With more than 2.7 million people, a rich past, and a vibrant present, Brooklyn would rank as the third-largest city in the US if it was a separate city and not a New York City (NYC) borough. As one of the most populated areas in the US, Brooklyn has plenty of interesting and fun things to offer.
Those visiting would have a variety of options when it comes to various places and activities throughout the year, from the iconic Luna amusement park to the recently built Barclays Center, and distinctive districts, like Williamsburg, Park Slope, or Brooklyn Heights.
In fact, those visiting or moving to Brooklyn may access many popular areas and attractions, including museums, gardens, parks, and food markets, by simply walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, taking a subway from Manhattan, or taking a trip on the East River Ferry.
Sports buffs would enjoy watching baseball at MCU Park, taking a stroll through Prospect Park, exploring the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and taking in the works of art at the Brooklyn Museum. Of course, these are just mere mentions of the best things to do at the most interesting places in New York.
The list doesn’t end there, and in this article, we’ll discuss why Brooklyn is such a fantastic place to live and all the fun stuff you can do in one of the most populous locations on Earth.
About Brooklyn, New York
Brooklyn is the third-most populous place in the US, preceded only by Los Angeles and Chicago. It was named after the 19th-century Dutch village Breukelen, located on the western end of Long Island, and shares a land border with the Queens borough.
The borough has several bridges and tunnels connecting to Manhattan across the East River and a bridge connection with Staten Island. Since 2010, Brooklyn has evolved into a thriving place of entrepreneurship, hi-tech startups, postmodern art, and design.
What Makes Brooklyn, New York a Great Place to Live
Young families, young professionals, hipsters, and artists have moved into areas like Bushwick and Williamsburg as a result of Brooklyn’s transformation into the hottest, trendiest area in the entire city over the past few years. Brooklyn has so many qualities to offer that it is in and of itself a world-class destination.
It became one of the finest boroughs to reside in and enjoy the unbroken views of the night sky and the Manhattan skyline. However, depending on where you’re located, the views of Manhattan may be obstructed by the sheer number of skyscrapers.
Brooklyn provides its residents with a dense metropolitan feel, a vivid nightlife, and plenty of street art, including massive murals the borough is known for. It also offers numerous pubs, best restaurants, cafes, and parks, and its private schools are better than average.
However, the cost of living is considerably higher than the national average, and the majority of New Yorkers living in Brooklyn actually rent their dwellings. Unfortunately, New York is an expensive place to live, and the NY housing market continues to show signs of future price growth.
Considering that the cost of living is up to 76% higher than the national average and the price of real estate is going up, it’s no wonder why so many New Yorkers are selling their homes to companies that buy houses in Brooklyn residents rely upon for fast sales.
Before you click that “Buy my house in New York City” ad, there are several factors that you might want to consider. Like the NYC property taxes, which, unlike exorbitantly high real estate prices, are actually 12% lower than the national average.
Things to Do in Brooklyn, New York City
Whether you’re an art-lover, beer-drinker, a history buff, or a diehard foodie, Brooklyn has something to suit all visitors and residents, granting you a perfect weekend visit to the Big Apple. Here are 14 things you can do in Brooklyn, NYC:
Bike Over the Brooklyn Bridge
The Brooklyn Bridge connects Lower Manhattan with Brooklyn Heights. You can traverse it via car or by taking a walking tour. It’s the first bridge over the East River, it took nearly 25 years to build, and before the Japanese Akashi-Kaikyo bridge was built, the Brooklyn Bridge held the record for the longest suspended bridge in the world.
It offers impressive views of the famous skyline and the Empire State Building from numerous vantage points along the pedestrian promenade, as well as the enormous skyscrapers made of limestone, granite, and cement. However, since it’s one of the most popular Brooklyn attractions, you can expect to see crowds of tourists strolling and biking across the bridge. For a more tranquil experience, go early in the morning or late at night.
Have a Picnic at Brooklyn Bridge Park
The 85-acre Brooklyn Bridge Park, which offers views of the busy New York port, the Statue of Liberty, and both the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges, is tucked away on the banks of the East River.
It’s a location that offers some of the most romantic things to do in NYC, like watching an outdoor movie, having a picnic, taking a relaxing stroll around its piers and picnic areas, or getting ice cream at Oddfellows. The park features lush gardens, play areas, picnic spots, food vendors, art displays, and rowing and kayaking activities.
Visit the New York Aquarium
If having a picnic isn’t your idea of fun, you can visit the New York Aquarium — 14 family-friendly acres filled with aquatic wonders and friendly creatures that have been entertaining animal enthusiasts for more than a century.
The Aquarium is home to nearly 500 different kinds of marine life, including an 800,000-gallon shark tank, sea otter and lions, as well as turtles, penguins, rays, and schools of fish. It’s always a good idea to check the Aquarium’s daily schedule for the live feeding and trainer shows.
Bargain At the Brooklyn Flea Market
Visitors who like flea markets with their antiques, vintage clothing, and even furniture should definitely visit the Brooklyn Flea market — a seasonal market that’s packed with merchants offering goods, collectibles, jewelry, apparel, food, and more. It’s usually located on the second-level patio of the Williamsburg Hotel on Saturdays and at Pearl Plaza in Dumbo on Sundays.
The Brooklyn Flea is one of the world’s best markets, so even if you can’t bring anything back with you on the aircraft, the sheer thrill of browsing through hundreds of intriguing goods makes the journey worthwhile.
Take a Stroll Through the Prospect Park
The Triumphal Arch is the starting point of the 526-acre Prospect Park, which was created by the same designers as New York’s Central Park, and features elaborate man-made wetlands and trees. Similar amenities such as a boathouse, zoo, lake, playing fields, ice rink, Jane’s carousel, and a variety of outdoor activities are also included.
Ride the Ferris Wheel at Coney Island
Coney Island is right on the boardwalk with the Aquarium, and it’s the southernmost point of Brooklyn. This beach playground is close to Manhattan and is well-known for its carnival attractions and delicious food from various on-site vendors.
Luna Park is New York City’s top amusement park, including thrilling roller coasters, kid-friendly rides, a variety of nostalgic midway games, lots of gift shops, and all types of traditional, tooth-rotting carnival delicacies.
The iconic thrill attractions, like the Thunderbolt coaster and the one and only Cyclone, which has been delighting Brooklyn residents and tourists alike since 1927, are well worth checking out.
History of the Subway in New York Transit Museum
Visit the New York Transit Museum in Downtown Brooklyn to pay respects to one of the nation’s oldest public transportation networks. The museum displays vintage buses and subway cars from the early 1900s and is housed in a now-defunct train station.
Memorabilia, recreated subway stations, permanent and changing displays, and more provide information about the history of public transport in the city since 1976. Visit a children’s educational program and pick up a memento from the gift shop to keep as a reminder of the experience.
Appreciate the Live Music Performance at the Brooklyn Academy of Music
You name it, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) has the event on its schedule — including film, theater, music, opera, performance art, and more. With a wide range of elite performances by world-class talent at one of the most famous universities in the country, there are plenty of options to quench your creative desire, regardless of the medium you choose to enjoy (or even participate in).
Visit the Brooklyn Navy Yard
Located at a former Marine Commander’s home on Brooklyn’s shore, the Navy Yard was one of the nation’s first navy shipyards housed in this important historical site, which the Navy used for 165 years as an industrial complex.
Now, the space has been renovated and features exhibitions, open-air tours, archives, and educational activities honoring the accomplishments of the Navy Yard. Many of the city’s green enterprises, as well as other enterprises, can be found here today. You’ll discover more about the Navy Yard’s history, as well as the present initiatives taking place there, as well as the site’s future aspirations.
Stroll Through Green-Wood Cemetery
Though it sounds like a pretty macabre sightseeing location, the Green-Wood is one of the largest green spaces in Brooklyn, and the grounds feature iconic mausoleums, the grandest of statues, and beautiful Gothic Revival architecture that inspired a competition to design Central Park in Manhattan, as well as Prospect Park nearby.
However, considering its purpose, the location has nothing else to offer except for nice architectural design, cherubs, gargoyles, and Victorian mausoleums, so if that’s not your thing, give it a miss and visit one of the numerous Brooklyn Breweries.
Grab a Bite at DeKalb Market Hall
If you’re in for a hot dog or any other type of food, DeKalb is a fantastically delicious place to visit while visiting Brooklyn. The market hall is filled with food vendors, and considering the diversity present in Brooklyn, you’ll find different cuisines from all different parts of the world. Of course, you’ll need to wash all of that delicacy down, and the market hall also has a few wine cellars and liqueur stores.
Visit Smorgasburg Food Market
The Food Market always draws a large crowd, and as it happens, the Smorgasburg is organized in collaboration with the Brooklyn Flea Market. The weekly event offers a wide selection of local and international cuisine across more than 35 different food stands and tents.
The event hosts everything, from hot dogs and burgers to fried chicken, Jamaican jerk pork, or simple bagels. Everything about Smorgasburg is delicious, but beware, you’re most likely to cheat on your diet.
Explore Brooklyn’s Children’s Museum
Brooklyn’s children’s museum is actually the nation’s first children-focused museum, and it features around 30,000 unique items, including musical instruments, masks, dolls, and fossils, all of which can be found within the museum’s collection. It’s a wonderful place where kids can play, experiment, create art, learn crafts, and much more.
Admire the Bedford-Stuyvesant Brownstones
You haven’t really seen Brooklyn and its local architecture until you see at least one Brownstone up close. The Bedford-Stuyvesant historic district is home to many Brownstones, most of which were constructed between 1870 and 1900 and included lovely, hand-crafted architectural features.
Brooklyn is driven by diversity and various cultural influences, as well as numerous community events, so the borough really has plenty to offer, besides its rich history and booming economy. If you’re considering a trip to Brooklyn or you’re interested in moving there, we hope our guide piqued your interest in some of Brooklyn’s sightseeing locations.
However, if you’re considering selling your Brooklyn real estate, don’t hesitate to contact Leave The Key Homebuyers — we buy homes in New York City and State residents are looking to sell, providing our clients with rapid service, quick appraisal, and fast cash payments.