Image by Henglein and Steets Getty Images
This 85-acre park is one of Brooklyn’s best-loved attractions. Wrapping itself around a 1.3-mile bend on the East River, it runs from just beyond the far side of the Manhattan Bridge in Dumbo to the west end of Atlantic Ave in Brooklyn Heights. It's revitalized a once-barren stretch of shoreline, turning a series of abandoned piers into beautifully landscaped parkland with jaw-dropping views of Manhattan. There's lots to see and do here, with playgrounds, walkways and lawns galore.
You'll find free open-air summertime events like film screenings, outdoor yoga/Pilates classes and dance parties (often on Pier 1); courts for basketball, handball and bocce, plus a roller-skating rink (Pier 2); kayak and stand-up paddleboard hire (Pier 4 beach); fantastic playgrounds and a watery play area (Pier 6); and even a new bouldering wall (at Main St Park, under the Manhattan Bridge in Dumbo). Summertime ferries to Governors Island depart from Pier 6, which also has wood-fired pizzas and amazing sundowner views at Fornino, while Pier 5 has sand volleyball courts and some of Brooklyn's best ice cream from the Ample Hills Creamery kiosk. The Empire Fulton Ferry section, just past the Brooklyn Bridge, has the lovingly restored 1922 Jane's Carousel and the best views of the bridge framed against the towering skyscrapers of Lower Manhattan. Squibb Park Bridge offers a direct pedestrian path to Pier 1 from Brooklyn Heights.
Note the different closing times for various sections of the park: Pier 2 closes at 8pm; Pier 6's volleyball courts, Pier 5 and Squibb Park Bridge all close at 11pm; playgrounds close at dusk. The rest of the park is open till 1am.