Untermyer Gardens – a hidden gem in Yonkers, New York
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Nestled on a hill above the Hudson River, Untermyer Gardens and its grounds offer visitors a beguiling respite from normalcy. Just a short train ride from NYC, this 43-acre park provides the perfect backdrop for a romantic afternoon picnic or a leisurely walk with the family. The City of Yonkers owns this public park, and the admirable folks who maintain it are with the non-profit organization, Untermyer Gardens Conservancy. Untermyer also holds a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Gardens at Greystone
At Untermyer, you’ll find beautiful neoclassical landscape architecture and meticulously planned and cared-for gardens. The gardens at Untermyer are magnificent. Not surprising at all, considering Samuel Untermyer’s directive for his landscape architect to build “the greatest gardens in the world”. The extensive estate— then known as Greystone— originally spanned over 150 acres. Though it’s less than a third the size it used to be, the gardens at Untermyer are no less impressive.
Are you familiar with the Yonkers area? Yup— this is why the surrounding neighborhood and the closest Metro-North station are called Greystone.
You can read more about Greystone and Untermyer Gardens’ history here.
If you’re in the mood for a little more scandal, a touch of sauciness, and a dose of horror with your history today check out the Fodor’s Travel feature on Untermyer Gardens: The Secret Satanic History of New York City’s Untermyer Gardens. Read it during the daytime. (Don’t say I didn’t warn you!)
We visited Untermyer in the late summer, just as the day melted into the golden hour. The walled garden took my breath away, with its stunning Persian-inspired paradise garden, intricate mosaics, impressive Grecian pavilion, and oh! that amphitheater and reflecting pool. Just gorgeous! Ethereal monarch butterflies and dragonflies danced gracefully among all the late summer blooms, adding a not-so-subtle hint of magic to the afternoon.
Head toward the river, and you’ll find the recently restored Temple of Love, which my inner teenage girl tells me is straight out of my most fantastical historical romance fantasy. Seriously.
In its heyday, Greystone was the definition of opulence— lavish to a level that surprised Samuel Untermyer’s peers and the press and even made the city to whom he bequeathed it balk at his gift. Today, the public park is an Eden in plain sight. Untermyer today represents not extravagance, but the hard work and dedication of its caretakers and benefactors.
Visit Untermyer from New York City
- Head to Grand Central Terminal, and put together a picnic lunch with goodies from Grand Central Market.
- After you’re done admiring the iconic and imposing architecture of the Main Concourse, hop on the Hudson Line.
- Get off at Greystone Station, and catch an Uber or Lyft to the main entrance on North Broadway.
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