There’s no shortage of interesting places you can escape to for fun when you are anywhere in the New York City metropolitan area.
Have just a few hours but maybe want to feel like you’ve been away for much longer?
Itching for a close-to-home day trip or ‘staycation’ that’s easy on the wallet?
Want an island trip with magnificent views, great food and coastal mansions?
Have we got an island for you! It’s a New York city island appropriately named City Island.
Don’t call it the Bronx even though you are 100% in the Bronx when you’re in City Island. This place has more of a New England fishing village, coastal community feel than anything you’ll see off the Cross Bronx Expressway.
Easy public transportation will take you right into the heart of City Island. Come by car and as soon as you get off of I95 at Exit 8B, you’ll enter the park-like setting of Shore Road and after passing through a European-style roundabout, you’re on City Island Avenue crossing a small bridge (free) and heading down the main street.
Drive to City Island and you can stop pretty much anywhere its legal and park free. But if you head all the way down to the area near the end of the Avenue, you’ll have a great base to park and walk. If you’re not driving, it’s easy to come by public transportation, too. Take the subway 6 train to Pelham Park and transfer to the BX29 bus direct to the Island and get off anywhere you want to walk, view or dine.
City Island is an easy walker’s delight. You can’t get lost because there’s one main road and you can only go a block or two in each direction east or west.
It looks like the area hasn’t changed in decades if not longer.
Want to pretend to buy a boat or maybe even boating equipment? There are boating businesses on the Island for that.
Want a great view after you’re gone? Not to be morbid, but make sure you spend time visiting the Pelham Cemetery. The main gate is closed but one of the side gates has a sign that says it’s open until 5PM every day. Go in and explore hundred year old stones in what may be some of the best views from any cemetery around.
Just over a block away on Fordham Street is the City Island Nautical Museum. It used to be a school but now features small historical exhibits of the Island. But it’s only open on Saturdays and Sundays.
Ready for more great views? Head off City Island Avenue one block and you’ll see some of the best vista views anywhere in New York. The classic homes and waterfront mansions you’ll see just seem to compete with the stunning views of Long Island Sound and New York City. Enjoy the sunset and make sure your camera is handy.
Hungry? Dining on City Island will fill your stomach with options that stay on a budget or seemingly can be budget busting.
You’ll find everything from fish ‘n chips to Chinese to burger and fries.
At the end of the Island is a pair of family-friendly budget options where you can stuff yourself on everything from fried sole and corn on the cob to other seafood, sandwich and burger options. Sit outside on the picnic tables with your cafeteria-style meal and enjoy more stunning views. Step up to the water and put a quarter into the binoculars on the pier and on a clear day you can see forever…all the way across Long Island Sound to the Gold Coast of Kings Point, the Steppingstone Lighthouse and the Merchant Marine Academy.
For a little more formal dining, a block up the street from the pier is Sammy’s Fish Box Restaurant and its sister Sammy’s Shrimp Box Restaurant. Both places pack in the crowds with delicious food and huge, make that gigantic portions.
Spend an easy vacation day exploring City Island and you’ll be filled both in body and spirit.