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    Upper Manhattan

    Slow down and dive into the rich cultural offerings of the vibrant north

    Delineated as the area north of W 110th Street, E 96th Street, and Central Park, the neighborhood of Upper Manhattan is in actuality a collection of smaller, unique neighborhoods full of personality and distinctive vitality. Each neighborhood, however, does have the commonality of being less about tourism and more focused on residential lifestyle. Sections of Upper Manhattan include:

    West Harlem

    The umbrella neighborhood of Harlem is broken down into several other segments, but most frequently is referred to as either West or East. West Harlem is known as the center of the Harlem Renaissance, an African American cultural movement that sparked generations of artists and creatives. A diverse mix of students, families, and professionals make up the demographics here, and housing can range from affordable studio walk-ups to historic luxury townhomes.

    East Harlem

    East Harlem is known for its familiar and friendly neighborhood vibes, in which the commercial offerings are primarily mom-and-pop shops where the owners know your name. The spirited energy of its culturally diverse population is just one of the many appealing facets of this neighborhood packed with affordable brownstones and trendy walkups.

    Morningside Heights

    Tucked south of West Harlem along the Hudson River, Morningside Heights is a neighborhood brimming with educational institutions. Most notably, Columbia University, Barnard College, and the Manhattan School of Music all have campuses in the area, and Morningside Heights also houses a large number of religious institutions. Relatively affordable, there is an ample number of new residential buildings in Morningside Heights offering walk-ups, apartments, and condos, many of which are occupied by students.

    Hamilton Heights

    Also along the Hudson River but north of West Harlem, Hamilton Heights is renowned for its ethnic and cultural diversity. Historic homes, restored townhomes, and mid-century brownstones line the quiet residential streets, which have recently seen an influx of young professionals and creative residents looking for more affordable housing near Midtown.

    Washington Heights

    Heading further north along Manhattan Island, Washington Heights is a less-densely populated residential neighborhood that boasts plentiful access to parks and greenspaces. Highly affordable and perfect for those starting their new lives in the city, Washington Heights has ample access to transportation to other sections of Manhattan.

    Hudson Heights

    Atop a large plateau overlooking the sparkling Hudson River, the neighborhood of Hudson Heights is considered within the bounds of Washington Heights. Apartments and co-ops are the standard residential housing in this area, with gorgeous historic exteriors exemplifying the best in Art Deco and Tudor styles. Its population is incredibly diverse, with a rich history of immigration.


    The very northernmost tip of Manhattan, Inwood is encompassed on three sides by the Hudson River, the Harlem River, and Spuyten Duyvil Creek. Much more peaceful than neighborhoods closer to the city, Inwood is a community-driven collection of residents who get to enjoy the natural beauty of the area’s pastoral roots. Affordable and quiet, Inwood’s zoning restrictions on building height and hilly landscape make it an idyllic, low-key neighborhood.

    What to Love

    • Incredible cultural diversity and vibrant history
    • Much more affordable residential housing than neighborhoods in Lower Manhattan
    • Bountiful river views, parks, and a slightly slower pace

    Dining, Shopping, & Entertainment

    The neighborhoods of Upper Manhattan are more apt to house local shops and niche boutiques as opposed to large shopping centers, and as a largely residential section of the city, its primary focus tends to lean towards residential amenities and entertainment. However, the neighborhoods all contain their own unique and exciting dining scenes, with Harlem, in particular, standing out.

    There are many diverse culinary offerings in Harlem, ranging from sushi and Jamaican fare to soulful comfort foods and crave-worthy Mexican. For example, the flavor-drenched and always impeccable Ethiopian cuisine at Abyssinia is driven by the expertise of Chef Frehiwot Reta and serves as the only Ethiopian eatery in the neighborhood.

    Things to Do

    Upper Manhattan, despite its residential status, does offer an abundance of opportunities for unique experiences and chances to explore the natural splendor of NYC. East Harlem rests adjacent to the splendorous Conservatory Garden of Central Park, and here, six acres of incredible formal gardens await to delight visitors.

    Inwood Hill Park is known as a “living piece of old New York” and has a vast, dramatic landscape of varied ecosystems to dive into. Directly south in Hudson Heights, The Met Cloisters are a one-of-a-kind branch of The Metropolitan Museum of Art that specializes in the medieval era.

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