NO PASSPORT REQUIRED: A BRONX STAYCATION
By: RoseAnn Hermann, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker at Halstead Property
New York City is one of the ultimate vacation destinations, so when the time of year comes for locals like myself to plan a summer vacation – I am reminded that there are great things to do right outside my doorstep, with a countless number of attractions to enjoy. Planning a staycation of your own? I’m doing so too, in the Bronx, and here’s why:
1. Flora: A year-round favorite of mine, The New York Botanical Garden is a National Historic Landmark, and maintains one of the world’s greatest collections of flora. Its 250 acres include some of the most beautiful natural terrain of any botanical garden in the world, including dramatic rock outcroppings, rolling hills, waterfalls and ponds, the Bronx River, and a 50-acre remnant of the forest that once covered New York City. There is something for everyone, including a children’s gardening program, concerts and cocktails, and the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. Opened in 1902, the conservatory is a New York City Landmark – and a “must see” destination all year-round.
2. Food: For a great meal to satisfy an appetite worked up after a day at the gardens, I head to Little Italy, the Belmont section of the Bronx, or simply referred to as Arthur Avenue. Besides the famous full service Italian restaurants, pizzerias and pastry shops, there is an indoor market, spearheaded by a notable NYC Italian, Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia. The Arthur Avenue market is a kind of covered Italian bazaar that brings together under one roof all the shopping also found on nearby streets. The variety is truly staggering, and it includes restaurants, pastry shops, butchers, pasta-makers, bread stores, pork stores, gourmet delicatessens, fish markets, gourmet coffee shops and one gourmet Italian wind shop. Then there are the gift and house ware shops.
3. Facts: As a life-long NYC native and NYC history nerd, the Woodlawn Cemetery is a must for all who are eager to learn more about prominent industrialists, music legends, renowned entertainers, and cultural icons. Working with leading scholars of architecture, horticulture, history, music, and more, the Woodlawn Conservancy offers educational and cultural programs including tours, concerts, lectures, and research opportunities. Historically, architecturally, and environmentally significant, Woodlawn is one of New York City’s irreplaceable treasures, designated a National Historic Landmark in 2011.
4. Friends, food and fun: I love all things Irish, and that includes the neighborhood of Woodlawn. With four-leaf clovers and kelly-green signs sprinkled throughout, there is no mistaking that this area of the Bronx is predominantly Irish. Irish immigrants have been settling in the neighborhood for years, carrying with them time-honored traditions that permeate the quaint, row house–lined streets. If you’re craving a traditional Irish breakfast, Celtic jam sessions and more perfectly poured Guinness’s with friendly conversation, head to Little Ireland.
5. Fore!: The Bronx happens to be the greenest borough. Not far from Woodlawn is the 1146 acre Van Cortlandt Park, ideal for a picnic and a wide variety of sports. There is even an Olympic size swimming pool. How about a round of golf at the Van Cortlandt Park Golf Course? It is the country’s oldest public golf course. The best part, it has recently undergone a 2.5 million dollar renovation, and it is perfection. You can’t beat a 4 hour walk in the bucolic setting of a very well-maintained golf course, while your head is clear of everything other than making that next perfect shot.
Happy staycations are happening in the Bronx, no passport required. Enjoy!
You can connect with me via email or visit my agent website to learn more.
Thoughts and opinions presented in this post are those of RoseAnn Hermann and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Halstead Property, LLC.