What to Do in Brooklyn Heights

October 28, 2021

Brooklyn Heights Guide I wit & whimsy

I’ve lived in Brooklyn Heights for over four years and absolutely love calling this charming neighborhood home. This small nook of Brooklyn is right on the East River and offers so much to see and do. I first fell for the beautiful tree lined streets and gorgeous brownstones but it is the warm community that keeps me calling Brooklyn Heights home.

Brooklyn Heights, New York I @meghandono

What to Do in Brooklyn Heights

Brooklyn Heights is a storied neighborhood – dating back to 1834. Many consider it the first official neighborhood of the United States according to home records! The entire neighborhood is classified as historic to ensure it maintains protected. Brooklyn Heights was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1966.

Brooklyn Heights is largely residential and is bounded by Old Fulton Street near the Brooklyn Bridge on the north, Cadman Plaza West on the east, Atlantic Avenue on the south and the Brooklyn–Queens Expressway. I love that I am in walking distance to Dumbo, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill and Downtown Brooklyn nearby.

Brooklyn Heights is also a great place due to its accessibility to Manhattan. It features a variety of subway lines so you can easily pop up from a subway station and begin enjoying the neighborhood. It is also accessible via the NYC Ferry Dumbo station.

Read on for how to make the most of your time while in the neighborhood.

Brooklyn Heights Promenade

The Promenade is my favorite place in the neighborhood. On weekend days where I don’t have any morning plans I love to pick up a coffee and muffin on Montague Street and head over to one of the promenade benches and settle in for people watching, peeping the beautiful lower Manhattan skyline and catching up on my podcasts. You get amazing views of Lower Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge.

Brooklyn Bridge Park

Brooklyn Bridge Park runs along the East River and just below the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. It offers sweeping views of the Brooklyn Bridge and Lower Manhattan and you’ll be able to easily spot the Statue of Liberty and watch the Staten Island Ferry go in and out of the terminal. There are running paths and bike paths, piers for recreational sports and playgrounds for kids. You’ll also find communal grills and picnic tables for use.

Walk the Brooklyn Bridge

Walking the Brooklyn Bridge never gets old – even for this local. From Brooklyn you can get on the bridge easily via the stairs at Cadman Plaza East. Once on the bridge, you get amazing views of Lower and Midtown Manhattan, the Manhattan Bridge and DUMBO.

Columbia Heights

Columbia Heights features some of the most expensive real estate in Brooklyn. This six block street is worth strolling down to look at the beautiful architecture and some spectacular brownstones.

Atlantic Avenue

Loads of shops and restaurants abound on Atlantic Avenue – the main thoroughfare that runs through a lot of Brooklyn and separates Brooklyn Heights from Cobble Hill. 

Montague Street

Montague Street is the high street of Brooklyn Heights. It offers a variety of shops, the fan-favorite Brooklyn Cat Cafe and several restaurants. The street dead-ends into the Brooklyn Heights Promenade.

Remsen Street

The last block of Remsen Street beginning at Hicks Street is a personal favorite of mine. Gorgeous homes to view and the start of the Brooklyn Heights Promenade.

Carriage Houses

I love the architecture in this neighborhood so much – patricianly the small streets featuring decades old carriage houses. The best spots to see them are Hunts Lane, College Place and Grace Court Alley.

Willow Street

My favorite quiet street to stroll down. Don’t miss nearby Joe Coffee and the oh-so-photogenic carriage house on Pineapple Street between Willow and Hicks. Willow Street also features another favorite carriage house between Clark and Pierrepont Streets.

The Fruit Bowl

So named because of Brooklyn Heights’ streets named Orange Street, Cranberry Street and Pineapple Street, the Fruit Bowl as locals often refer to it is the heart of Brooklyn Heights. It’s worth strolling each of these streets.

The Center for Brooklyn History

Formerly known as the Brooklyn Historical Society, you can visit the beautiful building at 128 Pierrepont Street on the corner of Clinton Street if you’re a history buff.

Joralemon Street

Joralemon is the fastest way down to Brooklyn Bridge Park but also happens to be one of the most delightful streets in the neighborhood thanks to its block of colorful homes beginning after crossing Hicks Street as you head towards the East River.

Take a Walking Tour

If interested in knowing more about specific historical buildings in the neighborhood, a variety of walking tours exist that will give you details into the streets and homes.

Have a Picnic

Grab your favorite picnic items and pack them up to head to the Brooklyn Bridge Park greens for a picnic. If you get the right spot, you’ll be able to enjoy a stellar sunset in certain seasons.

New York Transit Museum

The New York Transit Museum is a great place to take kids. Enjoy interactive exhibits and learn a bit of history about the role transportation has played in New York City, too.

Pilot

In the summer, book at Pilot to enjoy drinks or dinner on a boat docked in the East River. You’ll get to enjoy sunset if you time it right as the sun sets behind lower New York City.

Lassen & Hennigs

I love this old school deli’s homemade desserts (get the sprinkle cookies or a slice of red velvet cake) but they also make delicious muffins and sandwiches that I truly can’t get enough of. Don’t miss their inexpensive cold brew or the yummy pre-made grab & go salads. They also make a great bagel. I highly recommend hitting up this spot and enjoying what you pick up over on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade just two blocks away.

Sahadi’s

This Middle Eastern grocery store is a foodie’s paradise. It’s been open since 1948 on Atlantic Avenue and is world famous for good reason. Come here for their prepared food offerings and any interesting grocery item your imagination can dream up.

Colonie

Colonie is a great spot for brunch or dinner. Reservations recommended.

L’Appartement4f

Soon you’ll be order to visit this initially online-only bakery. The couple behind L’Appartement4f are planning to open a brick and mortar spot on Montague Street in the Heights early in 2022. Their croissants, cookies and bread are my very favorite in New York City. They are perfect to grab before you head to the Promenade or Brooklyn Bridge Park.

The Long Island Bar

Ok, The Long Island Bar is technically in Cobble Hill – but given it is just across Atlantic Avenue – and an institution frequented by those of us in Brooklyn Heights – I had to include it. The Long Island Bar has been serving food and drinks for almost 55 years on this charming corner in Brooklyn. You can’t beat their burger and martini. It’s one of my favorite meals in my neighborhood!

Elsa Bar

Also technically in Cobble Hill but so close to the Heights I had to include it. I adore the stylish atmosphere of Elsa and their inventive, delicious cocktails. You can’t beat their back patio on a summer evening either.

Henry Street Wine Bar & Kitchen.

A great date night spot with delicious food and good wines. Henry Street also serves a great happy hour.

Ella Crown Bakehouse

Ella Crown serves up delicious, large and gooey cookies that make the perfect sweet tooth satisfier!

 . . .

If interested in Brooklyn Heights, be sure to follow me on Instagram where I am always sharing neighborhood favorites.

Have you been to Brooklyn Heights? I would love to hear your thoughts on the neighborhood!

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[Wearing Everlane sweater; Jeans; Jenni Kayne mules]

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