If you do not know Wave Hill, don't blame anyone for not telling you about it. The welcoming riverside manor is a peaceful escape from the city where solitude is at a premium. Wave Hill combines history, architecture, nature, and science in one of the most beautiful spots in the city and a secret favorite of all who visit. The sprawling gardens are rivaled only by the larger Botanical Gardens in Brooklyn, The Bronx, and Queens. The historic Wave Hill House hosted a young Teddy Roosevelt and an aging Mark Twain, as well as the legendary collector Bashford Dean. The peaceful trails through native woodland give way to stunning views of the Hudson River and the Palisades. See art, nature, botany, a gorgeous pair of historic homes, or just sit on a bench and watch the sunset.
A living canvas
What You Will See
For all its history, Wave Hill is best described as a botanical garden. Vast lawns are peppered with conservatories, herb gardens, greenhouses, gazebos, pergolas, and even an aquatic gardens. For those not inclined to cultivated nature, quiet trails meander through native forests and wildflowers. The two historic mansions, Wave Hill Mansion (1843) and Glyndor House (1888), are pristine examples of Hudson Valley mansions built by the 19th-century elite. They are generally open for visitors and filled with rotating botanical-art exhibits. The peace and seclusion comes at the price of accessibility, but free shuttles from the end of the subway line or a convenient stop on the Metro-North allows car-less urbanites to enjoy the gardens.
Why You Should Go
New York is only habitable because of its many oases from the busy energy that draws tourists and retains residents. Wave Hill is one of the best escapes. While not as convenient as Central or Prospect Parks, or as large as the various Botanical Gardens, its prime location on the Hudson River in one of the quieter residential areas of the city allows visitors to forget for a moment that they are in one of the busiest metropolitans in the world. Even if you do not crave escape, or already have your preferred secret gardens, the history, art, and architecture of Wave Hill more than justify the end-of-the-line subway journey out.