Once a nondescript ferry landing and industrial manufacturing area, Dumbo underwent a striking renovation in the latter half of the 20th century. It also changed monikers: Formerly known as Gairville, the neighborhood was redubbed Dumbo—short for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass—in the 1970s. Now home to art galleries, tech companies, and top-notch bars and restaurants, Dumbo has become one of New York City’s most expensive and in-demand areas. Its proximity to the Brooklyn Bridge and Brooklyn Bridge Park also makes it a popular tourist destination.
Dumbo features on dozens of New York itineraries, many of which pair Brooklyn Bridge walks with neighborhood explorations. Other tours focus on the area’s destination-worthy food scene, while biking tours offer a speedy way to sightsee.
Things to Know Before You Go
One of Dumbo’s most photographed corridors is Washington Street, which perfectly frames the view of the Brooklyn Bridge between two buildings.
The Brooklyn Flea is a popular vintage, craft, and food market, and it’s held in Dumbo’s Manhattan Bridge Archway on Sundays from April to October.
Jane’s Carousel, located in Brooklyn Bridge Park, is a beautifully carved merry-go-round that dates to 1922—and it only costs a couple bucks to ride.
How to Get There
If you’re a Brooklyn first-timer, never fear: Dumbo is just minutes away from Lower Manhattan if you travel by subway. Take the A or C line to High Street–Brooklyn Bridge station or the F train to York Street station. The area can also be reached by ferry, bus, and water taxi, or on foot, by car, or by bike.
When to Get There
Dumbo is appealing throughout the year, but the neighborhood has so many open-air attractions that it’s best to go when the weather is fine. In the summer months, Brooklyn Bridge Park plays host to Movies with a View, a weekly open-air film series that makes the New York skyline its backdrop.
One of Dumbo’s culinary highlights is Grimaldi’s: a traditional coal-burning brick-oven pizzeria and a Brooklyn icon. After stopping to enjoy a whole pie, you can also drop by Jacques Torres for chocolate, the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory for a sweet treat, and the Brooklyn Roasting Co. for a perfectly pulled espresso.
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