New York City wasn’t always the bustling, modern metropolis it is today. In the 1800s, the merchant Hezekiah Beers Pierrepont purchased acres of land in what was once a Native American settlement. Initially advertised as a “country retreat” for Manhattan’s workers, the area eventually became accessible via a subway line. Apartment buildings and boarding houses were built, earning it the title of America’s first suburb.
Today, Brooklyn Heights stands as one of New York’s upscale neighborhoods, with beautiful brownstone buildings and historical landmarks dating back to before the Civil War. Planning a visit or considering it as your next home? Here are some of the best things to do in Brooklyn Heights, NY.
Outdoor Activities in Brooklyn Heights
1. Take in a scenic view of lower Manhattan and New York Harbor
Arguably Brooklyn Heights’ most popular tourist attraction, Brooklyn Heights Promenade gives unmatched views of lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge. New Yorkers and tourists alike flock to the promenade to enjoy the view, jog, or spend some quiet time outdoors.
Related: Find Rooms For Rent in Brooklyn, NY
2. Get up close and personal with the Brooklyn Bridge
If you want the quintessential Brooklyn experience, head on over to Brooklyn Bridge Park. Parkgoers can go for a run, have a picnic with friends, or enjoy the view of Brooklyn Bridge. We’d consider this one of the best things to do in Brooklyn Heights if you love the outdoors.
Sports in Brooklyn Heights
3. Re-live the Brooklyn Dodgers’ pre-Los Angeles days
Once known as the Waldorf-Astoria of Brooklyn, Brooklyn Heights’ Hotel Bossert was the Brooklyn Dodgers’ home in the 1950s. With such a history, it only seems natural for baseball fans to want to play the sport in the area. Book the Murry Bergtraum Softball field, which offers well-maintained amenities for both players and spectators. It’s one of the best things to do in Brooklyn Heights if you’re nostalgic about the Dodgers’ pre-LA days.
4. Participate in a sports league
As part of New York City’s NYC Social initiative, people can sign up for sports leagues available in their area. Brooklyn Heights, in particular, has volleyball, soccer, and bocce teams. You can join any team and have fun meeting new people or hanging out with your friends. Whether you’re super sporty or just looking for a unique social activity, this is one of the top places to visit in Brooklyn Heights.
Museums in Brooklyn Heights
5. Soak in New York’s rich subway culture
If you’re in New York City, then you’re bound to ride the subway, which is an iconic part of the city’s culture and history. The New York Transit Museum takes you back in time, situated in an authentic Brooklyn subway station decommissioned in 1936. The museum features tours and fascinating exhibits showcasing restored subway cars.
- Friday – Sunday: 11 am–4 pm
Entrance Fee: $10 for adults; $5 for children ages 2-17 and for senior citizens age 62 and above
6. Immerse yourself in Brooklyn’s rich history
The Center for Brooklyn History is one of the best places to visit in Brooklyn Heights as its collection spans almost 140 years. Pore over artifacts, thousands of books, digitized historical maps, films, and newspapers to learn all about the city’s amazing heritage and history. It’s an educational center, library, and museum in one. It’s located in one of Brooklyn Heights’ most splendid landmarks, featuring architect George Post’s iconic Romanesque-Revival style.
- Timings: Monday – Friday: 10 am-4 pm
- Entrance fee: Free
7. Step back into time
Nothing compares to the experience of visiting a physical historical landmark and stepping into the confines of a preserved structure. One such place of interest is the Hunterfly Road Houses, an African American community’s neighborhood in Weeksville from 1840-1880. Get to see clothes, old photographs, as well as fragments of ceramics and glassware. It’s hands down one of the best things to do in Brooklyn Heights, NY in terms of history and culture.
- Tuesday-Thursday: 10 am to 12 pm for pre-scheduled tours
- Tuesday-Thursday: 3 pm, Saturday at 12:30 pm, 2 pm, and 3:30 pm for walk-in tours
Cultural Locations in Brooklyn Heights
8. Take a selfie outside the People’s Trust Building
Peppered throughout Brooklyn Heights are structures dating back to the late 1800s, featuring a neoclassical architectural style. The People’s Trust building along Nostrand Avenue stands today as a relic of the bustling commerce in the area at the time. Marble Roman columns grace the façade of the structure, with lion heads and leaf details. If you love a good selfie, this Instagram-worthy spot is surely one of the top things to do in Brooklyn Heights, NY!
9. Steal a kiss on Love Lane
Love Lane is definitely one of the most interestingly named streets in Brooklyn Heights. That’s because, in the 1880s, men used to drop off their girlfriends at the all-girls school nearby and make out there in the carriage. Add that to your list of interesting places to visit in Brooklyn Heights!
Shopping Centers, Bars, & Restaurants in Brooklyn Heights
10. Find a treasure at Montague Street
Brooklyn Heights’ Montague Street is your go-to for almost anything. Apart from its offering of thrift stores, clothing stores, and bookstores, the street is also home to some of the city’s biggest food chains. Whichever cuisine you prefer, you’ll have your pick of the best restaurants in Brooklyn Heights here.
11. Have a purrfect time
The Brooklyn Cat Café along Montague Street is a haven for cat lovers in the neighborhood. While having coffee, you can play with any of the café’s adorable rescued cats, which are all available for adoption. They also host events like cat parties, cat yoga, and game nights, too.
- Sunday, Friday, and Saturday: 12 pm-7 pm
- Closed on Monday to Thursday
12. Refresh yourself with craft cocktails
30-year-old Vineapple Café on Pineapple Street almost closed permanently in 2019, but it reopened shortly after following popular demand. It’s no surprise that this restaurant has earned its place in people’s hearts. Customers keep going back for its coffee, sustainably sourced wine and beer, and old family recipes. Make sure to check out their Frozen Vodka Mint Lemonade and Hot Toddies. As one of the most recommended restaurants in Brooklyn Height, this place should definitely be on your to-do list.
- Monday – Thursday: 7 am-10 pm
- Friday: 7 am-11 pm
- Saturday: 8 am-11 pm
- Sunday: 8 am-10 pm
We hope this tour gives you plenty of great ideas for museums, outdoor activities, cultural locations, and amazing restaurants in Brooklyn Heights. Have fun exploring!
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