Blake Walsh

15 Free Things to Do in New Rochelle, NY

  • Published 2023/02/13

New Rochelle in Westchester County is one of New York‘s destinations that doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

Most early settlers were craftsmen and artisans from the French city of La Rochelle, and they inspired the city’s name.

New Rochelle has a vibrant and expanding downtown that has seen significant growth in recent years.

Outside Main Street, you’ll discover New Rochelle’s historic neighborhoods, which have a mosaic of magnificent, majestic older homes with fine architecture and fantastic landscaping.

Some of these houses come from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Recreational options abound in this city, with 9.3 miles of beachfront, 231 acres of public parks, and a municipal marina, many of which are free.

Experience this stunning city with this list of free things to do in New Rochelle, New York.

Catch the Sunset at Glen Island Park

Daytime view of Glen Island Park

Isabel L. Silva /

The 105-acre Glen Island Park is a coastal park situated on Glen Island in New Rochelle, near the Long Island Sound.

Although this park is owned and operated by Westchester County, the Glen Island Harbour Club also owns a portion of the island.

This park is glamorous and breathtakingly gorgeous.

The activities in Glen Island Park in New Rochelle, New York, are endless, much like the beach sands!

Aerial view of Glen Island Park

Louis Vaccaro /

Seeing the park during the winter, especially after a blizzard, is breathtaking.

Amazingly, this park is an excellent place to see a sunset or take a beautiful picture of one!

Take your time fishing here, even if you only want solitude with a fishing rod and some bait.

You might be able to catch some sun rays.

Take a Swim at Glen Island Beach

Glen Island Beach is the place to go if you need time alone or for quiet reflection in a peaceful and tranquil setting.

It’s of New Rochelle’s most lovely beaches.

It is one of New York’s most well-liked tourist locations and offers a stunning view of the beach’s scenery and a variety of enjoyable activities like swimming.

Glen Island Beach is not only gorgeous, but there are a lot of interesting sites to discover.

Grab a book or watch others start working on something creative.

Additionally, you may benefit from the area’s stunning scenery to capture pretty photos that will stick in your memory.

Bring a Date to Hudson Park & Beach

You may find a pleasant playground at Hudson Park & Beach, along with a sandy beach.

Even though this beach isn’t vast, there are many enjoyable things to experience here!

The sand is lovely and clean, making them ideal for making sand castles or even playing beach ball.

You might plunge into its chilly waters or enjoy its warmth beneath your feet.

If you choose not to swim, there are other locations nearby where you may lounge on a beach chair or even on a bench.

These benches offer a great place to relax while soaking up the sun or frequently watching the boats pass by.

Visit Hudson Park & Beach to save on dates, practice photography, and have picnics.

Picnickers can sit on the sand or one of the park’s seats.

Celebrate Local Art and Culture at New Rochelle Street Fair

The famous annual New Rochelle Street Fair brings thousands of people to the city for a jam-packed day of entertainment, arts and crafts, food, and other activities.

The New Rochelle Street Fair first took off in 2013.

It has expanded to become one of the biggest festivals in the Lower Hudson Valley, converting the area surrounding City Hall into a festive celebration with various international foods, artists, and artisans.

Between Winthrop and Fifth Avenues, North Avenue is lined on both sides with hundreds of small-town merchants, with Hamilton Avenue’s market area extended to Beaufort Place.

The iconic Beer Garden, sponsored by Beechmont Tavern, live entertainment, a zone where you can touch city vehicles, and giant inflatables are just a few of the attractions.

Check out the Historic Barn and Horse Graves at Ward Acres Park

Ward Acres Park is a wooded getaway area with pathways and a historic barn.

The 62-acre park is a well-liked tourist destination in the Wykagyl neighborhood of New Rochelle.

The Ward Acres Park once belonged to a rural house and a horse farm before being purchased by New Rochelle.

It features walking paths, a five-acre dog park, and a community garden.

The charming stone walls and the ancient barn make it a stunning and must-see location, although it was formerly a farm.

Visiting the graves of champion horses from Ward at the park offers the opportunity for quiet reflection.

Have a Cook-off at Five Islands Park

Five Island Park is a lovely green space.

This hidden gem in the city is a fantastic find, particularly if you are considering a beautiful winter walk.

You can also see bridges linking the islands with tiny ramps or docks.

It can get quite windy, though, so be aware of that.

Additionally, this park has paths that you may explore.

Traverse every one of these paths to appreciate the variety of vistas it offers entirely its variety of views.

The location is also suitable for picnics and barbecue cook-offs.

You may bring your barbecue grill if you don’t want to rent one at this park.

Spot the Various Architecture Styles in Downtown New Rochelle

First Presbyterian Church at New Rochelle Downtown

ALT55-VictorM, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Downtown New Rochelle has a lot to offer for a fantastic day trip outside New York City in any season.

You may stroll around downtown New Rochelle, take in its 330 years of history, and eat at one of the numerous restaurants providing foreign cuisine, all on foot.

Some notable structures are the historic facade of the original Loews Theatre and the former RKO Quad Theatre.

Pintard House at New Rochelle Downtown

ALT55-VictorM, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Neoclassical gems include the New Rochelle Public Library, First Presbyterian Church, and the Pintard House.

You will also find Art Deco beauties along Main Street.

Another notable structure in Downtown New Rochelle is the former National City Bank, designed by Henry Bacon, the same architect behind Washington D.C.’s Lincoln Memorial.

Loews Theatre at New Rochelle Downtown

DanTD, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Read a Book at Davenport Park

The 20-acre Davenport Park offers views of Long Island Sound and relaxing spots.

The park offers an excellent opportunity to walk, lounge, and enjoy the lake views while getting some sun.

Relax on the grass while you read a book or play the guitar.

While strolling across the lawn, you can find a secret cove that provides a great view of significant residences and boats.

A Shakespeare garden is another feature of Davenport Park.

Meet the City’s Iconic Residents at the New Rochelle Walk of Fame

The Ossie Davis Park at Library Green in downtown New Rochelle is home to the New Rochelle Walk of Fame.

It is a special memorial honoring notable people from throughout the country who have close links to the city.

It celebrates local personalities with a 20″ x 14″ full-color historical interpretative sign.

By reading the inscriptions, you can discover their histories.

The New Rochelle Walk of Fame is a condensed microhistory of America as seen through the eyes of New Rochelle’s well-known sons and daughters.

They represent the arts, commerce, politics, education, entertainment, media, and sports.

The project is a collaboration between the City of New Rochelle and the Downtown Business Improvement District.

The signs, placed thoughtfully in the gardens lining the Library Green route, were designed and financed by former citizen and historian Roderick Kennedy Jr.

As of 2017, there were 49 markers honoring 61 individuals.

Read Local Literature at New Rochelle Public Library

New Rochelle Public Library provides a comprehensive collection of past and present resources, modern technology for accessing information, and a wide range of community activities and events catered to a broad audience.

Since 1979, it has provided services to New Rochelle’s 79,000 people from its Main Library facility in the city’s commercial center.

The New Rochelle Public Library hosts a variety of live concerts for the general public in its 138-seat Ossie Davis Theater throughout the year.

These events feature jazz, classical, folk, and pop concerts, theatrical productions, and dance performances.

They also draw excellent artists who reside and work in the New York Metropolitan Area and the nearby neighborhood of New Rochelle.

Other Free Things to Do Nearby

New Rochelle’s neighboring areas also boast a wealth of attractions and experiences worth a short drive.

Here are other free things to do near New Rochell, New York.

Take Photos of the Execution Rocks Lighthouse

Silhouette of Execution Rocks Lighthouse during sunset

Zina Seletskaya /

Execution Rocks Lighthouse is in Mamaroneck, New York, 39 minutes from New Rochelle.

However, you can see it from the border of New Rochelle.

The 55-foot lighthouse sits in the center of Long Island Sound and flashes a white light every ten seconds.

Tourists traveling around the nation are praising and admiring this rustic beauty.

It also features a massive white granite tower with a center band of brown paint.

It also has a stone keeper’s house connected to it, although nobody has occupied it since 1979.

Even if you cannot go to the Execution Rocks Lighthouse, you may still view it from a distance or utilize it as a backdrop for photos.

Meditate at Larchmont Manor Park

Sunset at Larchmont Manor Park

Serge Yatunin /

Larchmont Manor Park is a 13-acre property in the village of Larchmont, New York, eight minutes from New Rochelle.

The Larchmont Manor Park is renowned for its ridged rocks, pavilions, picturesque views, and easy walking paths.

Another activity at the park is bird watching.

Rocky coast of Larchmont Manor Park

Serge Yatunin /

You’ll encounter hummingbirds, sparrows, swans, egrets, and other bird species.

The pavilions are stunning and offer a pleasant, relaxing spot while taking in the scenery, doing yoga, or meditating.

Because there is no noise here, you may take time and relax on the rocks while enjoying your spiritual practice.

The waters of Larchmont Manor Park

Joao Paulo V Tinoco /

See Local Art at Pelham Art Center

Allow the abundance of artwork at Pelham Art Center to enchant you—even an experienced artist will be in awe!

Although not particularly large or large, this arts center will show you a good time.

As an art center, it also features a media center with macs and three studios.

Additionally, if you’re fortunate, you could meet the artists featured in the space’s changing exhibits, which feature local talent.

The coordinated and constant lighting throughout the day makes the artwork more beautiful.

Check out the Pelham Art Center if you’re a fan of Elaine Lorenz and Andras Böröcz, two well-known local figures.

The gallery is in Pelham, New York, six minutes from New Rochelle.

Reconnect with Nature at Sheldrake Environmental Center

An eight-minute drive from New Rochelle takes you to Sheldrake Environmental Center, located in Larchmont.

In the center of a residential neighborhood, this hidden gem is a lovely and tranquil lake that is semi-secluded.

Despite being large and cold, the lake is subject to specific regulations.

While you cannot swim in this lake, you may go freshwater fishing.

Watch the ducks, travel the wooden walkways and stones, and take in some sun.

Your dog will enjoy playing with other dogs at the Sheldrake Environmental Center.

See the Horses at Twin Lakes Park and Nature Study

There are miles of paths to explore in the Twin Lakes County Park and Nature Study, a center for equestrian activities.

This park is in Eastchester, New York, 11 minutes from New Rochelle.

It contains several fascinating paths, which is a good feature.

Some enjoyable activities in this park include hiking, biking, and even jogging.

Although this park is relatively safe, you might run into wildlife like a family of deer or other fascinating species.

You ought to have a look at the stable if you enjoy horses.

You may also take your dog on a walk around this area if it’s on a leash.

Final Thoughts

Take your time and explore New Rochelle’s promising downtown, breathtaking scenery, and parks and create lasting memories.

Indeed, with so many exciting activities and fantastic places to enjoy, you’ll find yourself returning for more!

Check out the free things to do in New Rochelle, New York!

© All rights reserved.