Beyond Manhattan: Visiting Brooklyn & Queens
Growing up in Brooklyn was truly special, and I love going back there. After all my years living in DC, Brooklyn still feels like home. Everyone has their own Brooklyn, but here are some of my absolute favorite things to do when I am there – make sure you bring your walking shoes and your appetite.
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Where to stay
Indie boutique hotel on Rockaway Beach, just a subway ride from NYC.
1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge
1 Hotels brings its eco-minded ethos to this waterfront perch in Brooklyn Heights with killer views of the Bridge, East River and Manhattan skyline.
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Day 1: Arrive in Brooklyn
Time for a stroll
Put on your walking shoes, and get ready for some fun.
Take a stroll through Brooklyn Bridge Park and take in the views. Once you get to Atlantic Avenue, walk toward Court Street and then continue south on it.
Dinner, wine and dessert
Grab dinner at Frankie’s 457 or their wine bar called Franks. Pro tip: ask to sit in the delightful backyard at Frankie’s.
Walk back to your hotel and stop at Court Street Pastry on the way for a delicious Italian ice or a cannoli. Don’t miss out on the view from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade!
Day 2: Amusement park fun
Coney Island and Brooklyn Aquarium
Hop on the A train, switch to the F and take it to the last stop because Coney Island and the Brooklyn Aquarium are waiting for you.
Enjoy some rides, like the infamous Cyclone, walk the boardwalk and spend some time at the aquarium.
Lunch on Coney Island
You can hit up Nathan’s Famous for a casual lunch or if you want something a bit fancier head to Gargiulo’s Restaurant. Ordering the fried zucchini is a must, and don’t forget to think of a number for the dice!
Dinner and a view
If you have any room left to eat dinner, try any of the delicious pizza places by your hotel and have a drink at the hotel’s rooftop bar under the city’s lights. Fornino Pizza or Grimaldi’s won’t disappoint – but L and B Spumoni Gardens will change your life.
Day 3: Check out Brooklyn’s museums and gardens
A morning by Prospect Park
When you wake up, walk up to Brooklyn Heights and take the subway to the Brooklyn Museum and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Look for mummies at the museum and check out whatever special exhibits they have, past favorites have included Kaws and Dior. Stroll through the gardens and relax in the cherry blossoms or the Japanese Hill and Pond Garden.
Park Slope dinner and ice cream
A note from Deb
The cherry blossom season runs from the end of March through April, so plan accordingly if you’d like to see the spring blooms! However, Brooklyn Botanic Garden is a great visit year-round.
Day 4: Celebrity tombstones and a scenic ferry to Queens
Greenwood Cemetery and Park Slope lunch
Hop on the subway in Brooklyn Heights and head to Greenwood Cemetery to see some of the best views in the city and pay your respects to some real New Yorkers including Louis Comfort Tiffany, Leonard Bernstein, “Boss” Tweed and Peter Cooper.
Wander back toward Park Slope and grab lunch at any number of delicious spots. If you have time, stop in at Ladybird Bakery for coffee and a dessert. I recommend the Brooklyn Blackout Cake.
Ferry ride to your Queens stay
Check out of your hotel, head to the NYC Ferry dock and hop on to Rockaway. Enjoy the killer views of the city from the top deck along with a great view of Coney Island and the Verrazano Bridge.
When you get off the ferry, walk the three blocks to Rockaway Hotel. Ditch your bags, go for a walk along the boardwalk and check out the adorable bungalows.
Making the most out of Rockaway Hotel
Have a delicious dinner at Margie’s at the hotel and hop across the street for more ice cream at Coastal Frozen Yogurt. Afterward, spend the evening enjoying the rooftop bar back at the hotel. They often have live music, and the view is spectacular.
Day 5: Pool-time and checkout
Enjoy your morning at the hotel pool or by the beach, and don’t forget to eat the best bagels around at Boardwalk Bagel. And yes, you should probably take some home!
Get in touch with Deb
Reach out to customize and book your own experience. Or, just to chat about travel in general.