7. Inwood has its very own hidden sandy beach at Swindler’s Cove

Swindler's Cove in Inwood
Swindler’s Cove, where visitors can take a dip in one of Manhattan’s only beaches.

Opened in 2003, Swindler’s Cove is one of upper Manhattan’s most beautiful parks, occupying around five acres of land along the Hudson River that was once used as a communal dumping ground. The park was created through a unique partnership between the New York Restoration Project, New York City’s Department of Parks and Recreation, and the NY State Department of Transportation. Debris such as garbage, rusted cars, and sunken boats was excavated from the waterfront, making room for a series of ponds and waterfalls. In addition, the park consists of various birdhouses and a communal garden. Most interestingly of all, Swindler’s Cove has one of Manhattan’s only beaches.

Though much of Swindler’s Cove is bounded by hard, concrete edges, there is one sandy spot where visitors can relax and dip their feet into the water. The beach can be found by walking along the metal esplanade going over the park’s waterfront. Afterward, near the restored Peter Jay Sharp Boathouse is a small, unmarked dirt path that leads to a stunning view of the Manhattan shoreline. Though the signs of New York City are still quite visible from the beach, the spot also offers a glimpse into what the area might have once looked like before urbanization.