DUMBO in New York City

The Brooklyn neighborhood, DUMBO, an acronym for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass, is one of New York City's hottest attractions. Lined with bars, galleries, boutiques, and too many restaurants to count, this must-stop destination is on many travelers' bucket lists.

The charming Brooklyn neighborhood, known as DUMBO, stretches from the Brooklyn Bridge to the Manhattan Bridge. The waterfront area is quite famous, attracting around 43,000 visitors on a weekday and over 115,000 on the weekend. After crossing the Brooklyn Bridge, visitors often check out this trendy waterfront area lined with cobblestone streets, chic cafes, coffee shops, and bookstores.

DUMBO is considered one of NYC's premier art districts with contemporary art galleries and numerous performance spaces, including the Klompching and St. Ann’s Warehouse. The new Time Out Market food hall features over 20 local vendors, and the area's vast retail spaces with stores like West Elm, Shinola and the Archway are incredibly popular year-round.

aerial view of Jane's Carousel with people and trees in the foreground and Brooklyn Bridge and buildings in background during sunset in New York City, New York, USA

photo credit: Veronika Bykovich via Unsplash

Photo Alert: DUMBO’s picturesque view from Washington Street, including a profile of the Empire State Building, is perfect to share on your Instagram story.

In addition to the fine dining and swanky bars, tourists can walk over the Brooklyn Bridge for stunning photo ops of the Manhattan skyline or check out the picturesque Brooklyn Bridge Park. There is something for everyone as the kiddos are sure to enjoy the Park's vintage Jane's Carousel.

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At the same time, adults can enjoy some theater at one of DUMBO's many performing art institutes, or explore Gleason’s Gym, the oldest boxing gym in New York, known for training legends like Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson. It's no wonder crowds are flocking to Brooklyn with all the sights, stores, art, and live music festivals!

Pro Tip: Parking is limited, but there are some metered spots in a public lot on Furman Street near Pier 2 and paid parking lots near Pier 1 and Pier 6.

DUMBO History

The rising prices in Manhattan fueled the city's need for change and growth. In the 1970s, many artists came to the neighborhood seeking inexpensive studio space and apartments. The DUMBO name tried to deter developers from the area. Unfortunately, the secret leaked, and it soon grew into the upscale residential and commercial community it is today.

Top DUMBO Attractions

Brooklyn Bridge

The Brooklyn Bridge, one of the city's most recognizable and legendary symbols, connects two great NYC boroughs, Manhattan and Brooklyn. You can walk it, drive it or bike it - but whatever you do, don't miss it!

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Visiting this celebrated landmark is one of the city's top tourist attractions, and not just during the day. Walking the bridge at night is one of the most exciting things to do in NYC. It's fairly busy until 11:00 p.m. with commuters, tourists and general night owls. The pedestrian walkway across the bridge is slightly over 1.1 miles and takes the average site-seeker about 60 minutes to cross, but only about 25 minutes for the typical New Yorker commuting to work. It's free to walk or drive across the bridge.

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Photo Alert: The breathtaking Manhattan skyline and stunning river views from the Brooklyn Bridge are endless!

night view of new york city skyline and the brooklyn bridge

photo credit: Artem Sapegin via Unsplash

Brooklyn Bridge Park

The Brooklyn Bridge Park has many activities for families and outdoor enthusiasts. Kids can ride Jane's Carousel or explore the many park playgrounds. Adults can pack a picnic basket before heading to one of DUMBO's plays or concerts, and groundbreaking musical theater. There's also kayaking alongside the river's sandy beaches and Cliff's Outdoor Climbing Gym (the largest in North America).

Pro Tip: Restrooms are located at Pier 6, Pier 5 Uplands, Pier 2, in 99 Plymouth and the Empire Stores shopping center.

Other Popular DUMBO Hang-Outs

  • Atrium DUMBO: This French American restaurant offers delicious fresh market cuisine beside a lovely vertical garden with incredible views of the East River.
  • The River Café: This Michelin-starred restaurant with scenic vistas of the Brooklyn Bridge boasts one of the most outstanding wine lists in the world. Live piano music offers the perfect ambiance for a romantic dinner serving award-winning American cuisine.

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  • AIR Gallery: Founded in 1972, AIR was the first all-female gallery in the United States. Today the gallery features emerging female artists with hundreds of exhibits and paintings each year. The gallery also hosts special events, lectures, and symposiums. Check the website for details.

Fun Fact: DUMBO is the exact location where the Battle of Brooklyn, fought by the patriot army, occurred in August 1776.

  • Jacques Torres Chocolate DUMBO: This renowned confectionary is the perfect place to satisfy your sweet tooth. Jacques Torres is your one-stop chocolate destination for rich, creamy hot chocolate to delectable handspun ice cream.
  • Superfine: This restaurant and bar offer authentic organic food with the freshest ingredients. Check out the Bluegrass band that performs every Sunday during brunch.
family with two daughters walking in front of brooklyn bridge

Young family with two daughters walk on a street

Fun Fact: Several popular movies depict the area’s iconic view and backdrop, including The Amazing Spider-Man, the Dark Knight Rises, Serpico, and American Gangster.

  • DUMBO Walls: The DUMBO art scene offers talent beyond its galleries. Art abounds in the Brooklyn Bridge Park and on the DUMBO Walls, a series of eight outdoor murals under the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

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  • Grimaldi’s Pizza: Manhattan isn’t the only spot for authentic New York-style fab pizza. Grimaldi’s coal-fired oven pizza and family fun atmosphere are worth the wait!

Pro Tip: Grimaldi’s (like Lombardi’s) takes only cash.

  • Brooklyn Heights Wine Bar: Serving some of the finest rare wines from Italy, including Tre Biccheri, this wine bar is a must-stop for wine lovers.
  • The Powerhouse Arena: This powerhouse venue space for performances and events showcases art, books and unique boutiques. Upstairs explore the Arena Sky Lounge, a multifaceted cocktail lounge, art gallery and bookstore.






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Written By Erin

Erin Poche` is a Utah-based writer and editor for Tripster and contributing writer for BeyondType1. She also writes and edits for an indie publisher of fanta ...

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