Surrounded by two rivers, Washington Heights is a dense neighborhood in northern Manhattan. The famous George Washington Bridge carries New York City’s heaviest traffic through this historic district. Multiple NYC subway stations and a central bus terminal make the community easily accessible.
Parks, Nature, and Attractions
Situated on cliffs overlooking the Hudson River, Fort Washington Park is one of the premier green spaces in Washington Heights. During the American Revolution, this elevated terrain was strategically used by George Washington and the Continental Army to attack British forces. Today, the riverfront park has some markers that honor the important military events that occurred at the site.
George Washington Park also offers scenic views of Fort Lee and Englewood Cliffs in New Jersey. Looking directly west, this green space is a great spot for admiring a beautiful sunset over the Garden State.
Situated at the foot of the massive bridge, Tennis World NYC has several outdoor hard courts with lighting. This sports facility offers exciting opportunities to play tennis in a unique landscape that includes hills, forests, a river, and urban developments.
The Harlem River Park takes up several blocks in the community’s northeastern corner. Several basketball courts and a children’s playground are integrated into this urban recreational area, which has trails along the Harlem River. Some other parks that straddle this river include Highbridge Park and Hamilton Bridge Skatepark.
The Morris-Jumel Mansion is perhaps the most important historical landmark in Washington Heights. Constructed a few years before the American Revolution, this charming residence retains its original Federal architectural facade. Today, the charming dwelling includes a small museum that covers more than two centuries of local history. Visitors can learn about the home’s role as a temporary headquarters for British officers and members of the Continental Army. Elegant furniture from various periods is installed in the well-preserved rooms of the mansion.
The Hispanic Society of America is another major cultural attraction in Washington Heights. Featuring a library and exhibit halls, this organization occupies a property that was part of the grand Audobon Terrace. The original Beaux Arts design from the early 20th century still greets visitors today. The society displays artwork and artifacts relating to Spanish and Portuguese cultures since the 15th century.
Visiting Washington Heights
The Harlem River runs along the entire eastern boundary of Washington Heights. This river separates the neighborhood from the Morris Heights district in the Bronx. Carrying several lanes of eastbound and westbound traffic, Interstate 95 crosses the river and links the two boroughs. The Harlem River Drive connects the district with Inwood to the north and Harlem to the south.
The much wider Hudson River naturally defines the western edge of this community. Running along the shores of this river, the Henry Hudson Parkway has numerous exits that merge with the George Washington Bridge. This iconic suspension bridge connects Manhattan with Fort Lee, New Jersey.
Additionally, the historic Broadway cuts through the heart of the neighborhood. Otherwise, the district has a classic grid layout with avenues designated for northbound and southbound movement. St. Nicholas Avenue is perhaps the second most important thoroughfare in this section of Manhattan.
Getting to the neighborhood by subway shouldn’t be a problem at any time of the day. You can take the 1, A, C, and D lines to the southern sections of the district. Situated at the crossroads of the two busiest streets, the 168th Street Station is perhaps the most important rapid transit stop in the area. Additionally, the GW Bridge Bus Terminal makes the community a major transfer point for commuters.