BROOKLYN, NY - Of course, New Jersey has a whole host of fun and exciting day trips ideal for the summer, but sometimes the Garden State's close proximity to the Big Apple beckons for an adventure. A stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge is on many a bucket list and is well worth the trip up the New Jersey Turnpike and across the river.
The Brooklyn Bridge is one of New York's many iconic sites and connects Manhattan to Brooklyn. It is the oldest suspension bridge built in America and spans more than 1,500 feet. A one-way walk across is one point three miles. Around 4,000 people and over 3,000 cyclists make the trip each day according to statistics from the New York Department of Transportation and the steel-wire suspension bridge is a prime tourist stop and yes, the views are well worth the effort to get to Brooklyn.
While the Manhattan side is a bit easier to access, head to the Brooklyn side to experience a different side of city life. Utilize one of the many available parking apps and choose a garage near the bridge to avoid the hassles of street parking. Public transportation is another option for travelers who want to take the bus or train into Manhattan and then subway it out to Brooklyn.
There are two ways to access the bridge on the Brooklyn side. One is the underpass on Washington Street and the other is the intersection of Tillary Street and Boerum Place. This is the spot where the Brooklyn Bridge Pedestrian Walkway starts. There is not a fee to walk or ride a bike across the Brooklyn Bridge, which is free in both directions for cars as well.
Once walkers access the bridge, pay particular attention to the clearly marked lanes for bikers and walkers. A lot of New Yorkers use the Brooklyn Bridge to commute to and from work while a large group of tourists bike across the span. Being mindful of the lanes will help to avoid an accident that could put a damper on an otherwise cool outing.
The Brooklyn Bridge is open 24/7 and is an extremely popular destination especially in summer. If you want a walk that is a bit less crowded during the summer, the earlier the better. Sunset is also a prime time for many visitors because the views are spectacular on clean evenings.
Once visitors have made the stroll across and back while enjoying the views and taking stunning pictures to share on social media, make time to enjoy the sites surrounding the bridge. A walk along the Brooklyn Heights Promenade delievers breathtaking views of lower Manhattan and more. Brooklyn Bridge Park sits right along the East River and is a fun place to explore with its gardens, piers, roller rink and more. Restrooms are located in several spots.
A ride on Jane's Carousel in Brooklyn Bridge Park is a must-do for the young and young-at-heart. This wooden carousel was built in 1922 by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company. It originally was a part of Youngstown, Ohio's Idora Park. The historic carousel was purchased by Jane and David Walentas in 1984 at auction. The pieces were restored by Jane Walentas and the carousel was a gift to the park by the couple. It sits inside a glass pavilion designed by Jean Nouvel and first greeted riders in September of 2011.
During the summer Jane's Carousel is open six days a week from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. It is closed on Tuesdays. A ride is $2 per person. Children three and younger are free, but must ride with a paying adult.
Head into the adjacent neighborhood of Brooklyn Heights for a delightful choice of restaurants and shops. The historic, tree-lined, cobblestone streets offer stylish brownstones, shopping, cafes and more. The neighborhood is only a short stroll from the Brooklyn Bridge.