

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You are sure to have a fantastic experience thanks to over 15,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor banquet rooms available to accommodate parties of any size.

You may sample the finest of the Bronx’s developing culinary scene at The Waterfront NYC Restaurant at Trump Golf Links, an upmarket casual, modern American restaurant.

Golf course at Trump Golf Links

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Participate in a Guided Tour at Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum

Facade of Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum

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Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum, located in Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx, is the only surviving mansion from the 19th century which presently serves as a museum.

It is a vital connection to New York’s cultural and architectural past.

A distinctive New York City adventure includes visiting the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum with its beautiful Greek Revival décor and rural surroundings in Pelham Bay Park.

Interior view of Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum

Brett Whysel, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

To foster awareness of the region’s historical, physical and artistic treasures, they provide programs, exhibits, and special events that appeal to modern civilization and relate to modern issues.

Explore the grounds and the beautiful garden, examine the art collection, and enjoy guided tours of the home and carriage houses.

Curvy stairs at Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum

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Spend a Whole Day of Shopping and Fun at the Mall at Bay Plaza

Shops at Bay Plaza

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The Mall at Bay Plaza is the biggest shopping center in New York City, offering a diverse array of services, restaurants, amusement, and specialized shops for your daily shopping convenience.

It provides a wide variety of shopping encounters and opportunities for all customers in the form of an enclosed luxury mall and an outdoor retail area.

The Mall at Bay Plaza offers top-notch dining, shopping, and free amenities like internet and charging stations.

It also has over 100 retailers and restaurants.

Huge Christmas tree at Bay Plaza

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Discover the fun at Bay Plaza at its kid-friendly locations, which include the AMC Theaters, an indoor playground, Action Land, and many others.

Bay Plaza has several activities for your next family outing, whether you want to catch the newest movie or have a great time playing games and embarking on outdoor adventures!

Savor Every Bite at S & S Cheesecake

Fred Schuster, an inventive gourmet who founded the company in 1960, has made it his life’s work to uphold a strong work ethic and a commitment to his clients.

The business remains family-owned and operated at its exact address at 238th Street in the Bronx.

S & S Cheesecake has won the prestigious distinction of America’s Most Savored and Exquisite Cheesecake for the past 60 years.

The original cheesecake recipe that Fred discovered is still in use today after he conducted multiple tests.

All cakes are made using the highest-quality ingredients and are prepared with artisanal skill.

Sample the delicious cheesecakes featuring New York Style, Strawberry, Cherry, Chocolate Mousse, and more.

Final Thoughts

From the vast New York Botanical Gardens and the largest zoo in America to Pelham Bay Park and Yankee Stadium, the Bronx has some great places to visit for your next spring break or weekend away.

Whether you’re after a short break in a cosmopolitan setting or an escape from city life, let this list be your next reason to make your visit to the Bronx extra special!

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