The best way to get to know Brooklyn is on foot. That’s why, for the past year, Explore Brooklyn has been publishing suggested neighborhood walks, designed to show you each neighborhood’s character through its architecture, shops, restaurants, bars, parks, and historical landmarks.
Many of these do-it-yourself tours have been among our most shared posts. In case you missed them, here’s a roundup of ten of our neighborhood walks — a handy way for you to discover all the great stuff you can find in Brooklyn.
Williamsburg is arguably the hippest neighborhood in Brooklyn. What was once an artist haven in the 90s is now known for the glassy condo towers that line the waterfront, a plethora of bars and restaurants, its young, trendsetting population, and graffiti-covered warehouses. The neighborhood also boasts some of the best views of the Manhattan skyline, which will be well on display during your Williamsburg neighborhood walk.
Coney Island neighborhood walk
Coney Island has been Brooklyn’s playground since it was built in the late 1800s. It is a neighborhood filled with history, amusements, hot dogs, the boardwalk, and the beach. It’s also the ideal destination for a day trip. During the summer, the neighborhood comes to life and is often crowded with visitors. During the winter, Coney Island goes quiet. For many, the colder months are an opportunity to walk along the beach without the crowds.
Park Slope Historic District neighborhood walk
The Park Slope Historic District, consisting of 33 blocks in the northern part of Park Slope, is one of the most architecturally and historically rich areas of Brooklyn. It’s mostly residential, consisting of row houses (called brownstones because of the stone that went into their construction) and other ornately decorated buildings all built from 1862 to about 1920. Situated on the gentle slope leading up to Prospect Park, the neighborhood and its tree-lined streets are a wonderful place to take an aimless stroll on a sunny day.
Brooklyn Heights neighborhood walk
Looking for brownstones, tree-lined streets, quaint cafes, and unparalleled views of Lower Manhattan? Head straight to Brooklyn Heights. Dubbed “American’s first suburb” (this was one of the first neighborhoods New Yorkers “commuted” from in the 1800s), the neighborhood has retained most of its historic architecture. A walk through Brooklyn Heights is like walking through 19th century Brooklyn, and that plus the views from the Promenade have made it a popular spot for film and television shoots.
Fort Greene neighborhood walk
Fort Greene is one of the most beautiful, historic brownstone neighborhoods of Brooklyn. It’s also small, which means you can walk most of the area in an afternoon. Here’s a recommended neighborhood walk that’ll cover all of the essential stops.
Red Hook neighborhood walk
Red Hook is a secluded, charming waterfront neighborhood in South Brooklyn. It’s a little further from the subways than most Brooklyn neighborhoods, but once you’re in the area it’s worth staying to explore, eat, drink, and shop. This tiny neighborhood holds a lot more amenities than people realize, not to mention excellent views of Lower Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty. This Red Hook walk, which should take up a day, will take you passed all the local favorites and along the gorgeous waterfront.
Bay Ridge neighborhood walk
Bay Ridge is one of the most beautiful and interesting neighborhoods of South Brooklyn. While it doesn’t get as much attention as its brownstone-heavy neighbors to the north, the neighborhood boasts historic architecture, diverse communities, solid food, and stunning waterfront views. This walking tour will take you from the Bay Ridge subway station through residential side streets and onto the neighborhood’s main drag of 3rd Avenue.
Bushwick neighborhood walk
Bushwick, considered one of Brooklyn’s hippest and most artistic neighborhoods, is a great place to explore for the day. Don’t come expecting tree-lined, brownstone blocks, though. Instead you’ll be trekking by graffiti-decorated warehouses, bustling bars and restaurants, and the occasional freestanding mansion. Here’s our walking guide for the neighborhood, which will give you a taste of everything Bushwick has to offer.
Crown Heights neighborhood walk
In the past five years, the neighborhood of Crown Heights has boomed with new shops, bars, restaurants, and development. Once a fairly quiet residential area with lots of empty storefronts, now there’s enough here to keep you entertained all day. This Crown Heights walk will take you up the main drag of the newly revitalized neighborhood, and then through the beautiful architecture of the residential streets. By the time you’re through, you’ll know just what makes this neighborhood so special.
Ditmas Park neighborhood walk
Walking through Ditmas Park for the first time is a shock for many New Yorkers. Not only is it oddly thrilling to see big detached houses with real lawns within the city limits, but the houses themselves represent an eccentric mix of architectural styles, from Victorian to Colonial Revival to faux-Japanese. It’s a great place to explore at leisure, and nearby Cortelyou Road offers a rich selection of shops, restaurants, and bars.