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Enid Haupt Conservatory | © Raymond Bucko, SJ/Flickr
Enid Haupt Conservatory | © Raymond Bucko, SJ/Flickr
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A Guide To The Bronx, New York

Picture of Kadisha Kentish
Updated: 6 December 2016
The Bronx is one of New York City’s most culturally-rich boroughs, without those Brooklyn and Manhattan crowds. Many tourists – and even locals, for that matter – are unaware of this lesser-known borough’s cultural sites. From the Bronx Zoo to the New York Botanical Garden, Yankee Stadium, and Arthur Avenue, we take a cultural tour of the Bronx.

On the first Wednesday of every month (except for January and September), the Longwood Art Gallery at Hostos Community College offers a Wednesday Arts and Culture Tour. There is a meet and greet at 5pm, and a trolley leaves from Hostos at 5:30, 6:30, and 7:30pm. The tour makes a loop through the lower Grand Concourse and stops at participating venues – and entry is entirely free. This tour is a great way for borough amateurs to introduce themselves to the local culture.

Many visitors find themselves in the Bronx to catch a ballgame. A trip to Yankee Stadium makes for a great warm-weather afternoon and a particularly quintessential New York day. Yankee Stadium also hosts community outreach programs as part of their Community Benefits Fund, which makes your involvement even better.

Yankees | © Dex(07)/Flickr
Yankees | © Dex(07)/Flickr

Alas, we’re not all baseball fans, so perhaps Yankee Stadium isn’t enough to draw you in. Perhaps The Bronx Museum of Arts is more your scene. This Bronx-based institution exhibits a wide range of culturally diverse contemporary art, and admission is free, which sweetens the deal. The museum hosts a consistent roster of events (many of which are also free), such as ‘Boogie on the Boulevard’. Every last Sunday of the summer months, the center lanes of the Grand Concourse close to traffic, and the streets fill up with live music, art exhibitions, and fitness programs, all hosted by local organizations.

The Bronx Museum | © Jules Antonio/Flickr
The Bronx Museum | © Jules Antonio/Flickr

Perfect for a family day out, the Bronx Zoo is one of the borough’s most popular destinations. Covering 265 acres and housing over 4,000 animals, from beetles to tigers, the Bronx Zoo will take you to every habitat imaginable from the comfort of one (albeit expansive) location. Especially in the warmer months, the Bronx Zoo is an ideal place for an outdoor wander, as you witness incredible wildlife from every corner of the globe. The zoo hosts a variety of special exhibitions, and admission is free on Wednesdays.

Snake | © Kristine Paulus/Flickr
Snake | © Kristine Paulus/Flickr

Located near the Bronx Zoo, the New York Botanical Garden is one of the world’s leading horticultural sites. Spanning 250 acres, the Garden is home to an incredibly diverse range of flora, housed inside stunning Victorian glasshouses and perfectly manicured outdoor displays. A peaceful and educative destination year-round, the Garden is a wonderful place for a family-friendly day out or some contemplative solo-time.

Dragonfly | © Paul Stein/Flickr
Dragonfly | © Paul Stein/Flickr

With so much to do and see in the Bronx, you’re likely to make a food-related pitstop while you’re here. When the time comes, head over to Arthur Avenue, dubbed the ‘Little Italy of the Bronx’. A string of some of the city’s most authentic Italian restaurants line Crescent Avenue, East 187th Street, and Arthur Avenue, with mom and pop cafés and bakeries dotted in between. From Madonia Brothers Bakery to Full Moon Pizzeria, DeLillo Pastry Shop, Mike’s Deli, Teitel Brothers, and more, there’s no way you’ll leave hungry.

After you’ve re-energized, pay a visit to the Edgar Allan Poe Cottage, located in Poe Park in Fordham. In the last years of his life between 1846 to 1849, famed American poet and writer Edgar Allan Poe lived in Poe Cottage. Today, the little house is owned by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation and administered by The Bronx County Historical Society. Visitors can tour the cottage and the surrounding park, making for a literary enthusiast’s dream afternoon.

Edgar Allan Poe Cottage - Bronx | © Sharon McGee/Flickr
Edgar Allan Poe Cottage – Bronx | © Sharon McGee/Flickr

Finally, end your tour of the Bronx with a visit to City Island, located on the Long Island Sound. City Island is a small island that is a historical seaport community, now considered part of the Bronx. There are over 20 seafood restaurants for visitors to choose from, a heritage museum, and a community center. City Island makes for a wonderful day out for some al fresco seafood, beautiful views, and something a little bit off-the-beaten-path.