10 Brooklyn Parks with the Best Views of Manhattan

10 Brooklyn Parks with the Best Views of Manhattan

You can't beat the views of Manhattan from Brooklyn!

The best views of the Manhattan skyline can be found right in your Brooklyn backyard. These ten family-friendly parks (listed from north to south in neighborhoods including Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Dumbo, Brooklyn Heights, and Sunset Park) are your key to taking in that strikingly beautiful Manhattan skyline view—all while keeping your children entertained. It is a win-win for the whole family. As the saying goes, sometimes you have to leave something to appreciate it, and it’s true New York City.

WNYC Transmitter Park

West Street, between Kent Street and Greenpoint Avenue, Greenpoint 

With a view straight across to Manhattan’s East Village and Alphabet City, WNYC Transmitter Park is a quaint and quiet park in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighborhood. What was once home to the WNYC public radio towers, one of the oldest radio stations in New York state, now houses a large, open lawn, a nautical themed children’s play area, a spray shower, and nature gardens. You can also take a walk along the pedestrian bridge along the waterfront or stroll onto the pier to fish or simply catch a better view of Manhattan.

East River State Park

90 Kent Ave, Williamsburg

Almost a dozen blocks south of WNYC Transmitter Park lives East River State Park. More commonly known for Smorgasburg, America’s largest weekly open-air food market (which is family-friendly!), on Saturdays and Sundays during the warmer months, the park is open seven days a week, year-round. Come to this Williamsburg park to enjoy a picnic, walk out onto Hurricane Point, watch live music, play soccer in Bushwick Inlet Park, fly a kite in the open green space, or simply relax—all with a view of Manhattan. 

North 5th Street Pier and Park

105 River St, Williamsburg

For a quieter escape from the busy East River State Park, take a walk one block south to end up at North 5th Street Pier and Park in Williamsburg. Whether you want easy access to the North Williamsburg Ferry Terminal or to rest your feet by sitting on one of the benches, this park offers the chance to step away from the bustling city—and the oft-busy Williamsburg.

Grand Ferry Park

Grand and River streets, Williamsburg  

With the vision of creating one of Manhattan’s first residential suburbs in 1802, Richard Woodhull set out to start a ferry service that ran from present day Lower East Side to Brooklyn, naming the area ‘Williamsburgh’. Though Woodhull went bankrupt a few years later and the Grand Street Ferry closed in 1918, his land and the idea of what we know today as Williamsburg lived on. Grand Ferry Park, rich in this history, stands today and serves the community as an intimate park right on the water.

John Street Park

John Street, between Adams and Jay streets, Dumbo

Nuzzled on the east side of the Manhattan Bridge, John Street Park is an extension of Brooklyn Bridge Park and offers a quiet lawn and a concrete walking trail right on the edge of the water. Look up at the very close-by Manhattan Bridge for a wonderful, unique view of it, plus the Brooklyn Bridge, the closest view of both bridges in one shot until you pass the Brooklyn Bridge. Here, you’ll also find Spark by Brooklyn Children’s Museum, an art and play space at which children can drop-in Wednesday through Sunday afternoons to let their imagination soar, or go to scheduled programs and classes throughout the year.

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Main Street Park

99 Plymouth St., Dumbo

Main Street Park rests on the west side of the Manhattan Bridge with a patch connecting it to the rest of the Brooklyn Bridge Park, on either side. Come here to get your feet wet at Pebble Beach, let your child run around Main Street Playground, or set your dogs free in the Main Street Dog Run. No matter your reason for coming, this 3½-acre park is sure to provide hours of entertainment for your whole family, including the pets, while giving you an unbeatable view of Manhattan.

Empire Fulton Ferry State Park

1 Water St., Dumbo

Empire Fulton Ferry State Park is settled on the west edge of the Brooklyn Bridge, between it and the Manhattan Bridge. Come here to unwind on the Empire Fulton Ferry Lawn after a busy day or enjoy a meal al fresco at the Picnic Grove—all while looking right into lower Manhattan. While you are here (with or without the kids), don’t miss Jane’s Carousel, which was built in 1922 and operates year-round, giving your family long-lasting memories. Tickets are $2 each, and children who are 3 or younger (or shorter than 42 inches) may ride free if accompanied by a paying adult. The carousel is open Wednesday-Monday during the summer, and Thursday-Sunday starting in September. 

Brooklyn Bridge Park

Spans from Dumbo into Brooklyn Heights
(344 Furman St. will drop you at Pier 5 in Brooklyn Heights)

Stretching up from John Street Park all the way down to the sixth pier, Brooklyn Bridge Park is one you cannot miss. Due to its expansive territory, it is home to some of the best views of Manhattan while giving you the best family-friendly experience. Whether it is to visit the Pier 1 Playground or the Roller Rink on Pier 2, make sure to walk or bike the Greenway all the way through to visit each of the unique piers and take in everything the park has to offer.

Squibb Park and Bridge

Middagh Street, between Columbia Heights and Furman Street, Brooklyn Heights

Across the street from Brooklyn Bridge Park, you’ll find Squibb Park and Bridge, which acts as a great connection between public transportation in Brooklyn Heights and Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 1. The bridge, high above street level, provides an easy and convenient walking trail, appearing as if you are walking along the Manhattan skyline.

Sunset Park

Between 41stand 44th streets, from 5th to 7th avenues, Sunset Park

One of New York’s hidden treasures, Sunset Park lies in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Sunset Park. At the highest point of the park on the grassy hill, not only can you see a stunning view of Manhattan, but you can also see the surrounding Brooklyn neighborhoods and the Statue of Liberty, as well as Staten Island and New Jersey. Along with the views, in the park you’ll find a swimming pool, which opened in 1936, a pedestrian walkway, a sand volleyball court, and a memorial remembering September 11th.

Main image: The view of the Manhattan skyline from East River State Park
J. Rozell / NYS Parks