The city of Yonkers was established along the banks of the beautiful Hudson River in the early part of the 17th century. Today Yonkers is a thriving city, the fourth-largest in New York State. The city was home to the first sawmills in the New World, and was also where the world’s first elevator was designed by Elisha Otis in 1854. The innovation did not stop there, and in 1912 Edwin Armstrong invented the FM radio in his Yonkers home. Today it is easy to access Yonkers from NYC for a day trip. Attractions include the Untermyer Gardens, which are arguably the finest in the US, and historic buildings like the Philipse Manor Hall and the Sherwood House Museum. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Untermyer Gardens Conservancy
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Originally laid out in 1916 on a steep section of land along the Hudson River, Untermyer Gardens is a very beautiful public garden which was once part of the private estate of prominent lawyer and civic leader, Samuel Untermyer. At the heart of the gardens you will find the Indo-Persian-inspired Walled Garden which is divided into quarters by waterways and is based on the biblical Garden of Eden. The Greek-style amphitheatre has hosted many performances and features dramatic sculptures on tall ionic columns and a beautifully tiled stage. There are several other interesting features to admire including the fanciful Temple of Love and the Rock and Stream Garden.
Untermyer Gardens, 945 North Broadway, Yonkers, NY 10701, Phone: 914-613-4502
2.Hudson River Museum
© Hudson River Museum
A must-see attraction for visitors to Yonkers, the Hudson River Museum stands out as a center for the arts and sciences. The main part of the Museum is housed in an excellent example of a Gilded Age mansion called Glenview, which even boasts a marvelous planetarium in its dining room. When the museum needed more exhibition space in the 1960’s, a modern wing in the Brutalist style was added. Visitors can expect to admire a very large permanent collection of historic and contemporary art as well as regularly rotating special exhibitions. The museum also hosts interactive science and art workshops for all ages.
Hudson River Museum, 511 Warburton Ave, Yonkers, NY 10701, Phone: 914-963-4550
3.Tibbett’s Brook Park
Tibbett’s Brook Park was one of Westchester County’s first developed parks and is a popular recreational area for local residents and visitors. The park covers 65 hectares including hiking trails, a large water park and enormous swimming pool, picnic areas and playgrounds for little visitors. The whole family will enjoy gently tubing around the water park on hot days, while the more adventurous can enjoy the water slides and tubes or perhaps a game of water basketball. There is a pleasant beach area and lifeguards on duty. When it is too cold to swim you can still enjoy fishing or the hiking and biking trails which are open all year round.
Tibbett’s Brook Park, 355 Midland Ave, Yonkers, NY 10704, Phone: 914-231-2865
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4.Empire City Casino
© Tomasz Zajda/stock.adobe.com
Conveniently located just 20 miles north of NYC’s Times Square, the Empire City Casino is situated on a local landmark called the Yonkers Raceway, where fans can watch thrilling live harness horseracing on most days of the week. In addition to enjoying the races at this legendary race course, punters can also try their hands at slots and enjoy a range of dining venues. If you are not sure what you fancy for dinner the Big Kitchen International Food Court is a good bet, while ardent carnivores will not go wrong at Chophouse, which features live music, romantic lighting and delicious steaks on Fridays and Saturdays. There are also two other venues where you can get light snack and drinks.
Empire City Casino, 810 Yonkers Ave, Yonkers, NY 10704, Phone: 914-968-4200
When you feel the need for a little retail therapy, Ridge Hill Mall is the place to go in Yonkers. Ridge Hill is an open-air retail and lifestyle mall set around an attractive Town Square with ponds, fountains and benches. In addition to a long list of retail outlets, the mall also offers a children’s play area and many restaurants and cafes. You will find an excellent selection of clothing stores as well as electronics outlets and much more. Children will love spending time at the LEGOLAND Discovery Center where they can play and enjoy themed rides. Before you leave the mall you can stock up with healthy food and groceries at the Whole Foods Market or catch a movie at the 12-screen movie house.
Ridge Hill, 1 Ridge Hill Blvd, Yonkers, NY 10710, Phone: 914-207-2900
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© Science Barge
The Science Barge is a unique and innovative floating organic farm which is docked in the Hudson River in Yonkers. The center produces crops which are donated to charity, using hydroponic farming methods combined with a solar-powered greenhouse, biofuels and wind turbines. In addition to crop production, the Science Barge is an educational facility and interactive science museum, where school groups can come to learn about zero-emission food production methods. On weekends the facility is open to the public and you can come onboard and learn about sustainable small-scale food production methods that can be used in your own back yard.
Science Barge, 99 Dock St, Yonkers, NY 10701, Phone: 914-375-2151
7.The Center for the Urban River at Beczak
© The Center for the Urban River at Beczak
In alliance with the Sarah Lawrence College, the Center for the Urban River at Beczak was established in 2013 to spread the word about the importance of environmental knowledge and the protection of the Hudson River Estuary. The center is housed in what was previously called the Beczak Environmental Center, where it offers a range of informative educational displays. The Aquaria are filled with native Hudson River fish, crabs, oysters and turtles, and the interactive Kid’s Corner is filled with washed up treasures and other activities for young children. Outside, along the edge of the river, you can explore the tidal salt marshes and the beach area or just relax in Habirshaw Park.
The Center for the Urban River, 35 Alexander St, Yonkers, NY 10701, Phone: 914-377-1900
8.Philipse Manor Hall
© Philipse Manor Hall
The Philipse Manor Hall is a State Historic Center and House Museum located in the Getty Square neighborhood of Yonkers. The home is one of the oldest in the US and parts of the original Manor House were built around 1682 by the Dutch immigrant Frederick Philipse. The beautiful old home is filled with architectural treasures including a Rococo-style 1750’s paper Mache and plaster ceiling, which is one of just two such examples in the US. Since 1911 the Manor Hall has operated as a museum of art and history and today visitors can admire the impressive Cochrane Collection of American Portraiture. Visitors are welcome to tour the Manor House at their own pace on a self-guided tour.
Philipse Manor Hall, 29 Warburton Ave, Yonkers, NY 10701, Phone: 914-965-4027
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9.Sherwood House Museum
© Yonkers Historical Society
Owned and maintained by the Yonkers Historical Society, the Sherwood House Museum was built around 1740 and is one of very few remaining examples of a pre-Revolutionary War farmhouse. The house was originally a single storey structure, but in 1850 extensive additions were completed including a second floor and a red barn. In 1902 electricity was added as well as a lean-too bathroom at the rear of the house. Sherwood house is open to the public on Sundays during spring and summer, but if you visit outside of these times you can learn about this historic house by visiting the Historical Society offices at the Yonkers Public Library on Thursdays.
Sherwood House Museum, 340 Tuckahoe Rd, Yonkers, NY 10701, Phone: 914-961-8940
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10.Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana
© Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana
Family owned and run for over 95 years, the Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana chain of pizzerias started in a very modest way with a single outlet in New Haven CT. Today, descendants of the original Frank Pepe are still hands-on at the Yonkers branch in Central Park Avenue. Here you can enjoy their original thin-crust pizzas, baked to perfection in a coal-fired brick pizza oven. For a trip down memory lane you can try their original “Tomato Pie”, which translates as a tomato based pizza with cheese, garlic, olive oil and oregano. For a more adventurous meal you can choose the very popular White Clam Pizza or another option from the extensive menu.
Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana, 1955 Central Park Ave, Yonkers, NY 10710, Phone: 914-961-8284
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© Havana Central
For a nostalgic glimpse of the Havana of the 1950’s, guests are invited to make their way to Havana Central Cuban restaurant in Ridge Hill. The interior of the restaurant will transport you back to the hay-days of Havana Cuba, where elegant Art Deco was in fashion. The food is comforting and delicious – look forward to choosing classic Cuban favorites like Guava Glazed Ribs, Slow-Roasted Pork, Chicken and Rice or mouth-watering Stuffed Peppers. Sides include salads, rice and black beans, and there are brilliant combo meals for those who want to taste a bit of everything. In the classic Havana tradition, it would be sacrilege to leave without sampling a Mojito or two.
Havana Central, 1 Ridge Hill Boulevard, Yonkers, NY 10710, Phone: 914-423-5500
© Decostas Restaurant
For a fine-dining feast in the Italian tradition you need look no further than Decostas Restaurant. Decostas’ is family owned and operated by brothers Nuno and Pedro de Costa, with the assistance of many of the family members. Judging by their reviews, you are assured of a warm greeting and a memorable dining experience. Both brothers are avid fishermen and often personally select the fish and seafood for the menu – always ask for their suggestions if you are considering a seafood meal. You can expect to find all your favorite Italian specialties on the menu as well as many dishes inspired by de Costa family recipes.
Decostas Restaurant, 400 Yonkers Ave, Yonkers, NY 10704, Phone: 914-964-8887
12 Best Things to Do in Yonkers, NY
- Untermyer Gardens Conservancy, Photo: Linda Harms/stock.adobe.com
- Hudson River Museum, Photo: Hudson River Museum
- Tibbett’s Brook Park, Photo: schankz/stock.adobe.com
- Empire City Casino, Photo: Tomasz Zajda/stock.adobe.com
- Ridge Hill, Photo: Cavan/stock.adobe.com
- Science Barge, Photo: Science Barge
- The Center for the Urban River at Beczak, Photo: The Center for the Urban River at Beczak
- Philipse Manor Hall, Photo: Philipse Manor Hall
- Sherwood House Museum, Photo: Yonkers Historical Society
- Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana, Photo: Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana
- Havana Central, Photo: Havana Central
- Decostas Restaurant, Photo: Decostas Restaurant
- Cover Photo: lspi138/stock.adobe.com
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