Nestled on the western edge of Long Island is the borough of Brooklyn, famously connected to Manhattan along the iconic Brooklyn Bridge. Brooklyn is home to the beachside entertainment area of Coney Island, the rapidly rising alternative arts and music scene in Williamsburg, and leafy residential areas known for their multiculturalism.
Spanning the East River, Brooklyn Bridge is undoubtedly the borough’s most famed attraction and one of the most photographed landmarks in the United States. There’s a dedicated pedestrian walkway where visitors can soak up the Manhattan skyline or head to the Brooklyn Heights Promenade for spectacular views across to the Statue of Liberty, Staten Island and the Brooklyn Bridge itself. The same architects who designed Manhattan’s Central Park also designed Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, home to the only remaining indigenous forest in Brooklyn, as well as the Prospect Park Zoo. Brooklyn is also home to the New York Aquarium, the atmospheric Green-Wood Cemetery, and the renowned New York Transit Museum, not to mention excellent restaurants and bars which reflect its diverse ethnic makeup. No trip to Brooklyn is complete without soaking up the nostalgia along the boardwalk at Coney Island, the United States’ most popular amusement park in the pre-World War II years and still home to thrill-seeking rides like the 1927 Cyclone roller coaster, as well as an expansive stretch of beach.
Riding the subway is the best way to get around Brooklyn, with the central transport hub on Atlantic Avenue connecting with lines across the borough, except some parts of East Brooklyn which are best accessed by bus. Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge and soaking up the Manhattan skyline is still the best way to arrive or depart.
Although initially inhabited by the Lenape Native American people, Brooklyn first emerged as a town when the Dutch formed the Breuckelen settlement in the 17th century, named after a city of the same name in the Netherlands. It was taken by the British in 1664 and formed part of what was referred to as Kings County, before emerging as the Town of Brooklyn in the early 19th century as a popular residential area for workers commuting by steam ferry to Wall Street.