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7 Awesome Reasons to Spend a Day in Washington Heights

7 Awesome Reasons to Spend a Day in Washington Heights

Wednesday July 12, 2017
By Carolyn Stanley

It might be best known to downtown folks as Lin-Manuel Miranda’s old stomping grounds, but the northern tip of Manhattan—Washington Heights and Inwood—has tons of history, incredible food, and gorgeous green spaces. Here are seven great reasons to hop on the A train.

The Morris-Jumel Mansion, built in 1765, is much more than just a beautiful house: It served as headquarters for George Washington during the Revolutionary War; as the home of wealthy socialite Eliza Jumel (and the site of her wedding to Aaron Burr); and, more recently, as a writing space for Lin-Manuel Miranda while he penned parts of Hamilton. So yeah, you might say this is the room where it happens…

There’s something so quaint about lighthouses, and you don’t even have to trek to New England to spot one. The aptly named Little Red Lighthouse, which sits at the foot of the George Washington Bridge, is so beloved by locals, it was the subject of a 1942 children’s book.
NYC’s myriad performance venues range from small and divey to grand and ornate, but the United Palace has to be one of the unique. It’s an extravagant mash-up of architectural styles (think Jazz Age theater meets Cambodian shrine), which makes a dramatic backdrop for concerts, movie screenings, and performances, as well as a non-denominational spiritual center. Next up: the Sixth Annual Dominican Film Festival (July 25 to 30).

Originally built as part of the Croton Aqueduct, the pedestrians-only High Bridge is the city’s oldest standing bridge—a good 30 years older than the Brooklyn Bridge. Since reopening in 2015 (after being closed for 40 years), it makes for some pretty incredible views over the Harlem River.

Yes, The Cloisters is one of NYC’s loveliest museums (and you should go if you haven’t yet), but the surrounding park is a worthy destination in its right. For starters, it’s one of the highest points in Manhattan (hence the dramatic vistas across the Hudson). It also houses the remnants of a burned-down mansion, a lush heather garden, a charming restaurant and the city’s biggest dog run.

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TAGS: Upper Manhattan, Washington Heights, The Little Red Lighthouse, The Cloisters, High Bridge
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