You are very lucky to be in Washington Heights just in time for the revival of Highbridge Park. The park’s High Bridge, linking the Harlem River with Manhattan, reopened in 2015, after being off-limits to pedestrians for 40 years. The park features a beloved High Bridge Water Tower, one of the highest points of the city (200 feet above sea level). The stone tower, completed in 1848, is one of the most iconic structures in New York City, and was critical in conveying portable water to the city from Croton Reservoir in Westchester.
As you uncover the many landmarks in Washington Heights, you stumble upon a true treasure: Audubon Terrace. The Beaux-Arts historical complex revolves around a central plaza that is adorned with sculptures. The landmark complex is home to a series of educational facilities like the Hispanic Society of America, Boricua College and the Academy of Arts and Letters. Another great place to visit is The Trinity Church Cemetery and Mausoleum and The Armory, which has been converted into a massive indoor track and field facility.
The most dominant part of the neighborhood is clearly noticeable from its shoreline. The majestic George Washington Bridge hangs in the background, the eternal backdrop. The best views come at Fort Washington Park. Try to visit at night when the bridge is lit up, although the views are equally impressive in daylight. The presence of the Little Red Lighthouse creates an almost unreal landscape. Under the massive bridge, the lighthouse appears like a toy. The petite-appearing landmark, in fact, was featured in a 1942 children’s book, appropriately titled ‘The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge."
If you continue to unearth the pleasures of the Heights, you will eventually run into Sylvan Terrace. The Terrace is part of a historic district that features a stone-paved street that was originally a private carriage drive that connected the nearby Morris-Jumel Mansion with St. Nicholas Avenue. The coolest part of the Terrace, however, are the 20 wood houses that were built around 1882 and restored in 1980. They all look the same, and – in unison – create a sense of a small cottage village.
The rise and proliferation of local brewing companies has slowly reached Washington Heights. Buddha Beer Bar is the leading beer specialist in the area, with more than 26 beers on tap and another 21 beers in the bottle and yet another seven in the can. There are so many great craft brews, including those from Boulevard, Two Roads and the local favorites from L.I.C. Beer Project.