Small Things to Do at The Cloisters, Fort Tryon Park

Earlier this week, I returned to my home of 17+ years near The Cloisters, Fort Tryon Park — as a tourist. With my Met museum sticker affixed to my dress, I visited all my old haunts, this time as a suburbanite who would soon get back in the car and drive out of the city back home.

Here are some small things to do if you visit Fort Tryon — one of the most beautiful and quiet parts of New York City.

Park for Free

Parking is free and easy at The Cloisters, but please don’t tell. The locals use it as an emergency back-up for alternate side (or at least I used to). Just drive through Fort Tryon Park, and you’ll see the parking lot across from the museum. You can’t leave the car overnight, but you can for the day.

On this most recent visit, I parallel parked on Cabrini Boulevard instead. I wanted to know if I still had it. Turns out I do. I crept into a spot with about two inches to spare on each side, and the whole production was worthy of an audience and a standing ovation.

Parallel Parking

Slap Your Hands on a Ledge while Admiring the View

There are a number of locations not to be missed in Fort Tryon Park. This below is right at the entrance of the park. After walking through Heather Garden, take a left and go down the steps. The ledge will be hot from the sun and smooth to the touch. Slap your hands a little.

Peer Out From Behind a Pillar

The garden is a bright reprieve from the sepulchre and other serious matters in the castle. To lighten the mood, peer out from behind a pillar.

The Cloisters Garden

Admire the Quirky City Signs

NYC Quirky Sign

Fort Tryon Sign

Use the Seated App for Lunch

In 2019-2020, for four months before the pandemic started, I never paid for paper towels, coffee filters, and eyebrow pencils. That’s because I earned so much money in gift cards from going to restaurants using the Seated App.

Seated App is even better than Rakuten — trust me. And it’s a terrible shame that it’s only in major metropolitan cities.

Since the pandemic, the Seated App has expanded to include take-out and delivery, and the rewards are just as good as they used to be (sometimes you can get 30% of your check back within minutes of snapping a photo of your receipt). They offer an additional $5 or $10 reward every few weeks, and the dollars add up. It also gamifies eating out and somewhat reduces my guilt.

For our lunch after The Cloisters, I “stacked” rewards, earning $4 from Seated and $1.98 from Rakuten Dining.

Have you visited The Cloisters or Fort Tryon Park? If so, what are your favorite parts?

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Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this post about small things to do at The Cloisters Fort Tryon Park, you might like this one about having a picnic at FDR's Library.

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    1. Love it! My life revolved around parking spots in NYC. I even made a tote bag about it. ๐Ÿ™‚ As George said, how many times did I not go out because I refused to give up my spot. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for stopping by.

  1. This is a fun post, Suzanne. Oh, gosh, I think we all have parallel parking stories! Mine is from the city, as well. Actually, my friend was behind the wheel, and he had a prolonged, super-difficult time parking right in front of the windows of the ritzy restaurant we were going into. I was so embarrassed I was ready to skip the reservation! Thanks for sharing your experience of the park! ๐ŸŒž

    1. Hi, Lisa. I love it! It’s a great NYC moment, and I can picture it happening. Thanks so much for stopping by. ๐Ÿ™‚

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