A trip to New York City may conjure up visions of Manhattan and all the traditional tourist landmarks, but if you limit your adventures to a single borough, you could be missing out on some of the other great things the rest of the city has to offer. Taking a bus to Brooklyn will let you see a whole different side of the Big Apple.
Brooklyn has an impressive history and plays an undeniable role in the history of New York City as well as the U.S. From early settlements to a Navy Yard and a booming industrial presence, the borough has seen both prosperity and decline. Today, it’s riding the wave of prosperity and have become a hip location for visitors and NYC residents alike.
The borough is packed with plenty of boutiques and shops and enough restaurants and pubs to make it a perfect stop for foodies. But there’s also plenty to do in between your shopping and dining stops. Here are just a few highlights:
Certain structures are inseparable from any notion of New York City. The Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building, and One World Trade Center, to name a few. But there’s just something magical about the Brooklyn Bridge.
Perhaps it’s the fact the 125-year-old bridge was the first steel-wire suspension bridge in the world. Or, perhaps symbolic significance it takes on, linking two of the biggest boroughs together, making it easy for commerce, culture, and of course people to connect.
Either way, it’s a sight to behold. The trip across offers you the opportunity to travel a route that millions while you take in some of the best views the city has to offer.
Brooklyn Children’s Museum
Located in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum offers three floors of educational excitement to kids between 0 – 8, though older children may still enjoy the experience.
While there, you can check out awesome exhibits including Totally Tots, which is designed for the 0 – 6 age group; World Brooklyn, a series of storefronts where kids can pretend their way through bakeries, grocery stores, and other community staples; and the ColorLab, where visitors can get in touch with their creative side.
The museum also offers a Sensory room, where children of all abilities can explore as well a plethora of rotating exhibits cultivate to engage and excite the kiddos.
If you’re considering a trip, it’s worth noting that the Brooklyn Children’s Museum takes child safety very seriously and is only open to visitors with children in tow. If you’re planning on visiting as an adult sans the kids, you’ll need to make an appointment.
Manhattan isn’t the only borough to have a park packed with things to do. Brooklyn’s Prospect Park is a 585-acre green space that offers visitors a little bit of everything and a lot of fun. Here are just a few things you’ll be able to check out while you’re there:
- Prospect Park Zoo: Run by the Wilderness Conservation Society, the Prospect Park Zoo is home to almost 400 animals. It’s open year-round and offers both indoor and outdoor exhibits.
- The Carousel: Dating back to 1912, this hand-carved carousel is one of the most popular attractions in the park.
- LeFrak Center at Lakeside: The LeFrak Center is an outdoor space that offers tons of activity throughout the year. In the winter, the center offers ice skating, curling, hockey and more And as the weather gets warming, it transforms into an outdoor center for rolling skating, biking, boating, and other water sports.
New York Aquarium
Explore an underwater world at one of the nation’s oldest aquariums. Located in Coney Island, the New York Aquarium offers an impressive collection of aquatic life and is a hot spot for visitors of all ages.
While there, you can visit both indoor and outdoor exhibits, which include an Aquatheter where you can catch live sea lions; the Conservation Hall and Glover’s Reef, where you can get up close with all types of marine life; and the Sea Cliffs, where you can watch as penguins, sea otters, and seals bounce about. The aquarium also recently opened Ocean Wonders: Sharks!, which allows you to check out sharks, sea turtles, and rays, as well as plenty of fish.
The aquarium opens at 10 am year-round, but if you’re visiting during the winter, you’ll want to get there early. It closes by 4:30, with a last-entry time of 3:30.
Although a cemetery may not seem like an ideal spot to visit on your trip to New York City, the Green-Wood Cemetery is an exception. Dating back to 1838, Green-Wood covers 478 acres and is the final resting place for wealthy and notable New Yorkers, including Leonard Bernstein, Boss Tweed, and several Civil War soldiers and generals.
Before becoming a cemetery, the land served as the primary location for the Battle of Brooklyn during the 1776 Revolutionary War. And today, it offers visitors access to beautiful landscapes, magnificent Gothic Revival architecture, historic trolley tours, and a number of scheduled events. The landmark is also home to a thriving bird population and is a popular spot for bird watching.
Looking for a totally different city experience? Coney Island may be your answer. Here, you’ll find sun, surf, and vintage-style fun that you just can’t get anywhere else in New York.
One of Coney Island’s biggest attractions is Luna Park, where you can hop on one of the many amusement park rides, including the iconic Wonder Wheel Ferris wheel. Once you’re finished checking out all the rides, you can stop at the original Nathan’s hotdogs or one of the many other restaurant hot spots.
Coney Island is more than an amusement park, however. While there, you can get some sand between your toes on the beach or take a stroll on the Coney Island Boardwalk. If you walk far enough up the boardwalk, you can make your way up to Brighton Beach, another Brooklyn-based beach known for a laid back atmosphere, great traditional ethnic food spots, and some popular nightclubs.
Though parts of Coney Island are open throughout the year, the best time to visit is between Easter and Halloween, when the weather is nice and the neighborhood is in full swing.
Taking a Bus to Brooklyn
If you’re thinking of heading to Brooklyn to check out the “other” part of New York City, then the best way to do so is by bus. Taking a bus to Brooklyn lets you bypass all the chaos associated with travel, like tolls, parking, and driving in general. Plus, with schedules that accommodate travel throughout the day, seven days a week, it’s easy to hop into the city and spend a few hours or a few days, whatever your adventure requires.
Chartering a Bus to Brooklyn
Why travel alone when you can bring friends, family, or your entire organization? If you’re planning on heading to Brooklyn with a group, then you can charter a bus to Brooklyn and create an itinerary that matches your travel goals. You pick the departure and arrival locations, and we’ll handle the rest. It’s the cheaper and easier way to travel.
Manhattan is a great place to visit, but if you’re looking to explore a different part of the Big Apple, then a trip to Brooklyn is just what you need. Filled with eateries, shops, history, and tons of activities, it’s a great way to spend the day and check out everything New York has to offer.