Explore the Quaint Village of City Island

Nestled away in the northeastern corner of the Bronx is the island neighborhood of City Island, a quaint fishing village that will transport you away from the hustle and bustle of New York City. Originally inhabited by the Siwanoy band of Native Americans, City Island later became home to British farmers before evolving into the historic seafaring community it is today. Taking a stroll down the island’s main drag, City Island Avenue, you’ll feel swept up in the small-town charm of this place seemingly worlds away from the urban jungle.

Between trips to check out boats at the City Island Nautical Museum or to watch shipbuilders in action at Minifield’s Boat Yard, pop into one of the area’s seafood restaurants to taste their fresh catches of the day. Seafood lovers rave about options like the lobster bisque and crab cakes at Seafood City, or the amazing raw bar and ocean views at The Lobster Box. If you prefer to do your own fishing, locals say the City Island Bridge on the eastern edge of the island is a top spot to cast your reel.

Just a 30-minute drive from central Bronx, City Island offers a blissful escape into a historic fishing hamlet. Visitors say it’s one of those hidden local gems in New York City that feels quietly frozen in time.

Seafood City 691 City Island Ave Bronx, NY 10464 (718) 885-3885

The Lobster Box 34 City Island Ave Bronx, NY 10464 (718) 885-1459

Unearth Vintage Treasures at The Bruckner Boulevard Flea Market

If you love uncovering unique vintage pieces and handmade wares, you can’t miss visiting the treasures of Bruckner Boulevard Flea Market in the Bronx. Open every Tuesday, Saturday, and Sunday, this sprawling 60-acre outdoor market has been around for over 40 years and is a beloved fixture in the Bronx community.

With over 350 open-air stalls, you never know what hidden gems you might find as you explore the flea market’s winding aisles. Vendors sell anything from antique furniture to retro toys, handcrafted decor, vinyl records, jewelry, clothing, art, and so much more. Bring cash and be ready to haggle—many sellers are open to negotiating prices.

The flea market also has plenty of food options for when you need a break from treasure hunting, like empanadas, pierogies, bagels and lox, and fresh fruit. Grab an arepa at Mi Arepa Place or arroz con pollo at Rinconcito Mexicano before diving back into the hunt.

The Bruckner Boulevard Flea Market is located just 15 minutes from central Bronx via car, or 30 minutes by subway. It’s open every Tuesday from 10am to 5pm and Saturday – Sunday from 7am to 4pm.

Bruckner Boulevard Flea Market 2440 E Tremont Ave Bronx, NY 10461 (718) 823-6222

Marvel at the Collection of Rare Birds at The Bronx Zoo

Home to over 4,000 animals across 650 species, The Bronx Zoo is the largest metropolitan zoo in the United States and a must-visit attraction in NYC. But beyond its elephants, lions, tigers, and bears, this 265-acre zoo is renowned for its immersive bird habitats. Twitchers and animal lovers alike won’t believe their eyes at the rare and endangered bird species from around the globe that call this zoo home.

At the mixed aviary habitat of World of Birds, you’ll spot over 50 species freely flying about, like the vibrant turaco and mesmerizing Victoria crowned pigeon. Then venture into the misty cloud forest biome of the immersive Congo Gorilla Forest habitat to see African birds like the regal turaco and giant kingfisher. One standout is the blue crane, an elegant endangered species nearly hunted to extinction. The Bronx Zoo has been instrumental in breeding these South African birds to boost their populations.

With your admission ticket, you can ride the monorail and see even more birds like storks, eagles, and vultures in their naturalistic habitats.After gawking at the rare birds, explore the rest of what this iconic New York zoo has to offer, like watching the adorable penguin or snow leopard feeding times.

Just 30 minutes by car or train from central Bronx, The Bronx Zoo is open daily from 10am to 5pm.

The Bronx Zoo 2300 Southern Boulevard Bronx, NY 10460 (718) 367-1010

Spend an Afternoon Exploring Wave Hill Public Gardens

For a peaceful nature escape right in the Bronx, head to Wave Hill Public Gardens and Cultural Center. This gorgeous 28-acre park is situated on the Hudson River overlooking the majestic Palisades, providing visitors with lush gardens, woodland trails, and tranquil lawns with breathtaking vistas.

Originally the country estate of 19th-century businessman William Lewis Morris, Wave Hill comprises several historic mansions now converted into a cultural center and environmental education facility. The grounds have been transformed into impressive gardens showcasing flowers, vegetables, and ornamentals.

Visitors especially love strolling through the Aquatic Garden, English Cottage Garden, and Alpine Garden to see the diverse floral displays. The onsite art gallery features revolving exhibits and allows visitors to engage with creators. When you need to take a load off from exploring, grab a bite at the onsite Cafe or a treat from the Ice Cream Cart.

Just 30 minutes north of central Bronx, Wave Hill Public Gardens is an oasis offering gorgeous views and a chance to reconnect with nature without leaving NYC. It’s open Tuesday through Sunday from 9am to 5pm.

Wave Hill Public Gardens and Cultural Center 4900 Independence Ave Bronx, NY 10471 (718) 549-3200

Tour the Historic Landmarks of Woodlawn Cemetery

Founded in 1863, Woodlawn Cemetery spans over 400 acres and is the final resting place for many seminal figures in American history. Though it may seem unconventional, this historic cemetery in the Bronx is worth a visit to marvel at the stunning architecture and learn about the legendary people buried on these grounds.

As you traverse the peaceful, tree-lined paths, you’ll see impressive mausoleums built for wealthy families like the Woolworths and Morgans. Landmarks also include the gravesites of prominent Americans like jazz pioneer Duke Ellington, inventors Gertrude Elion and Herman Hollerith, suffragette Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and authors Countee Cullen and Herman Melville.

The cemetery also features grand bronze and marble statuary, historic stained-glass windows, and a replica of the Santa Maria–the ship that carried Columbus to the New World in 1492. Architecture aficionados appreciate the Gothic Revival crematory building designed by eminent architect James Renwick Jr.

Just 20 minutes by car from central Bronx, wandering this national historic landmark makes for an enlightening and reflective afternoon. Woodlawn Cemetery is open daily during daylight hours.

Woodlawn Cemetery Jerome Avenue & Bainbridge Avenue Bronx, NY 10467 (718) 920-0500

Tour Historic Homes at Poe Park

Literature lovers and history buffs will delight in visiting Poe Park to explore the preserved 19th-century home of poet Edgar Allen Poe. Nestled along the picturesque Grand Concourse, this historic house museum provides a glimpse into the famed writer’s life during the 1840s when he resided in the farmhouse with his wife Virginia and mother-in-law Maria Clemm.

The modest clapboard cottage built in 1812 still contains original furnishings like Poe’s rocking chair, desk, and bed. Visitors can tour the home and peruse exhibits detailing Poe’s time there which profoundly influenced works like “Annabel Lee” and “The Bells.” See authentic artifacts like his inkwell and fragments written in Poe’s own hand.

Outside, the park provides a tranquil setting for further exploring Poe’s legacy. Stop by the striking Poe Cottage Centennial Monument unveiled in 1913 before his home opened as a museum. You can also view his memorial plaque or recite his prolific poems on the grounds.

Just 15 minutes from central Bronx, visiting Poe Cottage allows you to step back in time and immerse yourself in the world of one of history’s most influential literary figures. The museum is open on Saturdays from 10am to 4pm between May and October.

Poe Park Kingsbridge Rd & Grand Concourse Bronx, NY 10451 (718) 365-5516

See Panoramic Vistas from Jerome Park Reservoir

For sweeping panoramic views of the NYC skyline, head to Jerome Park Reservoir located in the northwestern Bronx. This tranquil spot situated on a high elevation provides unique vantage points to gaze at the cityscape.

Built in 1906, the mile-long reservoir was taken out of service in 1990 and converted into a serene public space complete with walking paths and benches. Fitness lovers enjoy the 1.3 mile jogging loop that circles the reservoir. The diverse scenery around the path provides a perfect backdrop for a leisurely stroll or bike ride.

Come during the day to marvel at views of landmarks like Yankee Stadium, or return at dusk to watch the sun set behind the Manhattan skyscrapers. Nature lovers will also appreciate sightings of vibrant migratory birds that stop to rest at the reservoir during spring and fall along their migration routes.

Just a quick 20-minute drive from central Bronx, the reservoir is a ideal spot for an easy hike with panoramic payoffs. It’s open daily from 7am to 6pm.

Jerome Park Reservoir Goulden Ave & Jerome Ave Bronx, NY 10468

Experience Artistic Designs at The Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance

Tucked away in the West Farms area, The Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance (BAAD) is a hidden gem for the arts. This cutting-edge space houses exceptional contemporary dance and visual arts shows, workshops, festivals, artist lectures, and more.

The main focus at BAAD is advancing emerging artists through performances, exhibitions, and educational programming. Visitors are amazed by the raw talent on display across a diverse range of mediums—from Afro-Caribbean dance to spoken word poetry, shadow puppetry to a cappella.

The space itself showcases impressive artistic designs, with visually striking elements like segmented arched windows, exposed steel beams, and vivid murals. Music aficionados also won’t want to miss a show at BAAD’s state-of-the-art Black Box Theatre known for phenomenal acoustics.

Just 20 minutes by car or 30 minutes by train from central Bronx, BAAD provides an enriching experience for art enthusiasts. Event schedules vary, so check their calendar before visiting.

Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance 2474 Westchester Avenue Bronx, NY 10461 (718) 817-8701