At first glance, Brooklyn Heights is a neighborhood with only two real commercial strips, which keeps its charm and quiet nature. At night, you won’t find loud events on the streets and there aren’t even many restaurants open late. It’s like this neighborhood likes to stay neighborhood-y.

We personally vouch for Brooklyn Heights because we lived there! We really enjoy the quick access to Brooklyn Bridge Park, all of the historic buildings and history and the promenade.

Steeped in centuries of history

If you walk along the leafy streets, you’ll notice that this place is historic. It’s so old and true to its nature that little has changed about many colonial homes in 200 years.

Old building at golden hour in Brooklyn Heights Historic building in Brooklyn Heights

Did you know that Brooklyn Heights was the first suburb of Manhattan? It’s true! Before the Brooklyn Bridge was built (it’s close by! Try to walk across, or at least give it a shot half-way), people had to take a ferry.

💡 The Brooklyn Bridge is usually crowded. If you’re running or biking, the Manhattan Bridge is a much better option, as it’s a bridge less traveled by tourists.

The Manhattan Bridge viewed from Dumbo

Taking photos on the Manhattan Bridge

Brooklyn Heights is characterized by two commercial areas, and that’s about it. They are Montague Street between Clinton and Hicks, and Henry Street around the Clark Street subway station (2 and 3 train). Both of these places have their fair share of stores and restaurants. Brooklyn Heights is a little light on the bar and cafe scene.

Local secrets about Brooklyn Heights

The cutest lanes, which qualify as some of the shortest streets in Brooklyn, are Love Lane, Hunts Lane and Grace Court Alley. These little dead-end streets are home to converted carriage houses and quiet doorsteps. Love Lane got its name from being a place where lovers would walk and go on dates, back during the neighborhood’s earliest era.

Taking a picture down Love Lane Couple kissing on Love Lane

Joralemon Street has the best colors and you may even find a facade that serves as a ventilation building for the 4 & 5 subway line under this street. Can you find it?

Houses on Joralemon Street

The fake subway brownstone on Joralemon Street

1Hotel isn’t really a secret. It’s actually an expensive hotel. They have a cafe with overpriced cookies 🍪 and coffee ☕. If you go to the lobby of 1Hotel, you can enjoy the wonderful decorations. You’ll find vertical plants hanging on walls, unique design and a beautifully-designed restaurant. Head toward the elevators and sometimes there are free cookies (more cookies!), fruit and something to drink there. Use those elevators and take it to the roof to get your fill of excellent views above the East River.

Seating area in 1Hotel

Big chairs at 1Hotel

The 1Hotel lobby The 1Hotel lobby

🚶‍ Walk around the Fruit Streets - Orange Street, Cranberry Street and Pineapple Street, with their charming architecture. This is the Brooklyn Heights that you’re picturing.

Ice Cream truck

There is a wooden bridge at the end of the Promenade. It brings you down to DUMBO. To get to DUMBO, you can walk on the street or take this shortcut. The actual bridge isn’t a secret (although, we’d love if it is because it can get rather crowded.) Our secret is to catch the view here at the end of your day. If you get a friendly sky, the light becomes magical.

The wooden bridge at the end of the Promenade that connects Brooklyn Heights to DUMBO Sunset at the wooden bridge at the end of the Promenade that connects Brooklyn Heights to DUMBO

The Promenade

Next, walk down Montague or Remsen Street to the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. These streets will take you to the end of the Promenade. Come for golden hour and stay for sunset, when you can witness the sky changing beyond the outline of the Statue of Liberty and the Lower Manhattan Skyline.

The Brooklyn Heights Promenade

Man standing at the Brooklyn Heights Promenade Sunset with the Statue of Liberty in the background

What to Expect in Brooklyn Bridge Park

🚶‍ Walk down Joralemon Street all the way to the water (or take the wooden bridge!), where you’ll find the recently redeveloped piers that now house soccer fields, tennis courts, ping pong tables, basketball courts, picnic tables, grills and playgrounds.

Brooklyn Bridge Park from above Field at the Brooklyn Bridge Park piers Placeing basketball at the Brooklyn Bridge Park piers

This is a park for all people. There are also bars on boats (in the Spring and Summer), cafes with snacks and New York ferry terminals, where you can buy a ticket to ride a ferry to Manhattan or southbound to Red Hook and Sunset Park, Brooklyn.

Other Neighborhoods in Brooklyn

There’s a special place in our hearts for Park Slope and Williamsburg. When Dan first most into Brooklyn, he settled in Park Slope. It’s one of the nicest and comfortable neighborhoods in Brooklyn. Because it has quick access to Prospect Park and lots of great restaurants and bars, it’s a great place to check out. Williamsburg is an interesting neighborhood. It’s very bike friendly and has an excellent viewpoint to Manhattan via the East River. The neighborhood isn’t for us in terms of living – but we love visiting friends and walking around in Williamsburg!