The 10 Most Instagrammable Spots in Upper Manhattan

Updated: Nov 22, 2021

Hamilton Grange, one of the most Instagrammable spots in Upper Manhattan

​New York is bursting with Instagrammable places like the Brooklyn Bridge and Times Square.

But those are for beginners.

If you're ready to fill your camera roll with corners of New York that not everyone has seen, take your lens to Upper Manhattan.

From storybook lighthouses to hidden arches, these spots will leave you truly inspired.

From south to north, here are the top 10 places to check out:

1. Iconic Harlem brownstones

Central Harlem W 120th St between Mt. Morris Park West and Lenox Ave

A row of Harlem brownstones on West 120th Street

Located in the Mount Morris Park Historic District, this perfectly preserved row of early-20th-century rowhouses on West 120th Street is one of the loveliest in Harlem. It also just so happens to include the brownstone once owned by poet Maya Angelou (number 58).

2. Harlem Fire Watchtower

Central Harlem Top of Marcus Garvey Park, between 120th and 124th Streets and Madison Ave and Mt. Morris Park West

The renovated Harlem Fire Watchtower in Marcus Garvey Park

Not so long ago this last-of-its-kind watchtower—built in 1857 and used to spot fires in pre-telegraph NYC—was falling apart. After a lengthy renovation, the striking cast-iron structure high atop of Marcus Garvey Park is now occasionally open for tours.

3. The Apollo Theater

Central Harlem 253 W 125th St between Adam Clayton Powell Jr and Frederick Douglass Blvds

The Apollo in Harlem

If a tourist visits just one place uptown, it's usually this legendary theater. And no one passes by without taking a snap of the iconic neon sign.

4. "Crack Is Wack" Mural

East Harlem Crack is Wack Playground, E 127th St and Second Ave

Keith Haring's Crack Is Wack Mural in East Harlem

Thanks to a recent restoration, Keith Haring’s “Crack Is Wack” mural on a handball court not far from the Harlem River Drive is just like new. It was first painted in 1986, at the height of the crack epidemic.

5. Arches Under the Riverside Drive Viaduct

West Harlem 12th Ave between W 125th St and W 135th Sts

Under the viaduct in Harlem, one of the most Instagrammed spots in Harlem

The backdrop for countless movie and TV shoots (from "The Amazing Spiderman" to "Jessica Jones")—and also the new Uptown Night Market—the underside of the viaduct on 12th Avenue looks magical at every hour of the day.

6. Hamilton Grange

Hamilton Heights 414 W 141 St between Convent and St. Nicholas Aves

Hamilton Grange

This lovingly restored 1802 house was built by none other than founding father—and inspiration for Lin-Manuel Miranda's Broadway sensation—Alexander Hamilton. Moved twice from its original spot on 143rd Street, it's now located on a grassy slope in St. Nicholas Park.

7. Sylvan Terrace

Washington Heights Between Jumel Terrace and St. Nicholas Ave

Sylvan Terrace in Washington Heights

A perfect time warp, this small cobblestone street lined with identical wood rowhouses from the 19th century is irresistible from any angle.

8. The High Bridge

Washington Heights Highbridge Park

The High Bridge in Washington Heights

Reopened in 2015 after being closed for more than 40 years, this historic pedestrian bridge connecting Washington Heights and the Bronx offers stunning views high above the Harlem River.

9. The Little Red Lighthouse (and the George Washington Bridge)

Washington Heights Fort Washington Park, Hudson River Greenway

The Little Red Lighthouse under the George Washington Bridge

This lighthouse is so famous, there's even a children's book about it. A word of advice: The easiest way to get there is to hop on a bike (and use Google Maps).

10. The Billings Arcade

Washington Heights Fort Tryon Park

The Billings Arcade in Fort Tryon Park
Photo: Morgan Mackey

One of uptown's hidden architectural gems, this stunning arcade located in Fort Tryon Park was once part of a mansion built in 1907, then destroyed by a fire a mere 18 years later. Nestled deep in the park, it requires a bit of help to find it.

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