By Linnea Covington
Once the site of a Revolutionary War base (which later became Fort Washington Park), Washington Heights is home to Bennett Park (183 St and Fort Washington Ave, nyc.gov/parks), the highest point in Manhattan (it’s more than 260 feet above sea level). On your way there, grab an egg sandwich ($2.95) and a cup of coffee ($1.45) from Hudson View Restaurant (770 W 181st St between Fort Washington Ave and Colonel Robert Magraw Pl, 212-781-0303), and savor your breakfast on one of the park’s benches.
One of Manhattan’s prettiest expanses is Fort Tryon Park, a nearly 67-acre green space that was built on land owned by John D. Rockefeller Jr. in 1917. The park is also home to The Cloisters (99 Margaret Corbin Dr; 212-923-3700, metmuseum.org), which was built in the 1930s using pieces of five Medieval buildings. The museum features a vast collection of ninth- to 15th-century art, including the famous Unicorn Tapestries: The artwork includes seven textiles that depict a group of hunters trying to capture the mythical creature. (You can thank Rockefeller for their placement in the museum—the tapestries were in his personal collection from 1922 to 1937 when he donated the work to the Cloisters.)
For lunch, follow Margaret Corbin Drive to New Leaf Restaurant and Bar (1 Margaret Corbin Dr; 212-568-5323, newleafrestaurant.com). The restaurant opened in 2001 as part of the New York Restoration Project’s efforts to revitalize and maintain Fort Tryon Park. If the weather is nice, snag a table on the tree-covered outdoor patio, and nosh on dishes like ricotta ravioli with fresh basil and garlic tomato sauce ($12) or onion soup topped with Gruyère cheese ($9).