About the Brooklyn Bridge and DUMBO Neighborhood Tour – Inside Out Tours
If you want a great look at the fabric of New York City – from its citizens to its sights – the famed Brooklyn Bridge is a fantastic place to start. And why not experience this quintessential stop on your sightseeing itinerary like a native New Yorker – by walking across it on your own two feet? Inside Out Tours provides just such an opportunity with its Brooklyn Bridge and DUMBO Neighborhood Tour, a captivating exploration of this iconic New York landmark – known for its stunning photo ops and storied history – and the gem of a community that awaits you on the other side.
Tours are often led by Inside Out co-founder Stacey Toussaint, who is a whiz at New York City history – and a native Brooklynite to boot. You'll find yourself weaving between New York City's vibrant past and equally exciting present as you cross the bustling Brooklyn Bridge, with the sights around you becoming touchstones in the dramatic narrative of how this magnificent structure was built. A vast web of steel cables – considered a revolutionary idea in engineering when the Brooklyn Bridge was completed in 1883 – gleams overhead, while a pair of stately stone towers guards the path that 21 elephants marched across in 1884 to prove the safety of the structure.
You'll follow this very same path, joining the more than 4,000 pedestrians (and 3,100 cyclists) who cross the Brooklyn Bridge on any given day. As you plunge into the throng of locals and tourists moving at a clipped pace from one side of the bridge to the other, you are in for an exhilarating experience filled with colorful sights and sounds. Artists hawk their Brooklyn Bridge–inspired paintings and prints, while bikers zoom past – often honking their horns or yelling to warn you to move out of the way. At a couple of points, you'll have the opportunity to stop and soak up the picturesque views of the East River ribboning out on either side below you and the graceful jumble of Manhattan and Brooklyn rooftops that dominate the sky above.
Once on the other side, the group will slow to a more leisurely pace as the tour winds through DUMBO – a former manufacturing district that has been transformed into one of Brooklyn's most upscale neighborhoods. Here, a treasure trove of shops and restaurants now make their home in the century-old buildings that line DUMBO'S cobblestoned streets.
You'll have the chance to explore a maze of galleries that showcase local talent and draw nearly a quarter of a million visitors during DUMBO's touted annual art festival every September. You'll also stop at an award-winning bakery, whose croissants, macaroons and other treats have prompted many a Manhattanite to cross borough lines for the sole purpose of bagging this delicious bounty.
The tour wraps up with a visit to Pier 1 of the expansive Brooklyn Bridge Park for photo ops of Manhattan's famous skyline – and a rousing speech about the essence of New York City's collective history captured in that iconic sight.
The Brooklyn Bridge and DUMBO Neighborhood Tour strikes a perfect balance between exhilaration and leisure by peppering brisk jaunts with stops for bathroom breaks, photo ops, fascinating history lessons and even an interactive trivia session.
Approximately two hours.
Did you know?
Inside Out Tours was started by native Brooklynites, Stacey Toussaint and Sheila Collins, whose families have lived in the borough for three generations.
Toussaint and Collins have crossed the Brooklyn Bridge more than 100 times.
The neighborhood of DUMBO was named by a group of artists living there in the 1970s, who hoped that such a silly name would keep developers out of the community. It is actually an acronym that stands for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass.
This tour is great for a range of interests, as history buffs will enjoy delving into New York City's fascinating past, photographers will love the gorgeous settings from start to finish, culture junkies will savor the exploration of DUMBO's galleries, and foodies with a sweet tooth will relish the stops at a chocolate shop and bakery. The Brooklyn Bridge and DUMBO Neighborhood Tour is also a great pick for tourists looking to experience New York City like a true native. The tour's brisk pace is wonderful for those looking to really stretch their legs while taking in the sights – and after it wraps up, adventurers can hop on an NYC Water Taxi for the return trip to Manhattan and a look at the city from yet another point of view.
Good for kids?
With a cool array of stops on the itinerary and the chance to explore one of New York City's most iconic landmarks, this tour is a hit with teens.
Inside Out Tours Location Information:
Tweed Courthouse, 52 Chambers St
New York, NY 10007
Brooklyn Bridge and DUMBO Neighborhood Tour – Inside Out Tours
Begins: Tweed Courthouse, 52 Chambers St., New York, NY 10007
Ends: Pier 1, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn, NY, 11201
4, 5, 6 to Brooklyn Bridge/City Hall