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 best architecture at golden hour in Brooklyn Heights New York Historic building with old statue in Brooklyn Heights New York

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 on Washington Street famous spot for Instagram

Girl taking photos with Canon camera on the Manhattan Bridge in Brooklyn NY

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 of perspective at Love Lane Brooklyn Heights New York in winter Photo of couple kissing on Love Lane Brooklyn Heights New York street

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?

Fancy brownstone brick houses on Joralemon Street Brooklyn Heights New York

The fake subway brownstone disguise building on Joralemon Street Brooklyn Heights New York

Check out 1Hotel in Brooklyn Heights

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.

Chic design elements in eating area in lobby of 1Hotel Brooklyn Heights New York

Big comfy chairs in amazing design of 1Hotel Brooklyn Heights New York

The 1Hotel lobby interior and trendy design Brooklyn Heights New York The 1Hotel lobby design architecture and deco in Brooklyn Heights New York

What are the Fruit Streets in Brooklyn Heights?

🚶‍ 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 in Brooklyn Heights New York

The bridge to Brooklyn Bridge Park

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 New York Sunset at the wooden bridge at the end of the Promenade that connects Brooklyn Heights to DUMBO NYC

How to find the Brooklyn Heights 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.

Walk on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade see NYC skyline in New York

Man standing looking at skyline at the Brooklyn Heights Promenade NYC Epic sunset shot rainbow sky with the Statue of Liberty in the background Brooklyn Heights New York

Tips for Visiting 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.

Lit up Manhattan skyline buildings from Brooklyn Bridge Park Brooklyn Heights New York Close-up of turf at sports field at the Brooklyn Bridge Park piers Brooklyn Heights New York Men playing basketball at the Brooklyn Bridge Park piers Brooklyn Heights New York

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 to check out

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 toward 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!