Living in Riverdale, Bronx: Things to Do and See in Riverdale, Bronx, New York City

Riverdale, Bronx—Leafy Oasis on the Hudson River

article slidearticle slidearticle slidearticle slidearticle slide

Riverdale has one of the highest elevations in New York City. The three-square-mile neighborhood is the northernmost point of the city and the earliest known railroad suburb in New York City. Riverdale’s convenient location (25 minutes via the 1 subway line or Metro-North Railroad Hudson Line to Grand Central Terminal) and parklike setting has drawn many prominent New Yorkers over the years: sculptor Alexander Calder, jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald, New York Yankees baseball legend Lou Gehrig, and President John F. Kennedy, who lived in a grand, white-stucco mansion at 5040 Independence Avenue as a young boy and attended the elite Riverdale Country Day School. Affluent residents are still drawn to the scenic views of the Hudson River, New Jersey Palisades, Empire State Building, and the George Washington Bridge, and the 19th-century Revival architecture of the exclusive Hudson Hill and Fieldston sections, Sycamore, Arlington, and Independence Avenues—winding, tree-lined streets so quiet that traffic has been known to stop for the occasional crossing squirrel. 

Where Is Riverdale located in NYC?

Riverdale is located in the New York City borough of the Bronx.     

  • East to West Boundaries: Van Cortlandt Park to the Hudson River
  • North to South Boundaries: Yonkers to the Harlem River     
  • Subway: 1 and Metro-North Railroad Hudson Line     
  • Ticket out of the City: The Palisades and the George Washington Bridge to New Jersey, the Henry Hudson Parkway to Manhattan’s West Side, and the Interstate I-97 N to upstate New York.

What to Do in Riverdale

Riverdale is green: Nature preserves, forests, and parkland dominate the landscape. Riverdale Park Reserve is about 50 forested acres where red oaks, black birch, black cherry, and hickory trees join the canopy. Trees rise up to 110 feet from the slopes of the ravine and wildflowers bloom in springtime. At the southern end of Riverdale Park is The Raoul Wallenberg Forest, a scenic, densely vegetated area home to dozens of bird species.

Van Cortlandt Park, at 1,146 acres, is larger than Central Park. It’s a recreational paradise with a large freshwater lake, wooded hiking trails, biking and running paths, 13 cricket fields, and New York City’s only public golf course—Mosholu Golf Course, founded over a century ago as one of the first public golf courses in the United States. Gaelic Park is a multi-purpose athletics facility, home to Manhattan College Jaspers lacrosse, soccer, and softball teams. Named in honor of Riverdale’s Irish-American heritage, the park has hosted Gaelic Athletics Association football and hurling competitions for decades. It’s also a cultural center: in the 1970s Gaelic Park staged a summer concert series featuring performances by the Grateful Dead, The Allman Brothers, and Deep Purple. 

The Van Cortlandt House, built in 1748-49, is the oldest house in the Bronx. George Washington used the house as a base during the American Revolutionary War. It is now a museum, housing an outstanding collection of furniture and decorative arts, including many heirlooms of members of the Van Cortlandt family. 

Wave Hill is the former residence of Mark Twain, Arturo Toscanini, and Theodore Roosevelt, a The magnificent two-story Greek Revival manor, built in 1836, overlooks the Hudson River. It is a combination of botanical garden, environmental center, and outdoor art gallery, with rotating exhibits, live performances and concerts. Elisa Contemporary Art on Mosholu Avenue is Riverdale's only Contemporary Art gallery. Since 2008, the gallery has curated over 40 shows in public and private art spaces in the tri-state area and at international art fairs.

The Memorial Bell Tower is a 500-ton fieldstone and limestone tower built in 1930 to commemorate World War I veterans from Riverdale, Spuyten Duyvil, and Kingsbridge. It was designed by architect Dwight James Baum (brother of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz author, L. Frank Baum). It sits within Bell Tower Park, the site of an annual Memorial Day ceremony and Christmas tree lighting. During Hanukkah, the Park is the home of the largest menorah in the Bronx. Another famous Riverdale landmark is the Henry Hudson Memorial, a 100-foot-high Doric column surmounted by a 16-foot figure of the English navigator and explorer, sculpted by Karl Bitter Karl Gruppe.

What to See in Riverdale

Riverdale is the most exclusive neighborhood in the Bronx. The upscale subsections are Hudson Hill and Riverdale Estates, which overlook the Hudson River, and Fieldston to the northeast. There, the luxury buyer can find grand 19th-century mansions and a cluster of elegant 1920s homes designed by noted architect Dwight James Baum. 

Riverdale’s Victorian Revival mansions, many of them landmarked, sit prominently on the cliffs overlooking the Hudson River. The Henry L. Atherton Villa is one of just four original homes built on Independence Avenue in 1853. Originally constructed in the Gothic Revival style, additions in 1910 and 1914 in the Colonial Revival style give the estate its grand appearance. On Arlington Avenue, in the heart of the desirable Hudson Hill section, is a restored 1940s cedar-shingle residence on one of the deepest plots in Riverdale. West of the Parkway, on a private tree-lined cul-de-sac in Riverdale's tony estates area is a luxurious turnkey home built in 2010. There are also several contemporary co-op and condo buildings, which offer residents lofty accommodations, luxury amenities, and views of the Hudson River and rocky cliffs of the Palisades.

What Schools Are in Riverdale

Riverdale has three elite private schools that are members of the Ivy Preparatory School League: Riverdale Country School, Horace Mann School, and the Ethical Culture Fieldston School. All serve kindergarten through grade 12. The Riverdale Kingsbridge Academy is a public middle and high school. There are two public elementary schools at the southern end of Riverdale: Spuyten Duyvil School (P.S. 24) and the Robert J. Christen School (P.S. 81). The College of Mount St. Vincent and Manhattan College are Roman Catholic colleges.

How Many People Live in Riverdale?

The population of Riverdale is approximately 36,726.

Explore our luxury properties for sale in Riverdale, Bronx, New York.


Photography provided by:
Wikimedia © Creative Commons
Image 2 by Anthony22
Image 2 by Anthony22
Image 4 by Trollness

Riverdale Map: Homes on the Market

Google Map Loading......