Start your tour in iconic Manhattan before hopping on the commuter ferry for a short ride across the East River to Brooklyn, enjoying great views of the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges as we cruise. (Note that as the ferry leaves shortly after the tour starts, you must be on time. We recommend arriving at least 15 minutes early to the meeting point to ensure you don't miss boarding.) The DUMBO neighborhood is named not after the elephant, but because it's shorthand for “Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass.” Long home to shipping piers and industrial warehouses, this charming and historic area is now one of the most desirable in Brooklyn because of its access to the waterfront, breathtaking views and historic architecture.
Walkthrough Brooklyn Bridge Park, built largely on those old piers, to learn how the waterfront changed from a source of food to a thriving industrial area (where entrepreneurs did everything from process tobacco to create the first cardboard boxes), to an unsafe abandoned slum, and finally to what it is today: a beautiful park for recreation and home to modern businesses. Stop at Jane’s Carousel which was purchased by a local artist from a 1920s amusement park, who then restored it. A glass-enclosed ride offers a view of modern Manhattan from a historic perch.
At the Empire Stores, you’ll see the latest transformation. This brick warehouse block is believed to be the first place coffee was commercially roasted and processed, but was abandoned for many years when shipping moved elsewhere. Now, it has been revived as a community space with shops, cafes and restaurants, rotating art exhibits and an outpost of the Brooklyn Historical Society. Take in the panorama of Manhattan from a secret viewpoint.
Walk down the old cobblestone streets to see more of the old warehouses and factories that have been converted into lofts, restaurants and art galleries. Stop at Powerhouse Arena. It’s a bookstore specializing in books on art and photography, as well as a space for art exhibitions and literary events, including book readings, launch parties and panel discussions. Meet an employee and chat about the community activities that happen here, and about the literary and art communities that inspire and visit the space.
Pass under the Manhattan Bridge archway and into another part of the neighborhood to visit the Brooklyn Roasting Company. Housed in an old building that was part of the historic Arbuckles’ Coffee company, whose roasted coffee was a favorite of cowboys for years. Brooklyn Roasting has brought the coffee tradition back to the waterfront. Learn about their history and how it ties into the neighborhood’s past. Of course, you'll have the chance to order some coffee, which is curated and blended from beans from all over the world.
Head farther into Dumbo now and learn about the growing startup and tech world in the neighborhood. The art scene is still vibrant in DUMBO. Get an exclusive peek into an artist's studio where you will meet them, learn about their process, and see their latest works in progress.
Finally, we’ll end in front of one of our favourite hidden gems, Randolph Beer where guests can have lunch following the tour and a beer if they wish. Craft brewing is all the rage, but the Randolph goes one better and serves its beer where it’s made. Learn about the growing craft beer scene in Brooklyn. You can’t get much more local than that!
Inclusions: Local English-speaking guide, one pastry or a coffee, one ferry ticket.
Exclusions: Additional Food or Drink, Souvenirs, Tips/gratuities for your guide.
Dress standard: No special attire required. Dress comfortably and appropriate for the weather.
Your Trip: For your New York Times Journeys/Urban Adventure you will be in a small group of a maximum of 12 people.
Confirmation of booking: If you have your voucher, your booking is confirmed. We'll see you at the start point. In an effort to eliminate waste, we recommend that you upload your voucher on a mobile device. We do not need a physical copy of your voucher. Get in touch if you have any concerns or require more information via the email address or phone number (business hours only) on your voucher.
Additional Information: Please note that this tour starts with a ferry ride, which boards immediately after the tour start time. Please allow plenty of time to reach the meeting point, as any delays would cause the entire group to miss the ferry. We cannot guarantee your guide will wait for late arrivals.
*Venues may be subject to change and not every stop may be visited every day of the week. We will make replacements as necessary.
Child Policy: This is a child-friendly tour. Children between the ages of 6 and 11 inclusively are permitted on this tour at the rate listed above. Please select ‘child’ above when booking. Children under the age of 6 are permitted to join this tour free of charge. Please inform us at the time of booking if you’ll be bringing a child under the age of 6. You can do so in the special request box on the checkout page.