[y] Yonkers Family Vacation Guide
Many golf enthusiasts may recognize Yonkers as the home of the first U.S. golf course. For the rest of us, it is the largest city in Westchester County and the fourth largest city in New York State. Incorporated in 1872, the City sits southwest of New York City on the east bank of the Hudson.
The census of 2000 indicated that there were 196,086 people residing in Yonkers. The racial makeup of the City was 60.18% White, 25.93% Hispanic or Latino of any race, 16.61% African American, 0.44% Native American, 4.86% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 13.44% from other races, and 4.42% from two or more races.
The median income for a household in the city was $44,663, and the median income for a family was $53,233. The per capita income for the city was $22,793. Approximately 15.5% of the population was below the poverty line.
The Hudson River Museum of Westchester is located in the restored Glenview mansion which was built in 1876. The museum includes spacious galleries with constantly-changing art exhibitions and the technologically-advanced Andrus Planetarium, Westchester County’s only public planetarium. Focusing on art, history, and science, the museum offers a balanced program of lectures, family art workshops, classical music, the SummerJazz Series, children’s programs, a museum shop and dining at the cafe with a panoramic view of the river and Palisades.
The Philipse Manor Hall State Historic Site was built in 1682 for Lord Frederick Philipse. It is an elegant Georgian mansion that served as the county seat in the 18th century. Philipse Manor Hall also served as Yonkers’ first City Hall from 1871 to l908. Today, it offers holiday and ethnic celebrations, local history exhibitions, special tours and programs, musical performances, school tours, children’s programs, special exhibitions, and often plays host to community organizations and public meetings.
Sherwood House was built in 1740 by Thomas Sherwood. The house has been restored and furnished with appropriate period antiques. Additionally, hostesses in period costumes conduct visitors on daily tours.
The Yonkers Hudson Riverfest is an environmental and multi-cultural festival held annually at the Yonkers Recreational Pier and vicinity and attracts thousands. It offers free all-star entertainment for all age levels, exhibits, kids’ hands-on workshops, crafts and ethnic foods.
The recently renovated, 100-year-old, Yonkers Recreational Pier, on the Hudson River, is the centerpiece of Yonkers’ downtown revitalization project. It serves as a unique site for cultural and community events, festivals and fireworks presentations.
If you enjoy marathon racing, you might want to check out the annual Yonkers Marathon and Half Marathon. For those who would prefer to watch, rather than participate in racing, the Yonkers Raceway provides quality nighttime horse racing. The Raceway also hosts the annual Westchester County Fair, regular weekend flea markets, numerous community events and cultural entertainment of interest.
There are 70 parks in Yonkers including Untermyer Park which offers an amazing view of the Hudson River and Palisades, a classical temple overlooking a mosaic pool, a Greek amphitheater, sculptures by Paul Manship and Grecian gardens that are an excellent example of the Beaux Arts-style landscape design.
Yonkers has two county-operated public golf courses. The 120-acre Dunwoodie Golf Course and the 130-acre Sprain Lake Golf Course; both feature 18 holes, par 70, plus a putting green. Both courses also allow opportunities for sledding and cross-country skiing during the winter months.
The Yonkers Philharmonic Orchestra, a semi-professional, 65-piece community organization, has been an integral part of Yonkers’ life since the early 1960s. The orchestra performs five times per year and annually holds a concerto competition, awarding thousands of dollars in prizes.
Other events include the Yonkers Male Glee Club, a group of 45 voices offering free concerts each May and December, the holiday children’s theater, and numerous special ethnic and commemorative community celebrations.
Dining in or around Yonkers offers a wide variety of choices. Located within just 15 miles of Yonkers are over 20,200 restaurants. Below is just a small sampling of what you can find in the City.
River’s Edge specializes in American, Italian, ribs, sandwiches, and steaks. It has a pleasant ambiance and a romantic flair.
Zuppa Restaurant serves American food in an atmosphere best described as elegant and formal.
Patang offers over 200 Indian dishes made with the highest quality ingredients.
For a truly authentic homemade Italian meal, be sure to try Ristorante Spiritoso.
From cheese fries, fish and chips, to salad and steak, J J Mannion’s is a great find for those looking for a reasonably priced meal.
Yonkers is comprised of 46 neighborhoods located in four distinct areas. Yonkers communities include Amor Villa Park, Beech Hill, Bronx Halls, Bronxville Heights, Bryn Mawr, Caryl, Cecil Crest, Cedar Knolls, Colonial Heights, Crestwood, Dunwoodie, Edgemont, Empire Park, Fleetwood, Gassy Sprain Heights, Getty Square, Glenwood, Gramattan Hills, Grandview Park, Greystone, Gunther Park Hearthstone, Homecrest, Homefield, Homewood, Kinross Heights, Lawrence Park, Lawrence Park West, Lincoln Heights, Lincoln Park, Lowerre, Ludlow, Mclean Heights, Mohegan Park, Moquette Park, Morsemere, Nepera Park, Nepperham, Nepperhan Heights, Nodine Hill, Northeast Yonkers, Northwest Yonkers, Park Hill, Runyon Heights, Sherwood Park, Southeast Yonkers, Strathmore, Wakefield Park, and Westchester Hills, Woodstock Park.
Northeast Yonkers is an ethnically diverse, middle-class area of Irish and Italian-Americans. House sizes range from small homes set close together, to a few larger houses in areas like Lawrence Park. The main thoroughfare is Central (Park) Avenue which is lined with a vast array of stores as well as several high-rise apartment buildings. The Lawrence Park and Cedar Knolls neighborhoods include more upscale housing options. Residents in these communities are generally commuters to Manhattan. This is mostly due to the proximity of various nearby commuter railroad stations.
Northwest Yonkers is comprised of several varying neighborhoods. Warburton Avenue and other areas on the Hudson River contain a few beautiful older Victorian homes. However, just a few blocks east to Lake Avenue are more inner-city style neighborhoods. Other parts of northwestern Yonkers look nearly identical to the upscale neighboring communities of Hastings-on-Hudson. The population of northwestern Yonkers is more mixed in ethnicity with a large Jewish community favoring this part of the city. The Runyon Heights neighborhood in the southeastern part of this area is a historically African-American community that is more upscale and suburban in style.
Southeast Yonkers is mostly comprised of Italian and Irish-American working-class, Catholic families. The southeastern area of Yonkers is largely within walking distance of the Riverdale, Woodlawn, and Wakefield sections of the Bronx.
Southwest Yonkers is considered to be more inner-city in makeup. Historically, it has been referenced as being “dirty, poor, and crime-ridden”. However, there are residential neighborhoods, such as Park Hill, which feature residential streets of million-dollar-plus, turn-of-the-century mansions. Another upscale neighborhood is Ludlow Park, west of Riverdale Ave, right over the Riverdale border – alongside the Hudson River. Demographically, this area is predominantly African-American and Hispanic.