Brooklyn Bridge Park
The vibe: Family-friendly playground meets inspired urban design
The turf: The new sandy beach at Pier 4 features a kayak and paddle-boat launch point and a bird habitat, but no swimming. A bit farther north, a second sandy beach is set up next to a pop-up pool with chairs and a snack bar. “It’s better than driving in traffic, trying to get to the beach,” says Denise Griffith, 49, of Brooklyn Heights, as she lounged in the sun, taking in the unbeatable view of the Brooklyn Bridge and lower Manhattan.
Getting there: The beach is a few minutes’ walk from the subway stops at High, York and Clark streets.
Beach bites: The poolside cafe offers artisanal lemonade, light fare and, after 6 p.m., sangria, beer and wine. Nearby is Fornino pizza, serving wood-fired pies and cocktails on a roof overlooking the river.