Red Hook (Brooklyn), New York
The nine-year-old Brooklyn Cruise Terminal is located in Red Hook, New York, an industrial neighborhood that's just a short drive from Manhattan. At one time, it was home to one of the busiest ports in the nation, but these days, you’ll probably grab a meal on Van Brunt Street and catch a glimpse of Lady Liberty from the end of the dock, or just head out of the neighborhood to explore. Brooklyn is the most populous of all five New York City boroughs, and it's known for arts and culture: Check out the Brooklyn Brewery, the New York Transit Museum, or the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The rest of the city? It’s all just a cab or water taxi away.
What We Love
Brooklyn Museum: Take a cab to the Brooklyn Museum on Eastern Parkway. For a suggested fee of $16 per person, you can see, oh, somewhere about 1.5 million works of art, including pieces from Claude Monet, an impressive Egyptian collection, and everything in between. Just remember: It’s closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden: Turn the corner from the museum to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and enter the gates. You’ll find a zen Japanese garden and a conservatory with exotic flowers. Each spring, the cherry blossoms draw big crowds.
Best Known For
Brooklyn Bridge: The iconic bridge, opened in 1883, crosses the East River to connect Brooklyn and Manhattan. To start on the Brooklyn end and make your way to Manhattan, there’s an entrance on Tillary Street and Boerum Place. Be prepared for crowds of tourists with selfie sticks.
Prospect Park: Though it doesn’t have the status of Manhattan’s Central Park, Prospect Park has just as much to offer. Take a stroll through the Prospect Park Zoo, or grab a bite from the Food Truck Rally on weekends in Grand Army Plaza and set up a picnic on the lawn.
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Who It's Best For
Foodies: The best way to sample Brooklyn’s culinary variety is at Smorgasburg—an outdoor food market showcasing local vendors every weekend in the summertime. The food is great—sometimes eclectic—but the best part is your backdrop: Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridge.
People Watchers: If you're amused by beards and ironic T-shirts, you’ll enjoy immersing yourself in the hipster-friendly neighborhood of Williamsburg. Here, you’ll find more vintage clothing shops and record stores than you’ll likely have time to browse.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Red Hook Is Isolated: There's little public transportation here, so you’ll want to take a cab to Borough Hall to hop on a subway, or to Pier 12 to catch a ferry.
Kayla Becker is a New York City-based contributor to ShermansCruise and the assistant editor for the site.