Manhattan dwellers desperate for a break from the constant buzzing of frenetic energy that surrounds the city—or just a little bit of elbow room—often look to Northern Manhattan as an escape from it all.
Sure, Hamilton Heights or Inwood are relatively solitude-friendly. However, such is not the case for Washington Heights. The neighborhood, which stretches from 155th Street to Dyckman and from the Hudson to the Harlem River is bustling with vitality during all hours of the day. It's a common occurrence to hear Bachata music booming from car stereos as packs of people dance along at 4 a.m. The community's palpable electricity inspired Lin-Manuel Miranda's Tony Award-winning Broadway play, "In the Heights," after all.
While Washington Heights isn't the place to go for a quiet retreat, between its countless nightclub and dining options, and beautiful green rolling hills, it offers and refreshing change of scenery—literally.
Although The Heights gained a bad rap in the 1980s during the Manhattan drug epidemic, the neighborhood has completely transformed. No longer ruled by drug lords, the community streets are now run by the countless children recklessly navigating their bicycles on sidewalks. The neighborhood has more than 12 primary and secondary schools, three universities (including Columbia University's multiple medical campuses) and eight parks: Suffice to say, the Heights is now very family friendly.
Washington Heights' namesake stems from The Battle of Fort Washington, during which Fort Washington was destroyed by the British army.