675 West 252nd Street, (718) 549-3200
Wave Hill is an interesting combination of historic home and nature conservatory. The mansion, set on a hill overlooking the Hudson River, has had several VIP residents: Theodore Roosevelt's family rented it for summers, Mark Twain leased it for a time, and Arturo Toscanini lived here from 1942 to 1945. After a two-year renovation, the house reopens this July 6 and 7, but you don't have to wait until then to enjoy the rest of this public garden and cultural center. Nab an adirondack chair on the huge sloping lawn; wander the aquatic, herb or flower gardens; hike a short nature trail; or take pictures of the Palisades from the Italianate pergola. If you're lucky you might spot a proposal or a wedding—Wave Hill is a popular place for both.
Visit: Wave Hill is open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday, from 9 am to 5:30 pm between March 15 and October 31, and from 9 am to 4:30 pm between November 1 and March 14. Admission is $8 for adults, $4 for students and seniors ($65+), $2 for children ($6+), and free for children younger than 6.