Tourists who aren’t familiar with NYC will often be drawn to the iconic landmarks in Manhattan, like Times Square, the Empire State Building, Wall Street and Central Park. But if you’ve seen the main borough or are looking for a more all-encompassing New York experience, look no further than Brooklyn! Without a doubt the chicest borough, Brooklyn is quickly becoming one of the world’s trendiest and most desirable places to live. Even longstanding Manhattan residents are moving out to enjoy the less crowded streets and wonderful offerings that Brooklyn is known for. Here are a few ideas for ways you can spend a day in Brooklyn while you’re visiting the Big Apple.
Hop on the subway and head out to Coney Island, one of New York’s top attractions. It’s known as the “playground for the people” and has plenty of free and cheap activities that everyone can enjoy. There are always changes being made to the park, so be sure to check in before you make the trip. Take a stroll along the Coney Island Boardwalk to Brighton Beach to check out views of the stadium and amusement park — it’s great for people watching! If you’re hungry for a bite, head to Nathan’s Hot Dog to enjoy one of the world’s most famous dogs. The Save Coney Island organization offers free walking tours of historic Coney Island — check out the Save Coney Island website for more info. And be sure to stop into the seaside aquarium to see sea otters and penguin feedings, as well as the shark tank.
Many residents consider Greenwood Cemetery one of the most beautiful places in all of New York City. It’s located just south of the Park Slope neighborhood, which makes a great place to stop for lunch or dinner before or after your visit! The cemetery was founded in 1838 and is now a National Historic Landmark. Built on a steep hill, it offers amazing views of Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty and the East River. You can wander the 478 acres of hills, valleys, ponds, and paths to take in all of the gorgeous statues and mausoleums and see the gravestones of some of the most famous residents, including Leonard Bernstein, Boss Tweed, Jean-Michel Basquiat and more.
Brooklyn Bridge Park/DUMBO
One of the very best ways to spend a nice day in the city is to walk across the iconic Brooklyn Bridge. Start in lower Manhattan and meander across the 85-acre stretch of road over the East River — you won’t regret it! On a clear day, you will get amazing views of the skyscrapers of Manhattan, the Manhattan Bridge, the Williamsburg bridge, the Brooklyn waterfront and more! The sparkly waters of the East River reflect all the lights of the city at night, too, so don’t feel like your walk is only limited to the daytime. Once you get to Dumbo there is also plenty to do. Grab some famous chocolates at Jacques Torres, check for events at PowerHouse books or grab a meal at Superfine, one of the borough’s oldest locally-owned restaurants.
There is so much to do in Brooklyn, you’ll find it’s easy to devote a full day to any one activity! Whatever you choose to do, just make sure that people-watching is part of your fun — from street musicians to bankers to celebrities to politicians, you’ll pretty much see it all in New York.