Worldwide icon-chevron-right North America icon-chevron-right United States icon-chevron-right New York State icon-chevron-right New York icon-chevron-right The most gorgeous cemeteries in NYC
Green-Wood Cemetery
Photograph: Shutterstock

The most gorgeous cemeteries in NYC

These burial grounds across New York City offer some of the most peaceful and beautiful views.

By Shaye Weaver
Advertising

New York City has some of the most gorgeous cemeteries in the country—their gravestones are flanked by ornate gateways, shady trees and, in some cases, views of the skyline. Some are historical, while others are simply pleasant. Sure, it's easy to be spooked by a burial ground, some of them are the spookiest places in NYC, but cemeteries used to be used like parks in the 19th century. Families would gather and picnic among the graves as if it were any other public space. You can still do this today, though you might get some looks. We've rounded up a list of NYC's most beautiful burial grounds in case you want to picnic in them or just visit and pay your respects this fall.

RECOMMENDED: Eight cool abandoned places in NYC

The most gorgeous cemeteries in NYC

woodlawn cemetery
woodlawn cemetery
Photorgaph: Courtesy Woodlawn Cemetery/Gavin Ashworth

Woodlawn Cemetery

Attractions Cemeteries The Bronx

This remote, historic 400-acre burial ground was established in 1863 during the Civil War, and features landscape art and mausoleums. The cemetery is the final resting place for more than 300,000 people, including literary giants Joseph Pulitzer and Herman Melville, musicians like Duke Ellington and Miles Davis, and other big names like Nellie Bly and R.H. Macy. Walking its grounds, you'll pass by beautiful foliage, huge oak trees, and impressive but somber monuments like the Titanic memorial, Woolworth's tomb, the Nathan Piccirilli Monument and the sarcophagus with an angel.

New York Marble Cemetery
New York Marble Cemetery
Photograph: Shutterstock

New York Marble Cemetery

Attractions Cemeteries East Village

Not to be confused with the other, larger New York City Marble Cemetery a block away, the New York Marble Cemetery is the East Village’s most secret garden: The half-acre landmarked oasis was incorporated in 1831 as the city's first non-sectarian burial ground and remains hidden by a small alleyway with wrought-iron gates you must pass through to get in. All 156 of its vaults are buried 10 feet beneath the lawn because there were fears tied to yellow fever outbreaks then, which lead to the outlaw of earth graves. The last internment there was in 1937. There are no markers on the ground, but marble plaques in the cemetery's walls. The monument-free, green expanse beckons you to rest in peace (for an afternoon, anyway). Though it’s usually closed to the public, the graveyard opens its doors once a month during the spring and summer.

 

Advertising
Trinity Church Cemetery
Trinity Church Cemetery
Photograph: Shutterstock

Trinity Church Cemetery

Attractions Religious buildings and sites Financial District

A set of gates north of the church on Broadway allows access to its cemetery, where cracked and faded tombstones mark the final resting places of dozens of past city dwellers, including signatories of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution like Alexander Hamilton (and his son and wife), who both died from wounds received during duels. The burial ground has been the final resting place for New Yorkers since 1697. The church is also home to the Trinity Church Museum, which displays an assortment of historic diaries, photographs, sermons and burial records. Walking the grounds is a very special experience and it's incredible trees and verdant grass contrast beautifully with the stone.

Green-Wood Cemetery
Green-Wood Cemetery
Photograph: Shutterstock

Green-Wood Cemetery

5 out of 5 stars
Things to do Walks and tours Greenwood

A century ago, this site competed with Niagara Falls as New York State’s greatest tourist attraction. Filled with Victorian mausoleums, cherubs and gargoyles, Green-Wood is the resting place of some half-million New Yorkers, among them Jean-Michel Basquiat, Leonard Bernstein and Boss Tweed. But there’s more to do here than grave-spot: Check out the massive Gothic arch at the main entrance or climb to the top of Battle Hill, one of the highest points in Kings County and a pivotal spot during the Battle of Brooklyn in 1776.

Advertising
Gravesend Cemetery
Gravesend Cemetery
Photograph: @alexandracharitan

Gravesend Cemetery

Gravesend Cemetery was founded in about 1658 by Lady Deborah Moody, the founder of Gravesend itself. At just under two acres, it has 379 tombstones from between the mid-1700s to the mid- 1900s belonging to early settlers of Brooklyn, Revolutionary War veterans and some say, Lady Moody. You'd recognize some of the names inside like Wyckoff, Dyckman, Van Sicklen, and Stillwell. It's a landmark, but had been in disrepair for some time until in 2019, when New York City Parks Department’s Citywide Monuments Conservation Program began restoration. What you can see of the cemetery is a lot of worn but intriguing tombstones surrounded by green in the warmer months. 

Pelham Cemetery
Pelham Cemetery
Photograph: @bridge.to.heaven

Pelham Cemetery

Pelham Cemetery on City Island has an incredible view of the Long Island Sound—probably the best view you'll find in a cemetery. Walking on the green grass, you'll see boats moored across the water, which is where many of its interred made their living. Many of the cemetery's tombstones are marked with nautical ranks with images of ships, sailboats, compasses, fish and anchors. While a fire burned the grounds' records, historians say it was established in the mid-1800s along the shore and has since held 2,000 graves. 

Advertising
Mount Olivet Cemetery
Mount Olivet Cemetery
Photograph: @thezentrickster

Mount Olivet Cemetery

Mount Olivet Cemetery, named after the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, has been a burial ground in Maspeth since 1850 and used to be a popular weekend destination in the 19th century because of its view of Manhattan. Civil War vets and their wives are buried here (nearby is a Civil War memorial dedicated to "Defenders of the Union") as well as former U.S. Congressman James Maurice, Prince Georges V. Matchabelli, cosmetics entrepreneur Helena Rubinstein, and gangster Jack "Legs" Diamond. The cemetery's gatehouses are pretty enough and tombstones cover its green hills, which are perfect for getting a view of the Manhattan skyline.

Spooky spots in NYC

Renwick Small pox hospital roosevelt island
Photograph: Shutterstock

Eight cool abandoned places in NYC

Things to do

New York City has dozens and dozens of famous spots that draw millions of tourists a year, but it's also home to abandoned bastions of the city's past that only urban explorers visit.

Despite the city's sheer density, there are still secret spaces that lie completely abandoned and are ripe for discovering, but they're also mainly off-limits, so have fun—but don't get yourself arrested for trespassing!

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best New York attractions

The Masstransiscope
Photograph: Courtesy Bill Brand

NYC subway station secrets, hidden stops and abandoned places

Travel

You may think you know everything about the NYC subway—we get it, you’re a New Yorker, you’re already an expert—but there are undoubtedly weird tidbits that you haven’t heard about the transit system. For instance, did you know there’s a Brooklyn subway stop located in a car dealership? Read on to find more secrets of NYC subway stations, including other abandoned stations and how one iconic artwork was recently restored.

RECOMMENDED: All public transportation in NYC

Advertising
White Horse Tavern
Photograph: Shutterstock/Brian L

The most haunted places in NYC

Things to do

In the city that never sleeps, there are haunted places in NYC whose inhabitants might keep you up at night or heading home early. From historic haunted houses to long-time taverns, the tenants at these venues might give off an eerie feeling or prompt a sudden urge to change your plans. Fact or fiction, these personas of paranormal activity will put you on high alert if you’re brave enough to pay a visit or take ghost tours. So keep your eyes wide open while reading about some of the spookiest places in NYC.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Halloween in NYC

Green-Wood Cemetery
Photograph: Courtesy Green-Wood Cemetery

The spookiest places in NYC that give us the chills

Things to do

No matter what time of year, the spookiest places in NYC always give us the willies. However, we feel most inclined to visit these creepy and potentially haunted places during Halloween time. NYC’s cemeteries, historic houses and oldest museums can seriously rattle you. Read on, if you dare, for our list of the kookiest contenders. If you want to explore more haunted places in New York state, we can recommend a few that make excellent fall day trips.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Halloween in NYC

Advertising
Blood Manor
Photograph: Courtesy Blood Manor

The scariest haunted houses NYC has to offer

Things to do

It’s the freakiest time of year, and we couldn’t be more excited to scream our guts out at the scariest haunted houses NYC has to offer. Haunted houses may bring plenty of frights, but if you’re looking to get shaken to your core this season, check out these immersive experiences that will bring out your darkest, deepest fears from killer clowns to claustrophobic. To get you in that creepy mood, or if immersing yourself in the world of goblins and ghouls is too much for you, try prepping with one of the best horror movies on Netflix beforehand.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to Halloween in NYC

Fall foliage in New York
Photograph: Shutterstock

The best fall foliage in New York

Things to do Walks and tours

As we leave the summer behind, the city is abuzz with the best things to do this fall, which museums to visit and the most stunning outdoor dining options, but for many New Yorkers, catching the city's fall foliage is a tradition and a must. 

Going upstate to see fall leaves is great, but it's a trek. But if you know where to look here in NYC, there are some truly stunning foliage to see in many parks and gardens across the boroughs. 

We've rounded up the top spots in NYC so you can certainly check leaf-peeping off your New York bucket list this year.

RECOMMENDED: You can apply to be an official leaf peeper for New York State

Advertising
fall NYC
Photograph: Shutterstock

25 ways to still have an amazing fall in New York

Things to do

If you ask any New Yorker what their favorite season is in the city, there’s a good chance they’ll say fall. There’s something magical about that time in the city when the air gets crisp, the temperature dips just enough that you can start wearing your favorite outfits and the leaves turn vibrant colors. However, there’s no doubt this fall is going to be very, very different from past ones in the city. Major cultural institutions are launching “virtual” fall seasons. Restaurants will only be allowing 25 percent of their normal crowds in to warm themselves by the fire. Broadway’s still dark. Luckily, those necessary changes don’t mean that there isn’t a ton of amazing things to do in the city this season. Here are 25 ways you can still make the most of fall in New York.

RECOMMENDED: Discover more of the best things to do in New York

Recommended

    You may also like

      Advertising