Things to Do in the Bronx for Tourists

By Casey Makovich

When planning a trip to New York City, you probably envision popular attractions in Manhattan. Times Square, the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty draw millions of people to the Big Apple each year, but there's a ton of things to do in the Bronx for tourists worth considering for your sightseeing itinerary, too. Look north of Manhattan to the Bronx where you'll discover fantastic museums, delicious restaurants, unique cultural experiences and lots of green space. Here are a few of our favorites, including:

  • The Bronx Zoo
  • Yankee Stadium
  • New York Botanical Garden
  • City Island
  • Little Italy
  • Woodlawn Cemetery
  • Wave Hill
  • Pelham Bay Park
  • Bronx Museum of the Arts
  • Van Cortlandt Park

Free Entry with The New York Pass®

Free entry to many of these popular New York attractions and activities are included on The New York Pass®. Used by over 3.5 million travelers, the New York Pass is the ultimate sightseeing pass, which includes admission to 90+ attractions, Fast Track Entry at select attractions, a free guidebook, & much more. Learn more about the New York Pass benefits & how to save up to 70% off attractions.

New York Botanical Garden

Hailed as one of New York's crowning glories, the New York Botanical Garden is a feast for the senses. With more than a million tropical, temperate and desert flora houses on 250 acres, the New York Botanical Garden is among the world’s largest plant research and conservation programs. The garden is opened to visitors year round. Getting in: New York Botanical Garden tickets are included on The New York Pass.

The Bronx Zoo

Did you know the Bronx Zoo is the largest urban zoo in the country? With more than 5,000 animals housed on 265 acres, it's easy to spend the day here. The grizzly bears and Congo gorillas are fan favorites, but the Wild Asia Monorail and Treetop Adventure and Nature Trek are quite popular experiences, too. Getting in: The Bronx Zoo tickets are separately ticketed and available for purchase upon arrival.

City Island

A one-and-a-half-mile island that's reminiscent of a quaint New England fishing village, City Island is definitely worth a visit. Tons of seafood restaurants are packed onto the island. Grab some fried clams and enjoy your meal while looking at Long Island Sound. and get a better understanding of New York's maritime history by stopping in the City Island Historical Society and Nautical Museum. Getting in: City Island is free and open to the public.

Woodlawn Cemetery

Woodlawn Cemetery is the final resting place of hundreds of notable people from all walks of life. Author Herman Melville, cartoonist Thomas Nast, suffragette Elizabeth Cady Stanton, jazz musician Miles Davis and George E. Haynes, co-founder of the Urban League, are all buried here. The cemetery is open to the public, and also boasts an arboretum featuring 140 unique species of trees, including 11 that measure more than five feet in diameter. Getting in: Woodlawn cemetery is free and open to the public.

Yankee Stadium

The current Yankee Stadium opened in 2009, replacing the storied "house that Ruth built." An Indiana limestone exterior and gate-like frieze along the top pay homage to the original stadium, but interior improvements make watching a game much more comfortable. Tours are offered daily, and there's a museum on site with baseballs autographed by every living Yankees player. Getting in: Yankee Stadium Tour tickets are included on The New York Pass – all games and other events are separately ticketed.

Little Italy

Mulberry Street in Manhattan may draw most tourists, but Arthur Avenue in the Bronx is where New Yorkers go when they want authentic Italian food. Specialty shops, restaurants, fish markets and bakeries draw people from all boroughs of New York to the Bronx's Little Italy. If you want to delve deeper into the area's history, a guided tour will help you discover the pivotal role Little Italy played in the development of the Bronx. Getting in: Bronx's Little Italy & Arthur Avenue Walking Tour tickets are included on The New York Pass.

Bronx Museum of the Arts

One of the youngest museums in the city, the Bronx Museum of the Arts spotlights contemporary American artists, specifically those of African, Asian or Latino ancestry. Many exhibits address current social or political issues. If you can't devote an entire day to the museum, stop by the Bronx Museum Community Mural at Bronx Terminal Market. Getting in: Bronx Museum of the Arts tickets are FREE available upon arrival.

Van Cortlandt Park

If you're tired of the hustle and bustle of the city, Van Cortlandt Park offers a welcomed respite. With more than 1,000 acres of green space, you'll find the perfect place for a cross-country run, a picnic or a stroll around a freshwater lake. The Van Cortlandt House Museum is the oldest standing structure in the Bronx and features exhibits about the family that lived in the home in the 18th and 19th centuries. Getting in: the Van Cortlandt Park is free and open to the public - admission fees for self-guided tours of the Van Cortlandt House Museum are available for purchase upon arrival.

Pelham Bay Park

Three times larger than Central Park, Pelham Bay Park is the largest public park in NYC and offers 13 miles of shoreline, a golf course, and a museum. At 2,766 acres, the park takes hours to fully explore. Stop by Orchard Beach, the Bronx's only public beach, launch a canoe in the park's lagoon, take a horseback riding excursion or visit the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum for a look at a beautiful Greek Revival dwelling. Getting in: Pelham Bay Park is free and open to the public. Activities and events may require purchase of admission separately.

Wave Hill Public Garden and Cultural Center

Wave Hill is comprised of an elegant, 19th-century mansion surrounded by lush gardens featuring shaded pergolas, wildflowers and a view of the Hudson River and Palisades. Cultural and educational programming is also offered throughout the year. Don't get caught up in the hustle and bustle of Manhattan and overlook the city's northernmost borough. Visitors to the Bronx are always impressed with the number of unique things to see and do here. From parks to museums to ethnic restaurants, the Bronx has something for everyone! Getting in: Wave Hill Public Garden and Cultural Center tickets are available for purchase upon arrival. (The park offers free admission occasionally on Saturdays, check their website in advance.)

Remember to Save on Attraction Admission

Some of the fun things to do in the Bronx for tourists mentioned in the article above are included on The New York Pass. Whether you’re interested in going on a guided tour, seeing where the Yankees play, or seeing what's in bloom at the famous botanical gardens, planning things to do in the Bronx for tourists is easy with The New York Pass. If you plan on visiting multiple attractions, consider using the New York Pass which grants you free entry to over 90 attractions in New York City. That way you can do more when you sightsee and make the most of your time in New York City. For more information on the New York Pass, click here.

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9 things to do in Harlem

We love Harlem. It's definitely one of New York's most vibrant neighborhoods. But what makes it so great? We're glad you asked! It’s historically been home to a large percentage of New York’s African-American community, whose heritage and culture are still abundantly celebrated here. It's also home to some of the best music spots in town, plenty of restaurants to feed the soul and a smattering of historical spots that are definitely worth checking out. Wondering where to hit first? Take a look at our top picks for things to do in Harlem. Take a tour of the neighborhood What better way to get acquainted with Harlem than by taking a guided tour? You’ll gain local insight from your guide and learn things you would definitely never have discovered on your own. Harlem Walking Tour’s Cultural Heritage Tour takes in many of Harlem's historic attractions, including legendary jazz clubs, historic mansions and sites from the Revolutionary War. Or, if you’d rather explore on two wheels, Unlimited Biking’s Harlem Highlights Tour will take you on a journey (both figuratively and literally) of Harlem's historical and cultural hotspots, giving you an understanding of how New York’s various economic booms and busts have shaped the neighborhood. And what’s more, both tours can be found on the New York Pass®. Visit a jazz club Although New Orleans has the claim to fame of being the birthplace of jazz, Harlem is certainly where many of the genre’s most famous musicians made a name for themselves. It is also known as the birthplace of bebop – the improvisational musical style known for its chord and key changes. You can see where it all began at Minton’s Playhouse, once a playground for the scene’s biggest acts. Catch a show there whilst enjoying dinner and a drink. Another good option is Bill’s Place, a venue that dates back to Prohibition-era, where you can catch live jazz on Fridays and Saturdays at 8PM and 10PM. If you’re not a jazz aficionado and don’t know where to start when choosing a show (or you are and just want to see another great performance), you can use your New York Pass to attend the Harlem Jazz Series. Every Tuesday afternoon and Friday evening, you’ll be able to watch some of today's most talented jazz musicians. The show is artistically directed by Craig Harris, a trombonist, composer, and longtime Harlem resident who has been part of the Harlem jazz scene since 1976. So you know you’re in for a treat. Apollo Theater Sticking with the theme of jazz, be sure to make a stop at one of the area’s most cherished buildings, the Apollo Theater. This old vaudeville theater is famous for its legendary Amateur Nights, which began in 1934. The likes of James Brown and Ella Fitzgerald launched their careers here and you can still attend on Wednesday evenings to check out new talent Experience a gospel choir Although Harlem’s music scene is synonymous with jazz, it’s also famed for its gospel choirs and highly spirited church services. A visit to one of these joyous services will have even the most ardent atheist tapping their toes. Inside Out Tours offer a Harlem Gospel Tour, which will give you an understanding of the cultural roots of gospel music and its importance in the Christian community in Harlem today. You’ll visit the famous Abyssinian Baptist Church and the tour will end with a performance from a local choir Museo del barrio Harlem’s diverse Latinx community is celebrated at the Museo del Barrio. It hosts a collection of art showcasing predominantly Puerto Rican artists from its founding community. Over the years, the collection has grown to also include over 6,500 works by Caribbean and Latin-American artists. Studio Museum of Harlem The Studio Museum of Harlem was the first black fine-arts museum in the country and is central to the thriving artistic community in Harlem today. Here, you can view works of African Americans, members of the African diaspora and artists from the African continent, plus you can check out a variety of temporary exhibitions. The museum is also the home of an archive of works by James Van Der Zee, the famous Harlem Renaissance photographer. Hamilton Grange We’re going to hazard a guess and say that your trip to New York may include tickets to see Hamilton. We’re right, right? Once you’ve seen the musical, you can head to Hamilton Grange, the preserved home of Alexander Hamilton himself. Here, you can explore an exhibit that covers some of the major events in Alexander Hamilton's life and you can take a guided tour of some of the historically furnished rooms. Malcolm Shabazz Harlem Market This colorful market will transport you to the bazaars of West Africa, with an array of stalls selling a variety of African textiles, cosmetics, foods, sculptures and clothing. It’s a good spot to pick up some unique souvenirs and get a feel for the West African community that thrives in Harlem. Try some soul food There’s nowhere better to get your fill of soul food than in Harlem. The best spot has to be Sylvia’s, which has been serving up Southern comfort stables since 1962. Another popular choice is Charles’ Country Pan Fried Chicken, the no-frills, buffet-style eatery, specializing in old-school skillet-fried chicken. Ready to explore Harlem? Get some of the best tours as part of the The New York Pass®. You’ll also be able to visit attractions all over New York for one low price.
Kirsten McCroskrie

Travel Tuesday: Big Bus (Midtown Route)

Big Bus | Smart Destinations Big Bus Hop-on Hop-off Tour Visiting New York City gives you the opportunity to see some of the world's most exciting and most popular attractions. However, there are so many great sights to see, it can often be overwhelming trying to find the time to view them all? Luckily the Big Bus provides guided tours around the city where you can see notable landmarks and even choose which sections of the city you will be touring. Passengers also can enjoy the luxury of Big Bus' "Hop-on Hop-off" service which allows them to get off the bus at one of the stops along the route and hop on to another bus from any of the stops. Today we're going to look at the Midtown Route aka the "Purple Route" which operates daily from 9am to 6pm. Big Bus | Broadway Show Tickets Hop-on Hop-Off You'll find many of the city's gems peaking out at you along your journey through Midtown. The route is approximately 1.5 hours long and is led by an experienced and often entertaining tour guide who makes sure that you not only see all that New York City has to offer, but also that you enjoy every minute of it. Passengers have the choice of sitting on either the lower-interior level of the double-decker bus or the top level where you are high enough to touch the traffic lights. When the sun is out, it's hard to think of a better way to view NYC and some of the city's most popular landmarks. Midtown Route Along the ride you'll get to see areas that you've probably been hearing about your entire life. The world's most famous arena, Madison Square Garden makes an appearance during the tour. You'll also get to see the iconic Empire State Building and Grand Central Terminal. The Midtown route proves to be quite convenient as it not only makes stops at these popular staples in NY history, but also stops at Circle Line Sightseeing where passengers can Hop-off and board a beautiful cruise of the city. Empire State Building | TripAdvisor New York Pass holders gain a 1-day ticket for the Big Bus and have the option of upgrading their ticket for a discounted rate at the point of redemption. You can also add specific tours to your ticket such as the Night Tour or the Brooklyn tour. For more information such as pricing or schedules on the Big Bus Hop-on Hop-off Tour and their different routes, please click here
Go City Expert

Attraction of The Week: Brooklyn Museum

Brooklyn Museum | The New Yorker Brooklyn Museum While most of New York City's major museums exist in Manhattan, there is one museum that has shown over the years that the trip to Brooklyn is well worth it. Located on Eastern Parkway, the Brooklyn Museum is a lively hub where art, culture and entertainment are celebrated. Throughout the year, the museum displays changing exhibitions as well as live performances for all respective age ranges. All five floors in the Brooklyn Museum offer something different with themes and styles that connect flawlessly along the spacious walls. Collection Founded in 1895, the Brooklyn Museum has pulled together quite an impressive collection of artistic works over their 122 years of existence. Today the museum's collection totals around 1.5 million pieces and boasts the likes of legends like Georgia O'Keefe, Max Weber and Mark Rothko. In 2002, the Elizabeth A. Sackler Foundation also gifted the beautiful Judy Chicago exhibit known as 'The Dinner Party' to the museum. Many view 'The Dinner Party' as the first major feminist artwork and now it is a permanent exhibition on display. Brooklyn Museum | @nytimes With all of the works residing in their collection, it certainly helps to have some space. The museum occupies around 560,000 square feet along Eastern Parkway and measures as the 3rd largest museum in all of New York City. Prior to the museum's construction, the plan was to make it the world's largest art museum. Although it didn't become such, third place is nothing to scoff at in this regard. First Saturdays In addition to the many exhibitions, you can also expect events to be happening at the Brooklyn Museum all year 'round. One rather fascinating event that the museum holds is called First Saturdays. On the first Saturday of each month, a huge, free party is held for all of New York to visit. Some of New York's most exciting young DJ's like Kitty Cash and Jasmine Solano have played at First Saturdays. Great music fills the rooms as everyone gets to dance and view the museum for free on a Saturday night. Brooklyn Museum | Timeout If you're interested in stopping by the Brooklyn Museum, visit the attraction page and plan your trip today!
Go City Expert

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