When I think of New York City, I picture Manhattan. From Central Park, the Empire State Building, 5th Avenue, to Broadway, but to truly experience New York City you have to branch out of Manhattan. New York City is made up of five boroughs (divisions) including Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island. Brooklyn is the largest of these boroughs with about 2.6 million people! So whether it’s your 1st or 10th trip to the big apple here are five reasons you shouldn’t miss out on Brooklyn.
1 | Epic Views of the Manhattan Skyline
For the best views of the Manhattan skyline, you do of course, have to leave Manhattan and some of the best views are from Brooklyn.
The Brooklyn Bridge Park is 85-acres spanning over 1.3 miles of Brooklyn’s waterfront and offers breathtaking views of the Lower Manhattan panoramic skyline and the New York Harbor. Within the park you will find Pebble Beach, the historic carousel and many concessions.
2 | Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Brooklyn Botanic Garden is especially beautiful in the spring when the cherry blossoms are blooming. Each spring the gardens host the Sakura Matsuri Festival. A fun weekend celebrating traditional and contemporary Japanese culture.
3 | Prospect Park
Prospect Park is Brooklyn’s largest public park with 526 acres. Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert B. Vaux (designers of Central Park) created the park in 1867. Inside the park you will find a zoo, ice rink, carousel and athletic and recreational facilities. Many argue its a better park than Central Park.
Note: The NYC Parks website list all the parks in Brooklyn including things to do, special events and amenities.
4 | The Entertainment
Brooklyn has so much to do. One of my new favorites is the Kick-Ax Throwing in Boerum Hill. This fun new sport is similar to throwing darts but with axes! I was there with my 19 year old daughter, we had a blast goofing around in the photo prop room. They have a limited selection of beers and wine available for purchase and don’t worry about safety, they take it seriously. It was a fun experience that I would like to do again.
5| The Food
From food markets to top notch restaurants, Brooklyn has something for everybody. Here are a few of my favorite places…
The Bagel Pub has an incredible collection of bagels, smear, fresh juice, smoothies and more. I tried the cinnamon raison bagel with Maple Walnut smear, best bagel I have ever had. We were their on a Sunday morning and the place was packed. These bagels can only be found in Brooklyn so be sure to check it out if you are there.
Lantern Thai Kitchen is a neighborhood restaurant with creative Thai dishes at good prices. The restaurant is a little dark so be careful where you sit at lunch. In the evening the place comes alive with the light from lanterns hanging from the ceiling. Fun atmosphere and flavorful food.
Located between the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan Bridge is a traditional French bakery, Almondine Bakery. The cheesecake and the chocolate eclair were delicious!
I’ve barely touched the surface of the amazing things to do and see in to Brooklyn. Have you been to Brooklyn, what are your favorite things to do and see?