The affectionately named DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) was once an industrial no-man's land that has been radically transformed to a trendy art, culture, shopping and food hot spot over the past 15 years. Luckily (for all of us!) cobblestone streets, massive converted factories and dramatic architecture remain.
Here's a few of our favorite things to do before you catch a New York Water Taxi back to Midtown Manhattan.
The route from DUMBO to Midtown features up close views of the Statue of Liberty. You definitely don't want to miss your photo opportunity with Lady Liberty and the NYC skyline before ending your All Day Access Pass trip!
1. Brooklyn Bridge Park
Directly across from lower Manhattan and steps from the New York Water Taxi pier in DUMBO, The Brooklyn Bridge Park extends 1.3 miles (2.1 km) along the East River on a reclaimed cargo shipping and storage complex. The park's unique design transformed this once industrial site into a thriving natural landscape with lush lawns, young trees and beautiful flowers. Narrow paths wind through playgrounds, dog runs and fields, and in the warmer months host outdoor concerts, a roller skating rink, a pop up pool, kayaking and many other activities. See a full calendar of activities at Brooklyn Bridge Park.
2. Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory
Want a bit of history with your (incredibly) delicious ice cream? Well head over to the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory located in a historic 1920's Fireboat house (looks a bit like a quaint lighthouse). You can dine inside the charming ice cream parlor or grab a table outside to enjoy the stunning views from the Fulton Ferry Landing.
Only 8 (freshly made) flavors are served daily, so check their website for today's menu and enjoy what The New York Times describes as "creamy, ethereally light and perfectly balanced."
3. Jane's Carousel
After you've filled up on ice cream, walk toward the Brooklyn Bridge Park and take a spin on Jane's Carousel. You don't need kids to enjoy this immaculatly restored 1922 classic dramatically housed in a glass box on the water. It features "48 exquisitely carved horses and two superb chariots." Of course, the kids will love it too and it's a must-do activity if you are traveling with your family. The carousel is open year round on a revolving schedule, so check their website to confirm days and hours of operation.
4. Jacques Torres Chocolate Shop
If you love chocolate then this little slice of heaven-on-earth will make your day. From dark chocolates, truffles and bonbons, to macarons and decadently rich hot chocolate, the original "Mr. Chocolate" has it all. You can even watch the chefs at work through a glass window. A small cafe offers incredibly aromas and a chance to relax, or grab a box and bring it home with you to share (or not - we understand).
A self proclaimed "laboratory for creative thought" Powerhouse Arena is a unique and exciting venue that is part boutique bookstore, part exhibition and event space. The creatively curated bookshop is always stocked with interesting finds while the performance venue hosts a constantly rotating calendar of exhibitions, installations, presentations, displays, viewings, performances and readings. Check out their website for an up-to-date listing of events and stop in for a burst of inspiration.