If you’ve been meaning to dig into the Bronx, the Opera House Hotel (436 W 149th St; from $90) is an ace home base, with spacious rooms at prices that are hard to find on the other side of the Harlem River. You won’t find much here that nods to the building’s past (it was originally an—wait for it—opera house that opened in 1913), but the rooms are clean, and the location makes it easy to hop to Yankee Stadium and other borough favorites.
Eat & Drink
You can’t leave without A Bronx Tale–inspired Italian meal, can you? (No. No, you can’t.) The borough has its own version of Little Italy, and one of the most popular bistros here is Dominick’s (2335 Arthur Ave, Bronx; 718-733-2807), a real-deal red-sauce spot where a mix of locals, out-of-towners and, yes, old-school wise guys chow down on family-style pastas at communal tables. And while you’ve likely seen its brews at bars around town, Gun Hill Brewing Co. (3227 Laconia Ave, Bronx) is now open to the public, so you can nerd out in the microbrewer’s taproom and sip releases like the Spirit 76 pilsner.
Calling all daredevils: The Bronx Zoo (2300 Southern Blvd), the largest metropolitan zoo in the U.S., just installed a new feature that allows visitors to zip-line across the Bronx River, promising to make your visit even more exciting. For a more somber experience, the Edgar Allan Poe Cottage (2640 Grand Concourse, Bronx; 718-881-8900) is where the author spent his final living years and wrote many poems, including “Annabel Lee.” That trip will take you to another time period, but if you really want to feel as if you’ve escaped the city, head to City Island, a small fishing village in the waters to the east of Pelham Bay Park, with plentiful seafood restaurants, boating excursions and even scuba diving.
Pictured: Gun Hill