Riverbank State Park

Riverbank State Park

Riverbank State Park is one of New York’s best kept secrets. It is the only state park within Manhattan and one of seven around NYC. The Upper Manhattan park offers tons of activities to its visitors. There are sporting facilities, a cultural center, a roller skating rink, and even a waterfront restaurant. Learn more about the park’s events, hours, and things to do by reading below!

Riverbank State Park

HOURS AND LOCATION

Riverbank State Park is open every day of the week from 6am to 11pm. It is located at 679 Riverside Drive in the quaint district of Hamilton Heights. The park runs alongside the West Side Highway from 137th Street to 145th Street (ten blocks south of where Fort Washington Park begins).

Google score: 4.4/5 stars, based on 458 reviews.

BACKGROUND

The park is one-of-a-kind in its unique layout. It was built on top of the North River Wastewater Treatment Plant and sits 69 feet above sea level. Architects followed the designs of Japanese rooftop gardens for its construction. They wanted to create a green space that would push boundaries and redefine urban living in NYC. The park’s privileged location by the Hudson River provides visitors with panoramic views. As a result, one can see the George Washington Bridge and the New Jersey Palisades on a clear day.

Riverbank State Park

Take advantage of the park’s late night closing to catch a dazzling view of the city’s bright lights. Riverbank State Park receives over 3 million visitors per year and therefore is one of the most visited parks in the city. The park’s large size (over 28 acres) also make it a huge hit with locals and neighborhood residents. It was built in 1993 and has since been operated under the New York State Office of Parks.

Much of the park’s lush beauty is accredited to its urban gardens. They provide a home to the different types of plants and trees that blossom every spring.

THINGS TO DO

The park offers plenty of entertainment options to keep its visitors happy and occupied for hours. There’s a docking area for boats, two playgrounds for the little ones, a gymnasium, water sprinklers, and picnic tables. A large roller skating rink turns into an icy wonderland during the winter time. This ice skating rink is also the only one to be found around Upper Manhattan.

The park’s home to several state-of-the-art sporting facilities. There’s a wading pool, four tennis courts, four basketball courts, a softball field, four paddle board courts, and a soccer field. A 400-meter eight-lane running track is perfect for those runners looking to exercise outdoors. The Olympic-sized pool is home to the Riverbank Redtails swim team. The pool offers lap swim hours from 6.30am to 8.15 am during the summer months. There are locker rooms available in case you need to store your belongings before going for a swim.

The park also has a cultural complex with an outdoor 800-seat amphitheater right by the river. In addition, the center offers classes for people of different age groups. They have an Aqua arthritis classes for seniors, learning how to swim courses for children, and several others for teens and adults. These courses cover different activities from dance and art to chess and music. The center also teaches the special aquatic American Red Cross certifications for those who need to complete them. The center’s phone number is (212)-694-3600.

A kid-friendly carousel opens for the summer season from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Children can ride it for as little as $1 per ride as many times as they please. It is an absolute treat for the little ones.

EVENTS

The park also hosts a wide variety of events and festivities over the summer such as “Jamming on the Hudson.” Over the months of July and August, the Summertime Concert Series take over this Uptown NYC park. There’s also a junior Popsicle festival series that brings out an artist to play music for children.

On Labor Day, a DJ will spin some of the hottest dance tunes for a special performance. A gospel concert will also take place over the three-day weekend. During the month of September, the “Fools & Kings Project” brings some of Shakespeare’s best plays to life.

WHERE TO EAT

Riverbank State Park is home to an upscale dining restaurant called Sofrito. The restaurant offers authentic Puerto Rican cuisine with an added modern and health-conscious twist. Each dish also has a lot of flavor. Some of the standouts are the mofongo al pilot de bistec: savory shredded beef over mashed green plantains. Another one is the classic paella: a Spanish dish that blends rice with chorizo, chicken, and seafood. Other menu items fuse the best of Latin and Asian cuisines together. For example, the Chino Latino roll mixes shrimp with cucumbers, cilantro, and peanuts over a sweet chili sauce.

The lively atmosphere and the sleek decor at Sofrito make it a unique dining experience. The windows change color and the restaurant’s walls display paintings by Spanish Harlem artist James de la Vega. A 100-foot bar and a DJ take the ambiance to the next level. The DJ performs live and plays Latin, hip-hop and reggae in addition to other types of music.

Sofrito is also a great idea for brunch. They serve up delicious and healthy breakfast dishes such as the pina colada french toast prepared with handmade granola. The sofrito tres golpes with salami, one fried egg, and cheese is another perfect choice for those with a hearty appetite. Get the morning off to a good start by eating brunch at Sofrito!

Riverbank State Park

Sofrito’s weekly hours are as follows:

  • Monday and Tuesday: 4pm – 10pm
  • Wednesday: 4pm – 11pm
  • Thursday: 4pm – 1am
  • Friday: 4pm – 4am
  • Saturday and Sunday: 5pm – 4am

Google score: 3.5/5 stars, based on 178 reviews.

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Edgar Catasus

Edgar is a a film fanatic, a food lover, and an Upper West Side enthusiast. After working in PR and marketing in Chicago, he is pursuing his dream of becoming a writer. He loves photography and on his spare time you can find him hiking or biking the great outdoors (while also snapping some pretty awesome Instagram pics!).

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