Originally inhabited by the Canarsee Indians and then by Dutch settlers in the mid-1600’s, Brooklyn Heights has played a big part of US History. Where the promenade is located now, there was once a headquarters for General George Washington. The panoramic view of New York Harbor that Brooklyn Heights Promenade provides allowed Washington to spot the British coming in the late 1700’s. One hundred and fifty years later in the 1850s Plymouth Church in Brooklyn Heights served as a stop on the Underground Railroad. The church was also the preferred place of worship for Abraham Lincoln. Today, visitors from all over the world come to the area for great views, fun activities, epic running routes and local restaurants. In this guide, we share the best things to do in Brooklyn Heights.
Brooklyn Heights Running Routes
The best way to see a city is by running the streets. With a city that is so rich in history, running is the best way to sight see in Brooklyn Heights. The perimeter of Brooklyn Heights is only 2.75 miles long. The area is bound by Old Fulton Street, Cadman Plaza, Atlantic Ave, and Furman St. (as well as the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway that runs above Furman St. and below Brooklyn Heights Promenade). What it lacks in distance it makes up for in historical significance. For example, Old Fulton street which was named after Robert Fulton who designed the first Steamship in 1809.
For those who crave exercise will love running the historical streets of Brooklyn Heights. The most popular of the routes is a jog along the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. For more running routes and to connect with other runners, check out The Klubb App.
Running the Brooklyn Heights Promenade
The most well known running route is the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. While the Promenade itself is less than a half mile long, the connecting roads and access to other routes is what makes it such a gem… oh yeah, and the insane view of Manhattans Financial District.
If you are coming from Manhattan, the best way to access the iconic Brooklyn Bridge Promenade route is from the DUMBO ferry terminal (shown on map below as the green dot). From here you take the Brooklyn Bridge Park Greenway to Squibb Park Bridge. Once to the top of the bridge you are at the Fruit Streets Sitting Area. The start of Brooklyn Heights Promenade is right next to this sitting area.
Getting to Brooklyn Heights
From Lower Manhattan the best way to Brooklyn Heights is by Ferry or the A,C Subway trains. The Ferry from Pier 11 Wall Street goes to both Atlantic Avenue and DUMBO. The A (express train) and C (local train), run along 8th avenue for most of Manhattan from Central Park South and go to Cadman Plaza in Brooklyn Heights. From the Cadman Plaza Subway Station you can take a short walk down Cranberry Street to the Fruit Street Sitting area mentioned above.
Biking Across Brooklyn Bridge
My personal favorite method of transportation between Manhattan and Brooklyn Heights is by CitiBike. The bike path along Brooklyn Bridge is protected from the cars and offers great views along the ride.
Walking Brooklyn Bridge
While the longest of the routes, walking across the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the most popular activities for tourists. Walking across the bridge is a great warm up before running in Brooklyn.
Main Attractions in Brooklyn Heights
After a great workout there is nothing better than a great meal. Lucky for you, there are plenty of amazing restaurants, bakeries, and coffee shops.
This is the Main Street of Brooklyn Heights. Famous retail stores like Books are Magic and bakeries like L’Appartement4f are both on Montague Street.
A historic church where Abe Lincoln worshiped and one of the most popular tourist attractions in the area. All around Plymouth Church are beautiful Brownstones. Jogging the streets along Willow, Hicks, and Columbia Heights is a great way to see these amazing buildings up close.
One of the best known spots in Brooklyn Heights. L’Appartement4f gained popularity through their Instagram account, amazing patisserie, and most notably, the croissant cereal.
L’Appartement4f gets crowded quickly so plan to wait in line for a bit. After stocking up on treats, revisit the promenade at the end of Montague to enjoy the amazing view of NYC.
Books Are Magic
This is the go-to book store for Brooklyn Heights locals and visitors from all around. A big part of athletic training is recovery. I find the best recovery to involve journaling or reading. This book stores is the perfect place to stock up on Moleskin notebooks and new books.