The Best of Brooklyn: Neighborhoods You Must See

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Many non-New Yorkers make the initial mistake in assuming that the borough of Brooklyn is only composed of quant streets full of roaming artists, hipsters and concept stores. Yet, like many other parts of New York City, Brooklyn is very diverse, culturally vibrant, and each neighborhood has a vibe of its own. Manhattan has always received the highest praise when it comes to visiting New York City, but what is across the East River should not be ignored. Although more travelers are choosing to explore Brooklyn when visiting NYC, Brooklyn is still far from being a tourist hub. Explore the trendy and diverse neighborhoods of Brooklyn Heights, Downtown Brooklyn, Park Slope, Bushwick, Coney Island, Red HookDUMBO, Greenpoint and Williamsburg during your stay here in New York.

\ Brooklyn Heights

(Photo : Harlem Spirituals)

As the country’s very first suburb with distinctive brownstones, Brooklyn Heights also claim a promenade where you can catch the best view of Manhattan’s skyline from Brooklyn. Brooklyn Heights is an official historic district here in New York City; there is a lot of history and interesting facts about this tree-lined neighborhood worth exploring. Just a simple stroll down the streets leaves you feeling pleasant.


\ Downtown Brooklyn

(Photo : John Cunniff)

If there is one word that could describe Downtown Brooklyn, it would be transformation. This Brooklyn neighborhood, known as the 3rd largest business district in the city, is now boasting with a mounting list of residential buildings while becoming a lively hub. This part of Brooklyn claims many cultural offerings such as the Brooklyn Museum, BLDG 92, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and for history buffs, the Brooklyn Historical Society. Aside from the ever-growing list of new restaurants, Junior’s has the best cheesecake and desserts in town.


\ Park Slope

(Photo by Joe Buglewicz/ NYC & Company)

If you already have plans to go to Brooklyn, be sure to find your way to Park Slope. With its charming tree-lined streets and brownstones, it has the perfect scenery for a nice walk. you will also stumble upon cute boutiques, concert venues, bookstores, cafes, bars, restaurants, historic landmarks, beautiful architecture and Prospect Park. Park Slope is very much a family-oriented neighborhood. When in the area, consider checking out Union Hall, a popular bar and lounge with librarylike decor, 2 bocce courts & a basement performance space. Head over to the Barclays Center, and The Bell House as well.


\ Bushwick

(Photo : Harlem Spirituals)

Bushwick is one of the coolest neighborhoods in Brooklyn, home of the Bushwick Collective graffiti art. Today, as you tour the streets of this blue-collared neighborhood, you will notice how the Hispanic community shines in Bushwick. You will find the best of music venues, night clubs, and restaurants here.


\ Coney Island

(Photo by JULIENNE SCHAER/NYC & Company)

Coney Island is an ocean-side residential and major entertainment spot on the southwestern side of Brooklyn. An easy D, Q, N, or F S train ride to Stillwell Avenue will bring you to Coney Island. You’ll be able to enjoy the Coney Island boardwalk as well as one of the 50 rides and attractions such as the famous Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, Luna Park, and the New York Aquarium. Coney Island is the birthplace of the hot dog, so you must see for yourself and try one at Nathan’s Famous. This is a great family-friendly destination!


\ Red Hook

(Photo by  Julienne Schaer/ NYC & Company)

If you are looking for some high-quality seafood at affordable prices, you should visit Red Hook, Brooklyn, located on a peninsula projecting into the Upper New York Harbor. Although rarely a tourist destination, that is what gives Red Hook its charm, along with its deep historic roots, cobble-stoned streets and beautiful views. We recommend you take a water taxi from Manhattan to Van Brunt Street to the neighborhoods main dock adjacent to the large Ikea store, which is also fun to shop through as well. You can visit Red Hook Waterfront Museum, window shop down Van Brunt Street, taste the freshest lobster at Red Hook Lobster Pound, or sample the juiciest oysters with a view at the Brooklyn Crab. The pace is much slower here in Red Hook, and the industrial vibe is definitely worth appreciating.


\ DUMBO

(Photo : Julienne Schaer/NYC & Company)

DUMBO is a 20-block neighborhood directly off the Brooklyn Bridge packed with life and culture. This tiny cobble-stoned area under the Manhattan Bridge has gone from an “artists only” territory to an exciting hub for everyone. Almost every block in this neighborhood offers something captivating, and our Brooklyn walking tour is especially fantastic when it comes to checking out all that DUMBO has to offer. In DUMBO we recommend The River Café, Superfine, Pianos Lounge, Brooklyn Bridge Park, the famous Jane’s Carrousel, Rockwood Music Hall, St. Ann’s Warehouse, and arguably two of the best pizzerias in Brooklyn: Grimaldi’s and Juliana’s.


\ Greenpoint

Greenpoint is one of the hippest neighborhoods in Brooklyn. See for yourself! Once and always a thriving Polish Community, Greenpoint offers countless concert halls, bars, restaurants, and hipster-centric hangouts. Visit Greenpoint to see a band at Brooklyn Bazaar, or catch the best views of Manhattan at the waterfront WNYC Transmitter Park. Greenpoint has been up and coming for years on end, and it is only rising up next to its neighboring Williamsburg. Find yourself in admiring art at a local gallery or devouring a donut at Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop, either way you should immerse yourself in this friendly, lively neighborhood.


\ Williamsburg

brooklyn-williamsburg-harlemspirituals

(Photo : Malcolm Brown/ NYC & Company)

Williamsburg is currently one of the most famous place in Brooklyn, the birthplace of the Hipster culture. This neighborhood is not just home to a prospering art community. It’s also a hub where anyone can enjoy a slice of authentic Neapolitan brick oven thin crust pizza accompanied with a freshly made cannoli for dessert. Besides being a pop-culture darling, Williamsburg also host Smorgasburg, a food festival that is made up of local vendors who set up their shops weekly in East River State Park. If you want to experience the typical hipster vibe of the neighborhood, stroll down the famous Bedford Ave and its countless shops, concept stores and cafes. Other notable places that you should also check out after taking a tour of this neighborhood is the Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn Winery, Union Pool, Brooklyn Bowl. And the Knitting Factory, but don’t expect to knit at this small concert venue and adults-only restaurant.


Brooklyn has so much to offer, it is just up to you to cross the river and experience this unique borough for yourself. Brooklyn certainly has a different feel than Manhattan that is well worth your time. The best way to enjoy Brooklyn is to opt for a guided tour so you can experience everything the borough has to offer. Join a Brooklyn Bike tour or our Brooklyn Walking Tour to discover the borough with a certified and knowledgeable guide. Or choose the Triboro Tour with BBQ Lunch for a full exciting day exploring Brooklyn, as well as the Bronx and Queens by bus, ferry and on foot. If you are interested in finding more things to do in New York City, search through our complete range of tours, attractions and activities. We can also tailor-make programs specifically to match your desires and budgets. Harlem Spirituals is the ideal one-stop-shop to simplify your planning! Find more information on www.harlemspirituals.com or contact us at info@harlemspirituals.com.

Have you ever visited Brooklyn before? Let us know about your experience! If you found this article interesting or helpful, please continue on sharing!

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