What do you do when it's 33 degrees with 78% humidity in Manhattan? Run for the hills - or the beach. In my case, I ran for the upper Hudson to visit an amazingly underrated National Trust property called Wave Hill.
Situated in the Bronx, right at the end of the number 1 subway line and then a good walk or cab drive, Wave Hill is perched overlooking the Hudson River. It features 28 acres of spectacular gardens including woodland, age-old trees, flower gardens, herb gardens, a conservatory and stunning vistas across the river to the Palisades.
The actual house at Wave Hill was built as a country home by jurist William Lewis Morris in 1843. It went through a succession of owners and hosted guests such as Mark Twain, Arturo Toscanini and Teddy Roosevelt. In 1960 it was deeded to the City of New York. Today, its mission is to "celebrate the artistry and legacy of its gardens and landscapes, to preserve its magnificent views and to explore human connections to the natural world through programs in horticulture, education and the arts."
For the average city dweller, it offers a welcome respite from the melting asphalt and smell of rotting trash. Take a book, your ipod and a blanket, and lie in the shade of a century old oak whilst watching the barges move slowly along the Hudson.
Images: 7: bridge and tunnel club, 1-6, 8-9: mine