Big, refreshing and super fun Brooklyn Bridge Park stretches along the East River and features must-see NYC vistas, a fresh breeze from the open water, beautiful gardens and lots of opportunities to play and relax among diverse nature.
The 85-acre Brooklyn Bridge Park revitalized 1.3 miles (2.1 km) of Brooklyn waterfront from John Street in the DUMBO neighborhood to Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn Heights. The unique park runs underneath the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges, past the Brooklyn Promenade and over the river on several piers.
A little history…
What was once a vital part the NY shipping industry had fallen into disrepair over the decades – with abandoned warehouses sitting on piers jutting far out into the river. Plans to turn part of the East River waterfront into a park began in the 1980s.
In 2010, the first official section of Brooklyn Bridge Park opened: a revitalized version of Pier 1 covered by lawns and trees… right next to Fulton Ferry Landing, home of the magnificent Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory. Yum!!! Several areas already in existence along the water in DUMBO received a nature-facelift and were incorporated into the park around the same time.
By today, Piers 2, 3, 5 and 6 (which all sit on pile-supported structures) are finished as well. Pier 4 doesn’t exist as a pier per se, but offers a small beach and a marina for private boats. A greenway connects all the piers as well as Empire Fulton Ferry Park, Jane’s Carousel, Main Street Park and Pebble Beach in DUMBO.
Each Brooklyn Bridge Park pier has a slightly different focus:
Pier 1 – trees, open spaces and panoramic views of Lower Manhattan.
Pier 2 – sports: basketball, handball, ping pong, bocce, fitness equipment and turf.
Pier 3 – parkland features a lawn surrounded by trees and shrubs
Pier 4 – beach and ONE°15 Brooklyn Bridge Marina
Pier 5 – soccer fields, grills and fishing station
Pier 6 – fun for everyone: playground, dog park, volleyball, restaurants, Governors Island Ferry and flowers galore (seasonal)
Brooklyn Bridge Park FAQs
You can reach the park via subway (A/C, 2/3, 4/5, F, R), bus (B25, B61, B63, B67) and the ferry.
There are several places that sell food and beverages. No, you’re not allowed to bring alcohol into the park, but you can buy and consume such beverages at Fornino (Pier 6) and Luke’s Lobster (Fulton Ferry Landing). Plenty of picnic tables, grills and lawns invite you to enjoy your homemade food. You’ll find free drinking water at Pier 5. Smoking is not allowed in the park.
Hey, but dogs are allowed in Brooklyn Bridge Park – but not on the lawns. Dog parks are at the north and south ends of Brooklyn Bridge Park. Of course, there are also playgrounds for children. The park has public bathrooms and lockers and… a sizable fish-cleaning station on Pier 5 – and seasonal kayaking lessons!
With so many things to do in Brooklyn Bridge Park, it might be the NYC park with the most outdoor-fun-having opportunities! And that makes it an ideal place to try out this “secret” to being happier: Take a break. Go outside. Have fun.
Want to see some action? Watch a time-lapse video of a sunset seen from Pier 6 with plenty of boats zipping by and the Manhattan lights coming up: Sunset Time Lapse – In A Brooklyn Minute (Week 115)
Want to see even more? Check out this 1-minute video of Brooklyn Bridge Park from the Moving Postcard web series.
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All photos in this post were taken by Luci Westphal. By clicking on an individual image you can see a larger version – and even purchase a print if you’re so inclined.