Exploring Wave Hill, a Picturesque Public Garden and Cultural Center in The Bronx

Nestled along the Hudson River with expansive views of the Palisades sits Wave Hill. Originally, a private estate dating back to 1843, the 28-acre year round public garden offers numerous attractions that are great for both individual exploring and the entire family. Besides varied beautifully laid out gardens, Wave Hill creates the feeling of leaving New York City without actually having to leave it.

Believe or not, per square foot the Bronx holds the most park and green space of any other borough in the City. Although the borough is home to Van Cortlandt Park and the Bronx Botanical Garden, Wave Hill is less intimidating and a manageable half-day visit. Wave Hill is located in the upper-middle class neighborhood of Riverdale, which many Bronxites don’t consider actually part of the borough. Surrounding the fenced in garden are breathtaking, multi-million dollar homes housing some of the City's wealthiest residents. Within nearby walking distance, you will find mansions that the Kennedy family called home and another that was used in the set of The Godfather.

Besides the views, various concerts and Sunday wellness and yoga sessions, what makes the garden worthwhile are the historical and recently renovated Wave Hill House & Café and the Aquatic Garden. The Wave Hill House was leased to several famous residents including the Mark Twain and the Roosevelt family. Within the house holds a café with a light, seasonal menu that has outdoor terrace sitting providing one of many gorgeous views. As for the Aquatic Garden, I personally believe that is what makes the trip worthwhile.

This small water garden provides quite the friendly environment for resident fish, frogs and dragonflies. Here you will find little children keeping their eyes peeled for large coy fish, while their parents hastily do whatever they can to prevent them from falling in. Surrounded by hand-made stonewalls that also provide open shaded bench sitting, the spot is a perfect location for a sketchpad or meaningful conversation with close friend.

Wave Hill is free on Tuesdays, but if you park inside the complex you will have to pay $8. There are numerous places to park outside of the garden so save your money for the café or consider purchasing a small plant inside the Perkins Visitor Center & Shop. Before it gets too cold and you consider working on your Netflix queue, get some fresh air, come out and enjoy all that Wave Hill has to offer!

(All Photos Brent Terry for The Bronx Bohemian / Viewing NYC)

Bronx Bohemian

Bronx Bohemian

Contributing Writer

When not patrolling the 1 train and solving crime, the Bronx Bohemian enjoys aspects of his borough that most are unaware of. Living on a tight budget, the B.B. is looking to shine light on the beauty of the Bronx and all it has to offer.

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