A Weekend in Yonkers: History, Hops & Horticulture
The city of Yonkers, a quick MTA Metro-North ride from Manhattan, provides a great weekend escape for anyone looking for some refreshment and rejuvenation
Sometimes we all could use a little getaway to take our minds off the long, cold winter months that can seem never-ending. The city of Yonkers is filled with relaxing activities, culinary treasures and rich, provocative history, Yonkers is an ideal break from the busy routine of city life. Here's a guide for your next weekend away:
When You Arrive: The Metro-North Hudson Line will take you from Grand Central Terminal to Yonkers Station in just 30 minutes. Yonkers Station has been standing for over a century in downtown Yonkers and provides easy access for the rest of the city through its connections to bus lines and proximity to the downtown and city square. Beside the station stands a bronze statue of Yonkers-native Ella Fitzgerald. A jazz legend, who paved the way for other African Americans to live and work more freely, Ella Fitzgerald is forever honored and commemorated in the heart of Yonkers.
When You Want to Learn History: In addition to Ella Fitzgerald’s monument, Yonkers hosts two other sites that make up part of Westchester County’s African American Heritage Trail. The trail spans the entire length of the county and includes 16 sites dedicated to the remembrance and celebration of the region’s African American history and culture.
The Philipse Manor Hall, located just across from the Yonkers train station, is a pre-Revolutionary War establishment that housed merchants responsible for much of the commercial growth of the area. The grounds have recently undergone a $20 million renovation but are still filled with the history of the people who were enslaved there and the impact they had on the county. The manor has two floors of interactive, ADA-accessible exhibits that tell a fascinating story about the conflux of the ground’s many different cultures (29 Warburton Avenue at Dock Street).
Adjacent to the Philipse Manor Hall is the newest addition to the Trail: The Enslaved Africans’ Rain Garden, Yonkers artist Vinnie Bagwell’s four-piece sculpture installation that pays tribute to the lives, feelings and legacy of enslaved Africans in America (20 Water Grant Street).
When You Get Hungry: After a full day of travel and exploration, it’s time to sit back and enjoy a satisfying meal from one of Yonkers’ most loved restaurants. For a casual bite that doesn’t skimp on flavor, stop in at TaqueRio Taco Bar for a hearty assortment of tacos, street corn and margaritas (1 Van Der Donck Street). For something a little more indulgent, try X20 on the Hudson for elevated, multinational cuisine with calming views of the Hudson River (71 Water Grant Street). And for a mid-day beer – or a mid-morning brunch – try Yonkers Brewing Co. for hand-crafted beers and scrumptious bar food classics (92 Main Street).
When It’s Time to Have Some Fun: For a relaxed outing, visit the Untermyer Gardens in Northwest Yonkers. The Gardens are divided into six unique sections, including the Color Gardens, Rock and Stream Gardens, the Vista, the Rhododendron Walk, the Temple of Love and the Walled Garden. The Gardens have been a major environmental attraction for well over a century, and the city’s 43 acres of plantings are maintained by local horticulturists (945 North Broadway). For an activity sure to get your heart rate up, spend time at the Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway. The facilities include horse racing, video gaming machines, dining, live events and more (810 Yonkers Avenue). On a cooler day, stop inside the Hudson River Museum which has a collection of rotating exhibits in addition to a Planetarium and frequent historical events and workshops (511 Warburton Ave)
When You’re Ready for a Peaceful Night of Sleep: No weekend getaway is complete without a luxurious place to unwind and catch some z’s. Hyatt Place, located near the Empire City Casino, is a well-located option with plenty of amenities and pristine, modern rooms (7000 Mall Walk). For an elegant night in, try the Royal Regency in Northeast Yonkers for an evening of restful comfort and options for dining, exclusive packages and events (165 Tuckahoe Road).