The Brooklyn Grand Tour: From Red Hook to Williamsburg

This five-hour guided walking/riding tour will allow you to see Brooklyn in a way that is totally unexpected, from the docks of Red Hook to the amazing diversity of Williamsburg. This tour is designed specifically for our guests who want to discover the budding, “of the moment” feel of the borough yet still experience its historical-richness.

This diversity is what makes Brooklyn such an interesting place to visit. Many Americans can trace their ancestry back to Brooklyn; it has been an integral part of the fabric of New York City for over 100 years.

Our tour begins at the Barclays Center, Brooklyn’s brand new sports arena. The facility is serviced by all subway lines, and takes less than a half hour to get to from Midtown, Manhattan. We’ll meet there and board the mini-bus.

We’ll head down Flatbush Avenue to Prospect Park. Calvert Vaux and Frederick Olmsted, the architects of Central Park and hundreds of others consider it their masterpiece. After a stop and Grand Army Plaza and a short walk through the park, we’ll re-board the bus and ride down Montgomery Street in affluent Park Slope; it’s been called “one of the most beautiful blocks in America”. The Slope is synonymous with families; there are probably more baby carriages per square block than any other place in the City.

We’ll ride through the working class community of Sunset Park to Greenwood Cemetery. It’s lush landscapes were the inspiration for Central Park in Manhattan, and at one point it was a major tourist attraction, drawing half-a-million people a year. We’ll stand on Battle Hill, the highest point in NYC, where a large sculpture of the goddess Minerva stands, saluting Lady Liberty in the harbor below. Nearby lies the grave of Maestro Leonard Bernstein, you can put a stone on it if you like.

Lunch is next, we’ll ride over to Red Hook and stop at the Fairway Market. On a nice day we can eat down by the water, were there are unusual views of the Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor to behold. Red Hook was the industrial heartland of Brooklyn. Today, it maintains that industrial, small-town feel, with local waterfront pubs and freight docks. While Manhattan almost looms over it, it is far from the New York City you think you know. It’s a lost world, rediscovered.

After lunch, our tour continues to Brooklyn Heights, NYC’s first suburb. The Heights is known for it’s elegant 1820′s brownstones and narrow cobblestone streets. General George Washington commanded his troops from the Heights during the Revolutionary War. Later, Washington Roebling would supervise the construction of Brooklyn Bridge from his home on Columbia Terrace. Truman Capote and Norman Mailer hung their hats in the neighborhood, which is also famously known for the Esplanade, a narrow ribbon of park, with panoramic views of Brooklyn Bridge and Lower Manhattan.

Next up is DUMBO, a vibrant new residential community between the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridge overpasses. Lined with old warehouses, art galleries, and dramatic views of Manhattan, this historic neighborhood transports you into one of the newer cultural centers of New York City. We’ll next hit Brooklyn Beach, were you can take a whirl on Jane’s Carousel, a ride lovingly restored and situated right on the waterfront in a shimmering glass building.

Finally, a trip to Brooklyn would not be complete without a visit to Williamsburg. And even though you’ll surely see a good amount of skinny jeans, pork pie hats, thin ties and plaid, Williamsburg is culturally rich, and home to enclaves of Puerto Ricans, Polish, Italians, and particularly, a large population of ultra-orthodox Hasidic Jews.

At tours end your guide will accompany you back to Manhattan on the subway via the L line, which connects you to all major subway lines in the city.

From history to art, from architecture to fashion, Brooklyn is a multi-faceted slice of New York City. Join us and our local New York guides on this remarkable tour to discover Brooklyn, and leave feeling that you’ve seen New York in a way very few people see it.

As a sign reads on the Brooklyn Bridge, posted by Marty Markowitz, Brooklyn borough president: “Leaving Brooklyn – fuhggedaboudit!”

By | 2013-01-26T06:37:26+00:00 January 26th, 2013|Tours, Uncategorized|0 Comments

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