Welcome mat out on City Island

City Island, is one of the shining gems of the Bronx, and local business leaders there want Manhattan tourists to know about it.

To wave the tourism flag and get the word out about the “City Island area” – including Pelham Bay Park – they brought just the people who know how to tell city visitors about it for all-day excursion there.

The City Island Chamber of Commerce hosted about 20 hotel concierges, travel agents, and tour operators from Westchester, Manhattan and Long Island hotels for a mid-week tour of the island on Wednesday, May 22.

It was the third annual tour of the island by the city’s tourism community in about six years.

Maria Caruso, director of tourism for the City Island Chamber of Commerce, said the visiting group included a representative from Etihad Airlines flying nonstop to NYC from Abu Dhabi, the sales director of the Carlisle Bay Hotel in Antigua, and a sales associate from the Westchester-based Voyages by Pascale, “all of whom recommend destinations to their incoming NYC guests.”

“We want them all to recommend City Island as a destination,” said Caruso.

After the Bronx Tourism Council’s Seaside Trolley picked the group up at the Pelham Split Rock Golf Course, they headed over to their first stop, the Bronx Equestrian Center, said tour coordinator Caruso.

“As the City Island Chamber of Commerce, it has been our goal to put City Island on the map,” Caruso said. “We also want to promote City Island’s cultural scene and to let people know the various recreational activities that we have to offer.

Caruso said the chamber wanted to show Westchester and Long Island neighbors that City Island offers affordable prices for activities such as golf, horseback riding and live musical performances as opposed to Westchester, Long Island or Manhattan.

The group toured the Pelham Split-Rock Golf Course, was briefed on the area’s role in a Revolutionary War battle, had lunch at the Seashore Restaurant, took a personal tour of the City Island Nautical Museum hosted by Barbara Dolensek, and had a boat excursion on Eastchester Bay.

The group also stopped at the Bistro SK restaurant for some mussels and French wine; took a tour of Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum and Carriage House; explored art galleries and antique shops along City Island Avenue, visiting chamber member businesses Focal Point Gallery, Early Ruth Antiques, Lickety Split Ice Cream Parlor, Mary Colby’s Fi Faux Art Gallery, and The City Island Diner.

The day ended with a cocktail reception at the City Island Yacht Club, where the group met with local elected officials and business owners.

“The day was very successful,” said CICC vice president Paul Klein. “Everyone had a great time. It was a really nice event.”

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