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Wave Hill
Photograph: Courtesy Wave HillWave Hill

The NYC walking tour of Wave Hill in the Bronx

Wave Hill offers a supremely scenic escape—without the trek to the countryside


Who knew that the best place for basking in the splendor of changing fall foliage—or sniffing the sweetest summer blooms—was the Boogie Down Bronx? Wave Hill has the feel of a majestic estate, and for those of you looking for day trips from NYC, it's arguably the best country escape within the five-borough limits.

RECOMMENDED: Find more NYC tours and walks

Take the Metro-North to Riverdale or the 1 to Van Cortlandt Park–242nd St. Wave Hill has shuttles that pick up visitors from both locations throughout the day (

Enter Wave Hill(W 249th St at Independence Ave, Bronx, 718-549-3200,; this 28-acre garden on the grounds of a 19th century country home still has the feel of a majestic estate. Public garden or secret home of the X-Men? You decide.

Take in the colorful leaves of the Sweetgum and Tupelo trees in autumn, sniff the floral fragrances in spring and summer, or just get a good lungful of fresh air in winter.

• The garden’s Kerlin Overlook offers a postcard-worthy view of the foliage in the New Jersey Palisades.

Stroll on the Abrons Woodland, a half-mile trail to spot birds and changing leaves in fall. Don’t skip a walk to see the dog-fennel–covered Elliptical Garden, grown on the remnants of the estate’s pool. If you’d like to see actual water, the formal pool at the Aquatic Garden has blooming water lilies.

• Although the overall garden is massive, the walks to each formal garden are relatively short. You can easily take in the entire thing in a morning, but why the rush? Feel free to picnic at Wave Hill's designated area with tables (sorry, you can’t just throw a blanket on the lawn) or dine al fresco with a side of scenic views at the café at Wave Hill on the patio.

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