Most Walkable Neighborhoods in Brooklyn
Apr 01, 2021
You may not have heard of National Walking Day (admittedly, we hadn’t), but it turns out that—unsurprisingly—New York City once again topped Walk Score’s list of Most Walkable Cities in the country for 2020. In a year of lockdowns, many of us discovered there was nowhere else we’d rather be than a place where (most) everything we need is within walking distance.
Though the list didn’t break things down by borough, we’re admittedly a little biased toward Brooklyn. Though far too much of our borough is still a transportation desert, most neighborhoods are still incredibly walk-friendly and proximity to restaurants, shops, and daily conveniences is still a top priority for buyers at every budget. Luckily, we rarely have to look far to find neighborhoods to recommend.
Join us for a stroll through our favorite Brooklyn neighborhoods for walking!
Yes, it’s true that it’s the neighborhood where our office is located (and where most RC team members live) but we’d hype our cobblestone streets, working waterfront, and views of Manhattan regardless. Red Hook is truly unique among Brooklyn neighborhoods for its mix of destinations (Valentino Pier, Erie Basin Park, and, yes, Ikea) but it’s also packed with secrets many visitors never see until they slow down to look around. Does your grocery store parking lot have a primo view of the Statue of Liberty? Possibly the best the about Red Hook, though, is that it’s a vibrant, working neighborhood. Unlike many parts of the city, you can regularly walk past maker spaces, art studios, food production (mmmm, key lime pie and chocolate), and a busy waterfront bustling with energy. Our cobblestone streets aren’t so bad either.
Sunset Park never seems to make the list of walkable spots in Brooklyn and we’re mystified by that. Not only does it have arguably the ebay food scene in the borough, it’s chock full of hole-in-the-wall spots that offer endless chances to discover new favorites. It’s close to Industry City for shopping and Green-Wood Cemetery for leisurely strolls—not to mention its massive namesake park, which features some of the best views of the city. Want a true New Yorker’s afternoon? Grab some bao or a few tacos (or both) and catch the sunset from one of the highest vantage points in the city.
If downtown Brooklyn were in any other city, it’d rightfully top plenty of lists but it’s almost like we somehow forget how great it is. Not only are you going to be able to catch nearly any train if this was your neighborhood, you have non-stop things to keep you busy if you never decide to leave. Make note of the Williamsburg Savings Bank Tower and you can pretty much orient yourself in any direction. Hit up Junior’s, people-watch in Cadman Plaza, or find out what’s going on at BAM or BRIC.
You’ve gotta figure any neighborhood with “Heights” in its name delivers, and Brooklyn Heights does. The views and the architecture do battle for the best thing to look at. The Brooklyn Bridge dominates the walking tour recommendations here, but don’t sleep on its adjoining park, which somehow always manages to offer quiet nooks away from the hustle and bustle. Middagh St between Willow and Hicks boasts some of the oldest homes and is also one of those parts of the city that remind you why you live here. And real New Yorkers will act like they don’t notice but this is an ideal neighborhood for celeb spotting.
Finally, we have to shout out Williamsburg, which is too often dismissed as some kind of hipster wasteland and which actually offers its residents some of the best walking in the city. Live here and you’re a stone’s throw from the East River park (and Smorgasburg, when things get back to normal), hundreds of shops and restaurants (ok, maybe dozens, but it feels like a lot), pocket museum The City Reliquary, Domino Park, and more. Of course, you’ll find your Whole Foods and Apple Stores here but Williamsburg locals know there’s much more to this eclectic and historic neighborhood—and it’s all yours to see too on a weekend walk.