We love the Manhattan skyline, but as more NYC visitors focus on Brooklyn, we should appreciate good views of Brooklyn too. Here are a few places to get that outer borough panorama—most of these will simultaneously offer a view of Manhattan, but that’s unavoidable…
The Wonder Wheel on Coney Island is an icon from 1920, and when you reach the top of this historic Ferris wheel, you’ll get the finest possible view over the theme park, Coney Island, Brighton Beach, South Brooklyn, and beyond. Avoid the swinging cars if you’re not super comfortable with heights, or if you don’t enjoy feeling like you might be catapulted 150 feet to your doom. Love that feeling? Go for it; get your $3 worth.
The Smith-9th Streets station on the F and G trains is actually the highest point in the entire subway system (88 feet off the ground), so you get incredible views over Brooklyn as you approach and depart. The awesome Kentile Floors sign (a familiar landmark if you ride these trains regularly) is sadly being dismantled, but the rest of the view is golden.
Sunset Park is an ideal place to picnic on the grass and soak in the view. It will probably be crowded on nice summer days, but the incline was simply made for view-gawking and people-watching. You can even make out Staten Island and New Jersey, and as the name would suggest, you might be in for a phenomenal sunset.
Green-Wood Cemetery contains the highest natural point in Brooklyn, Battle Hill, which offers a clear view to the Statue of Liberty. This hilltop was also a strategic location during the American Revolutionary War. The cemetery is hilly in general, so explore a little and you might surprise yourself with unexpected vistas. Admission is free.
Eagle Street Rooftop Farm in Greenpoint is a fun place to spend a Sunday afternoon. Many people go for the view of midtown Manhattan, and the homegrown lettuce and peppers right there on the roof, but turn the other direction and you’ll be looking over the rooftops of North Brooklyn, down to the Williamsburg Bridge. There’s something about views over rooftops, with laundry drying and those big water tanks, that reminds you people actually live in this giant metropolis. Admission is free, but consider buying some of their fresh harvest. Open Sundays only during the growing season.
Where’s your favorite Brooklyn view?