5 Best Sights in Bay Ridge, New York City

Shore Park and Parkway

Fodor's choice
This narrow park follows the Bay Ridge waterfront and has spectacular views of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and the ships in New York Harbor. The promenade is perfect for a long walk or a bike ride. At the north end is the American Veterans Memorial Pier, where the NYC Ferry docks. The pier is also home to Brooklyn’s official monument honoring those lost on 9/11.

Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

Fodor's choice
One of the most iconic bridges in New York City, seen worldwide as the starting point of the New York City marathon, this 4,260-foot double-decked bridge connects Brooklyn and Staten Island. It was the longest suspension bridge in the world when it opened in 1964 (it’s now 13th) and is named after Giovanni da Verrazzano (his name has two z's, unlike the bridge), an Italian explorer who was the first European to sail into New York Harbor in 1524. There are two times each year when people are allowed to cross the bridge under their own power: for the New York City marathon held every November, and during the Five Boro Bike Tour each May. If you don’t want to work that hard for your views (and photos), walk south on 5th Avenue until you hit the bridge or stroll along the Shore Park and Parkway promenade.
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Bay Ridge Architecture Tour

Bay Ridge has no shortage of eclectic architecture. Wandering the neighborhood, you'll see everything from one of the oldest freestanding Greek Revival homes in Brooklyn (99th Street and Shore Road) to circa-1880 Shingle-style Victorians with conical towers (81st and 82nd streets, between 3rd and Colonial avenues); rows of limestone houses on Bay Ridge Parkway (lit by working gas lamps); and charming cul-de-sacs lined with redbrick, slate-roof homes (68th Street between Ridge Boulevard and 3rd Avenue). The most popular architectural attraction in the neighborhood, though, is the fanciful Arts and Crafts home known to locals as the Gingerbread House. Built for shipping magnate Howard E. Jones in 1917, the 6,000-square-foot private home at 8220 Narrows Avenue has a thatched-style shingle roof, rustic stonework, and abundant landscaped greenery that make it look like it came straight out of a Hans Christian Andersen story.

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Narrows Botanical Gardens

This 4.5-acre verdant gem of a park between busy Belt Parkway and sleepy Shore Road is modest but worth a visit for a peek at its colorful rose gardens, flower-covered meadow, and waterfront views of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. A walk through the volunteer-staffed sanctuary, amid the butterflies, will leave you thinking you’ve discovered your very own secret garden. Plus, there are chickens wandering around, always a fun sight for urbanites.

Owl's Head Park

With gently rolling hills and awe-inspiring views of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and Manhattan’s skyline, as well as stately old trees, this 24-plus-acre park is a popular retreat for local families, dog walkers, and loungers basking in the view of ships entering and leaving New York Harbor. In addition, there are basketball courts, a playground, a dog run, a skate park, and a spray pool. In winter, kids launch themselves down the park’s sledding hill.