Things To Do In Yonkers NY: Top 15 Most Unique Spots | Stanton House Inn
Untermeyer Garden in the city of Yonkers, New York

Looking for fun things to do in Yonkers, NY? You’re in luck. Yonkers hosts a trove of hidden gems, from peaceful gardens to lively museums. Let’s dive into what makes this city special with our handpicked list of must-see spots.

Ready to explore the best things to do in Yonkers, NY? Let’s get into it:

Quick Hits

  • Rich History: Yonkers, New York, isn’t just any city—it’s where the safety elevator and FM radio were born! Once an industrial powerhouse, it’s now a vibrant mix of culture and innovation.

  • Unique Spots: Don’t miss the historic Untermyer Gardens, the hands-on Hudson River Museum, and the eco-friendly Science Barge. Perfect for nature lovers, history buffs, and green enthusiasts.

  • Year-Round Fun: Whether you’re hiking the Old Croton Trail, relaxing in Tibbetts Brook Park, or enjoying seasonal festivals and art shows, Yonkers has something for everyone.

Personal Picks:

  • Untermyer Gardens: Stroll through these beautiful gardens, and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a fairy tale, and traveled the world, at the same time.

  • Hudson River Museum: Dive into the local art and history; it’s interactive and perfect for kids and adults alike.

  • Science Barge: A floating farm that’s as cool as it sounds—definitely a unique spot you won’t forget.

A Brief History of Yonkers, New York

bda897bf 412d 44ed 849e d270748f6960 Things to Do in Yonkers NY: Top 15 Most Unique Spots

Yonkers, nestled in Westchester County, NY, has a rich history dating back to 1646. Founded by the Dutch, it’s named after John Yonker, who started a ferry service between Manhattan and what is now Yonkers. Today, Yonkers is home to about 221,000 people, according to the 2010 census.

Colonial Era

In 1646, John Yonker kicked things off with his ferry service between South Yonkers and Manhattan. It was a hit, way faster than trekking by land. By 1659, his son Frederick was running the ferry, and in 1661, Yonkers officially became a city.

The first settlement in what’s now South Yonkers began in 1654 when George Doughty, an Englishman from Holland, got the first land patent. Each new landowner tried to develop Yonkers, selling lots and setting up businesses. In 1787, Colonel Lewis Morris even wrote to the state legislature to make a treaty with local Native Americans to ease the development.

Fast forward to 1863, just before the Battle of Gettysburg. Confederate troops, passing through Yonkers via railroad, caused quite a stir by robbing banks in nearby areas. Locals were none too pleased. Fun fact: the only Confederate flag found in Yonkers was discovered hanging on a barn!

Industrial Revolution

Yonkers Public Library, at the corner of Nepperhan Avenue and South Broadway, with a sign at the front, in downtown city of Yonkers, Westchester County, NY

Yonkers really hit its stride when the first trolley line opened on October 28, 1890, along Main Street. This made it super easy for folks from other cities to visit. With the new public transportation, Yonkers became a bustling hub with plenty of services and attractions, drawing people from all around.

Yonkers has had quite the rollercoaster ride when it comes to population changes. The first New York census in 1790 counted 2,406 people, mostly English and Dutch. By 1800, the population had only grown to 3,100, likely because of a smallpox epidemic between 1787 and 1789.

In 1810, Yonkers’ population hit 3,700, thanks to an influx of Irish immigrants. By 1820, it reached 4,000, making up 57% of Westchester County’s population. This growth was driven by the need for workers on local farms and estates. That said, a major fire in 1835 halted this boom, destroying much of the city and forcing many living here to leave.

Yonkers slowly rebuilt, and by 1870, it had about 3,500 residents. The population continued to grow, hitting 43,373 by 1920. From 1920 to 1950, the population surged to 49,000, fueled by government jobs and the post-World War II baby boom.

Modern Day Yonkers

Ashburton Avenue in the city of Yonkers, New York, looking towards the Hudson River

Since 1970, Yonkers’ population has hovered around 200,000. The city has seen a lot of revitalization since the 1990s, improving old areas and attracting new residents and businesses. The Hudson River waterfront has become a hotspot for parks and recreational activities.

Today, Yonkers is a melting pot of cultures, reflected in its diverse restaurants and stores. The shopping district at Central Avenue and Main Street is a bustling hub. Yonkers isn’t just surviving; it’s thriving, with a rich history and a bright future. Come check it out—you might just find a new favorite spot!

The Best Things to do in Yonkers NY

Exploring Yonkers is like unwrapping a gift filled with historical treasures and exciting activities. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a nature aficionado, or an art lover, Yonkers has something unique to offer.

Let’s dive into some must-see spots that showcase the vibrant spirit of Yonkers.

Untermyer Gardens

Beautiful Untermyer Gardens in Yonkers NY

First up, Untermyer Gardens, the crown jewel of Yonkers. This place is a must-visit! Once upon a time in the ’70s, it had a spooky reputation with satanic cults (yes, really!), but now it’s all about beauty and peace. With each garden offering its own unique theme, it’s perfect for a relaxing stroll or catching a cultural event.

Hudson River Museum

Hudson River Museum in Yonkers NY

Art lovers and history buffs, this one’s for you. The Hudson River Museum has it all:

  • Fascinating exhibits

  • Engaging planetarium shows

  • An outdoor amphitheater for performances

Nestled in a former Victorian home, it’s like stepping back in time while enjoying world-class art. You could easily spend hours here and still want more.

The Science Barge

Unique Science Barge in Yonkers NY

Looking for something unique? Check out the Science Barge. This floating greenhouse is a self-sustaining urban farm and an environmental education center. Learn about solar power, see various plants, and soak in the stunning views of the Hudson River. It’s educational and beautiful—a win-win!

Old Croton Trail

Horse and lion statues at the entrance to the Untermeyer Gardens along the scenic Old Croton Trail in Yonkers NY

Adventure seekers, you’ll love the Old Croton Trail. Spanning 26 miles across Westchester County, it’s a haven for hikers, joggers, and bikers. It’s not just about the workout; the trail offers a scenic route through some of Yonkers’ best sites. Talk about combining adventure with sightseeing!

Tibbets Brook Park

Tibbets Brook Park in Yonkers NY

For outdoor fun, head to Tibbets Brook Park. Opened in 1927, it’s a favorite for locals and visitors alike. Here’s what you can do:

  • Hiking and biking

  • Fishing and bird watching

  • Swimming and playing at the water park

  • Picnicking and playground fun

You might even catch a New York Magpies football game! This park has something for everyone.

Philipse Manor Hall State Historic Site

City hall of Yonkers, New York, home to the office of the mayor and other departments that maintain the proper state of the city

Step back in time at the Philipse Manor Hall State Historic Site. Built in 1682, it’s the oldest building in Yonkers and a museum showcasing Georgian architecture and presidential portraits. Wander through this historic gem at your own pace, soaking in the rich history of the Philipse family and old town Yonkers.

With its stunning architecture and the impressive Cochrane Collection of American Portraiture, it’s a must-see for history and art buffs alike.

Sherwood House Museum

For a glimpse into Yonkers’ colonial past, visit the Sherwood House Museum. Maintained by the Yonkers Historical Society, this pre-Revolutionary War farmhouse, built around 1740, is one of the few remaining examples from that era. It’s open to the public on Sundays during spring and summer, offering a peek into Yonkers’ storied past.

Whether visiting the house or the Historical Society offices at the Yonkers Public Library, you’ll uncover fascinating tales about this historic home.

Empire City Casino

Harness racing at Yonkers Raceway, attached to Empire City Casino

If you’re in the mood for some excitement, head over to the Empire City Casino. Located at Yonkers Raceway, the casino boasts over 5,000 slot machines, Craps, and Electronic Roulette. But it’s more than just games; enjoy dining at various restaurants, live shows, and musical performances.

Just 20 miles north of Times Square, it’s also a great spot for live harness horse racing. Whether you’re a gambler or a foodie, the Empire City Casino has something for everyone.

Arts & Culture in Yonkers, New York

Yonkers buzzes with culture. The Blue Door Art Center is a hub for local artists, hosting exhibitions and promoting arts in under-resourced communities. The Riverfront Yonkers Art Gallery at the Public Library also features works by both national and international artists.

Summer in Yonkers sizzles with:

  • Performances by the Yonkers Philharmonic Orchestra

  • Theater productions by various groups

  • Jazz & Blues at Dusk at the Downtown Waterfront Amphitheater

With such a lively art scene, Yonkers is a cultural haven.

Shopping in Yonkers, New York: Ridge Hill

ship on the Hudson River

For some retail therapy, hit up Ridge Hill. This bustling center has your favorite nationwide stores and unique local boutiques. After shopping, indulge in a variety of delicious eateries.

Ridge Hill isn’t just about shopping. They host fun activities like wine tastings and outdoor movie nights. Traveling with kids? They’ll love the LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester for some playful fun.

Seasonal Celebrations and Events in Yonkers, New York

Evening celebration in the summer at Untermyer Park and Gardens in Yonkers, NY

Yonkers knows how to throw a party, no matter the season! The city’s packed with events that celebrate its diverse community. The biggie? Yonkers Riverfest. This is the city’s largest annual shindig, drawing crowds to the beautiful Downtown Waterfront. Think music, food, and fun for the whole family!

But wait, there’s more! Yonkers loves to honor its roots with heritage parades celebrating Italian, Irish, and African American traditions. These parades bring a splash of color and a whole lot of joy to the city streets.

And for those warm summer nights, don’t miss Ridge Hill Movie Mondays. Grab a blanket, some popcorn, and enjoy a flick under the stars. It’s a perfect way to end the day.

Directions to Yonkers, NY, from Greenwich, CT

Some of the infrastructure in Untermyer Park and Gardens in Yonkers, NY

Getting to Yonkers from Greenwich, CT is a breeze, with several travel options. Here’s the lowdown:

  • By Train: Hop on a train from Greenwich to 125th Street – Harlem in Manhattan, then switch to a Yonkers-bound Hudson line train. Quick and easy!

  • By Bus: Take the line 13 bus from Westchester Ave @ E Broadway to Martine Ave @ Court St, then transfer to the line 6 bus to reach Warburton Ave @ Manor House Sq. It’s a bit of a ride, but a good option if you prefer buses.

  • By Taxi: Want a bit more privacy? Grab a taxi for a direct and comfortable trip.

  • By Car: Fancy a scenic drive? It’s just 31.2 km, and you can enjoy the journey at your own pace.

Hotels, Inns, and Places to Stay in Yonkers, New York

Stanton House Inn, a Greenwich, Connecticut, bed and breakfast near Yonkers, New York

While Yonkers might not be overflowing with accommodation options, you’ll still find some great places to rest your head. If you’re up for a little adventure, you can always explore nearby areas for even more choices.

From fancy hotels in NYC to charming bed and breakfasts in Manhattan, there’s a spot for everyone nearby after a day of exploring Yonkers.

Royal Regency Hotel

Just a hop, skip, and a jump from the Hudson River Museum and Yonkers Raceway, the Royal Regency Hotel offers:

  • Modern rooms and suites with flat-screen TVs, desks, and free Wi-Fi.

  • Upgraded suites featuring lounge areas, and some with in-room whirlpool tubs for a bit of pampering.

  • Complimentary continental breakfast and free parking, making your stay hassle-free.

  • A vibrant restaurant, cocktail bar with a DJ and comedy nights, and a fitness center for a fun and comfortable stay.

Stanton House Inn | Greenwich, CT

If you’re craving a peaceful retreat, Stanton House Inn in Greenwich, CT is perfect:

  • Set in an 1840s mansion, this elegant B&B offers cozy, individually decorated rooms with cable TV and Wi-Fi. Some rooms even have fireplaces, fridges, and/or wet bars.

  • Amenities include free breakfast, private parking, a seasonal outdoor pool, and expansive gardens.

  • Our Connecticut coast bed and breakfast is a great place to unwind after a busy day in Yonkers.

Castle Hotel & Spa | Tarrytown, NY

For a touch of luxury, try the Castle Hotel & Spa in Tarrytown, NY:

  • Nestled in a 19th-century Norman-style castle overlooking the Hudson River, just a mile from the I-287 and the Tarrytown rail station.

  • Elegant rooms with original art, free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and Keurig coffeemakers.

  • An upscale spa, pool, sports courts, and a walking trail for your leisure.

  • A refined restaurant serving delicious French cuisine to satisfy your taste buds.

More Nearby Cities and Towns in Westchester County

Croton Dam in Westchester County, New York

Yonkers is a fantastic destination on the list of things to do in Westchester County. And yet, if you’re looking to expand your adventure, the nearby cities and towns of Westchester County are worth a visit. From the historic charm of Tuckahoe to the picturesque Bronxville and the serene Scarsdale, there’s plenty to see and do in the Hudson Valley.

Bronxville, NY

Bronxville may be small, but it’s bursting with character and history. Settled by Europeans in the early 18th century, it evolved into a wealthy suburb of NYC. Imagine this: the Gramatan Hotel was once the place to be until it was torn down in 1970. And don’t miss the artsy vibe that took root here in the early 20th century. Definitely a place with stories to tell!

Tuckahoe, New York

Tuckahoe was once a rural community that became the “marble capital of the world” in the early 19th century. Even after the marble was gone, Tuckahoe, New York, kept its historic charm. Originally home to the Siwanoy band of the Wappinger Confederacy, it’s now a delightful spot with a rich history and a diverse population.

Scarsdale, NY

Bronx River Parkway trial, passing through Scarsdale, New York

Scarsdale is your go-to for peace and affluence. Since becoming an official town in 1788, it has grown from a quiet farming community to a bustling suburb. Fun fact: Scarsdale, NY, made national headlines in the 1950s with a communist infiltration scandal in its schools. Despite that, it’s a peaceful escape from city life, offering tranquility and a touch of history.

Tl;dr

The city of Yonkers is a treasure trove of history, culture, and fun. Whether you’re strolling through Untermyer Gardens, diving into exhibits at the Hudson River Museum, or trying your luck at the Empire City Casino, Yonkers has something for everyone. And when you’re ready for more, the nearby towns of Tuckahoe, Bronxville, and Scarsdale are just a hop, skip, and a jump away. So, what are you waiting for? Dive into the wonders of Yonkers and beyond!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Yonkers known for?

Yonkers is famous for its rich history, vibrant culture, and lively city life. It’s packed with historical landmarks and unique attractions like Untermyer Gardens and the Hudson River Museum.

What are some top attractions in Yonkers?

Yonkers has a bunch of great spots to check out:

  • Untermyer Gardens: Beautiful and historic.

  • Hudson River Museum: Full of fascinating exhibits.

  • Empire City Casino: For a bit of fun and excitement.

What are some good places to shop in Yonkers?

Ridge Hill is the place to be. It’s a popular shopping center with a mix of nationwide stores and local boutiques. Perfect for a little retail therapy!

What are some nearby cities or towns to explore near Yonkers?

You should definitely explore:

  • Tuckahoe: Full of history and charm.

  • Bronxville: Small but packed with character.

  • Scarsdale: Peaceful and affluent, a nice escape from city life.

Are there any good hotels in Yonkers?

Absolutely! The Royal Regency Hotel is a top choice. For more options, head to nearby Tarrytown or Greenwich. They have some great spots to stay.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *