The Brooklyn Bridge between two rows of buildings in DUMBO, New York

What to See & Do in DUMBO, Brooklyn

For most folks, the word DUMBO, Brooklyn brings to mind the endearing Walt Disney character with floppy ears, but New Yorkers know it as Brooklyn’s vibrant, artsy waterfront community. The name is an acronym for “Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass” and to steal a line from comedian Jerry Seinfeld, “New Yorkers added the ‘O’ because no one wants to live in a neighbourhood called ‘DUMB,’’” and there just might be a little truth to that.

Holidaymakers flock to DUMBO, Brooklyn for its lively art scene, well-known restaurants, and waterfront views but it’s also home to one of the most photographed spots to hit Instagram feeds. Just head down to the junction of Washington and Water Streets in Brooklyn with iPhone or camera in hand and you’ll capture the most stunning views of the Manhattan Bridge. That’s not the only selling point to this view. What makes this well-photographed spot so intriguing is the ability to frame the Empire State Building way in the distance through the arch of the bridge. Cool, right? After you’ve clicked away, selected the perfect shot, and posted, you can head to some of the many other attractions this vibrant neighbourhood has to offer.

Brooklyn Bridge Park

The 34-hectare (85 acres) park located on the Brooklyn side of the city’s East River is the product of a revitalization of Brooklyn’s waterfront. The park offers several piers for visitors to enjoy majestic views from a variety of angles. The weekend visitor can enjoy Smorgasburg, the largest open-air food market in America. Each weekend over 100 culinary vendors attracts some 25,000 visitors to the park for this event. If you happen to be visiting in the Summertime then you’ll have the added pleasure of enjoying an outdoor film. Visitors can grab a blanket and a picnic dinner for this relaxing summer evening event.

Jacques Torres Chocolate

Located in one of Brooklyn’s iconic brick warehouses is the famous chocolatier’s flagship store. Known as Mr. Chocolate, Jacques Torres is well-known for his made-from-scratch decadent chocolates. Summer travellers are drawn in for his refreshing ice cream and in the chilly months, patrons come in from the cold to warm up with Torre’s rich hot chocolate. Visitors all year long can enjoy his chocolate chip cookies and signature chocolate lollypops.

Street Art

DUMBO is well known for not only its art galleries and shops but for its unique street art. What’s the best area to take in the talents of these artists? Take a walk under the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, known as the BQE, and you’ll find DUMBO Walls, an area where brick walls are transformed into canvases to showcase an amazing outdoor exhibit.

Grimaldi’s Pizzeria

Don’t leave this eclectic neighbourhood without experiencing New York City’s oldest and most famous pizzeria. Known for their Neapolitan style, coal-fired pizza, Grimaldi’s is a NYC landmark. After taking your first bite you’ll know why. With a place this well-known, visitors can expect a lengthy queue but like all good things, it’s well worth the wait.

Jane’s Carousel

Jane’s Carousel was originally built in 1922 for an amusement park located in Ohio. When the park closed in the 1980s the carousel was brought to Brooklyn, restored and donated by Jane and David Walentas. Visitors can take a ride on the glass-encased, antique carousel while taking in breathtaking views of the East River, making it one of the top attraction of this must-see neighbourhood of New York City.

For more unmissable things to do and see, check out our guide to the best New York tours.

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