• Caitlin McAninch

Exploring DUMBO and the Brooklyn Bridge

Updated: Feb 16, 2019

Big shout out to the ‘gram for this one. I knew I wanted to head to DUMBO during my trip simply because I saw it all over Instagram when I was searching for things to do.

The infamous Washington Street photos was one I knew I wanted to recreate. But of course, the only way to do that is to get up at the crack of dawn and make our way to Brooklyn. So I had my mom, both my aunts, and me at the subway station by 7:50 am to make our way to Brooklyn on a Sunday morning. Which actually worked out perfectly!

But here I am talking about our trip when I haven’t even explained where we were going! So let’s hop in here and talk about what DUMBO is, how to get there, and why you should make it a stop on your next trip to New York City.

What is DUMBO?

Down. Under. Manhattan. Bridge. Overpass.

Nothing to do with elephants. Don’t worry, I was confused at first, too.

DUMBO is basically the waterfront area between the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges in Brooklyn. Over the past few years it’s become trendy, and of course, very photogenic. I mean... Just look at some of these beautiful photos from the area. Oh gosh, and it was foggy the morning we went so it was really just gorgeous!

Aside from being a beautiful park on the water, the surrounding buildings are filled with tech start-ups. Dumbo has the highest concentration of tech firms in the area, with 25% of New York City-based tech firms all in a 10-block radius in DUMBO. Total, it’s 500 tech and creative firms that employ over 10,000 people. WOAH, am I right?

But, while those workers are inside, you can explore the area, take pictures, and enjoy some truly amazing skyline views of Manhattan.

Disclaimer though… don’t go looking for breakfast if you head there early. We tried and did not have much luck with food. We did stop in this little coffee shop on Washington St. that was had delicious vanilla lattes, but sadly no food.

Brooklyn vs. Manhattan Bridge

So funny enough, this is the most common photo you’ll find on Instagram in DUMBO:

Looks good right?

The Bridge behind me is actually the Manhattan Bridge, not the Brooklyn like most people think. But the street itself is Washington Street, and it’s perfect. It’s covered in cobblestone, and at any given moment filled with photographers and subjects. While we were there we saw a wedding couple, two other couple shoots, and tons of individuals there to get their photo taken. So don’t worry, you definitely won’t feel silly posing in the street to take a photo here, it’s almost normal.

When facing the water in DUMBO, the Brooklyn Bridge is on your left and the Manhattan Bridge is on your right. Although you can walk across both, views are much better from the Brooklyn so it’s more common to do that. Also the Manhattan has a chain link fence, so you’re really not going to get as great of skyline photos.

Although I don’t have photos to share from the Manhattan Bridge because I did not walk it, I will share some Brooklyn Bridge photos so you can see what kind of views you’ll get! Here they are:

Loving the jumpsuit? Let me do a little promo real quick, and share. It’s from Amazon, and it’s super cute! Find it here.

Fastest Way to Get to DUMBO

Subway of course! When we went, we took the subway to Brooklyn, hopped off and walked down to Washington Street, took pics there, then went in front of the water to snap a few pics, and then we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge back into the city. BTW, subway stations can be sort of photogenic, too. Even though there was a rat about 10 feet away from me in the pic below... eeeek!

The DUMBO area in Brooklyn is definitely one you should carve out some time for. If anything, it’s a nice stop when you cross the Brooklyn Bridge. But it’s truly awesome to get a different perspective of the city.

Still craving more about New York City? Be sure to check out all my other blog posts about my stay there:

New York City

Distance: 2,690 miles

Driving Time: 1 day, 14 hours

#NewYorkCity #Activities