Living in Washington Heights
Bordered by the Hudson and East Rivers and stretching towards the northern tip of Manhattan, Washington Heights is a thriving urban neighborhood full of green spaces, vibrant nightlife and a bustling commercial center. The area, only 20 minutes from Penn Station by train, affords residents easy access to all of New York City. It's a charming blend of the old and new, with Manhattan's most historic home sitting alongside brand new real estate developments, providing a unique backdrop for locals and visitors alike.
Washington Heights real estate
The diversity of Washington Heights real estate options rivals any neighborhood in New York City. Prewar-era apartment buildings mix with single-family townhouses and unique Art Deco or Tudor-style co-ops, giving residents plenty of enticing choices.
Washington Heights co-ops, often rising high above the Hudson River, come complete with immaculate gardens from a bygone era, secluded playgrounds and exclusive parking for quick getaways from city life. Meanwhile, spacious and stately townhomes combine elegant decor with modern amenities like private recreation rooms.
Washington Heights history
Washington Heights, one of the last-developed areas in Manhattan, rose to prominence in 1776 as a site of the Revolutionary War. The sparsely-populated area consisted of just a few large country homes until the late 1800s, when the New York Giants baseball team began playing home games in the area’s Polo Grounds near Harlem River.
A subway line to Washington Heights, completed in 1906, spurred a flurry of construction in the area; new apartment buildings attracted immigrants and jazz greats including Duke Ellington and Count Basie. With its relatively low buildings, sprawling parks and the ongoing restoration of older buildings, the neighborhood continued to attract new residents throughout the 20th century. These features remain draws for Washington Heights real estate shoppers venturing to the northern reaches of Manhattan.
Washington Heights restaurants
New Leaf Restaurant’s tranquil setting within Fort Tryon Park gives diners the perfect opportunity to eat outside surrounded by trees instead of skyscrapers. The restaurant, known for its weekly live jazz and special events, serves high-end American cuisine and one-of-a-kind cocktails. Its cobblestone facade and serene terrace lures in locals escaping the buzz of city life.
A unique take on burgers awaits Washington Heights residents at Burger Heights. The restaurant’s handcrafted burgers are made from locally-sourced ingredients and come in New York City-inspired variations like the Broadway, Amsterdam and Audubon. Burger Heights’ immaculate interior mixes brick and aluminum walls with communal seating, making it the ideal spot for meeting new neighbors.
Saggio’s unassuming exterior doesn’t fool locals. An intimate space, quiet back patio and top-notch Southern Italian cuisine give patrons a slice of Italy without leaving home. Expect dozens of rotating specials and a generous selection of wines. You’ll also appreciate the attention to dietary restrictions like gluten-free pastas.
Washington Heights attractions
With Manhattan’s only lighthouse and postcard-worthy views of George Washington Bridge, Fort Washington Park stands out as a must-see attraction in Washington Heights. The park, spanning the neighborhood’s entire western boundary, features multiple playgrounds, sports fields and pathways meandering past wooded areas and spectacular cliffs. Sitting 40 feet above the Hudson River, the New Jersey-facing, bright red Jeffrey’s Hook Lighthouse dates back to the 19th century and serves as the park’s most notable landmark.
One of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s three iconic New York City sites, the Met Cloisters, sits in Fort Tryon Park and features a bell tower rising above the park’s tree line. For examples of Medieval European architecture, artwork and sculptures spanning both Romanesque and Gothic eras, you won’t find a better option in the Northeast.
Washington Heights is also home to Manhattan’s oldest house. The Morris-Jumel Mansion, or ‘Mount Morris,’ dates back to 1765 when Colonel Roger Morris laid claim to 130 acres atop one of the highest points in the city. The estate, which has classic white columns and immaculate landscaping, also hosts cultural and arts festivals, live music masquerades and theater performances.
Washington Heights nightlife
For a mind-boggling selection of craft beers and bourbons, you’ll want to visit the Buddha Beer Bar. This casual watering hole serves up street food-inspired pub fare like Korean fried chicken, and it has plenty of big-screen televisions for watching sporting events.
South Beach Restaurant and Lounge brings the feel of Miami to Washington Heights; think red countertops, Art Deco fixtures and cuisine hailing from Latin America and the Caribbean. All this combined with a happy hour and lively Latin music make this multi-storied, late-night hotspot a great place to enjoy mingling with locals.
Washington Heights shopping
If you want to find rare or multilingual books while helping a meaningful local cause, look no further than Word Up Books. The nonprofit bookshop, run by a global collection of volunteers, also draws the Washington Heights community together for weekly literary readings, film screenings and local artist concerts to boost the creative spirit.
Vamps NYC brings SoHo-inspired fashion to Washington Heights with trendy clothing and footwear. The store, an exclusive retailer in the area for many top brands such as UGG, also offers reward perks for repeat customers.
Audubon Park Historic District
""Washington Heights is among the most undervalued real estate in the city. What's going on in those neighborhoods is mind-boggling." Bloomberg Biz, May 2015. We bought in Audubon Park over 15 years ago...audubonparkny.com"
Local tips and information for going out in the Washington Heights from The Corcoran Group. Explore dining, shopping and nightlife.All Washington Heights tips