On my recent long weekend trip to New York I set out to make the most of it and not waste any time. So after a very early flight from Kansas City, I hit the ground running. After checking into The Hudson (the super hip hotel just west of Columbus Circle on W58th Street) I made my way across town to catch the subway downtown. I can handle the New York subway pretty well if I don’t have to make any dicey transfers. This one was simple, a straight line from midtown down the 6 (On the 6 Jo-Lo style) to City Hall pretty much where the promenade to the Brooklyn Bridge starts. (The fountain at City Hall Park, right.)

After a little touring around the area I headed for the bridge. Now, I knew walking over the bridge was a thing, I just didn’t realize how much of a thing it was. It was a nice warm sunny day and there were thousands of others out to do the same walk, with scores of street vendors lining the approach selling everything from food to keychains.

There is a walkway suspended above the traffic that is divided into bicycle and walk lanes. The walk is slow at first but as the crowds move across the span towards the first tower it spreads out. On the approach to the first of the bridge’s two iconic towers laced with its web of steel cables, the foot traffic stalls again as people stop for photos. I loved seeing people embracing this historic landmark even as I was hoping for a more tranquil walk.

The walk across the center span provides spectacular views of the lower Manhattan skyline and you can see all the way out to the Statue of Liberty in the Harbor. It was a real kick to final walk this historic bridge I had read about and admired for years.

On the other side of the bridge, in the area of Brooklyn known as Dumbo (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) – the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges come close together here, is a funky little area where industrial holdovers meet hipster hangouts. It is a short walk back towards the river and under the bridge where you are treated to a truly great place – Brooklyn Bridge Park – a stunning piece of billion dollar real estate providing stunning views of lower Manhattan, all the way to the Statue of Liberty and of course the East River and the bridges themselves. I really loved this place and will undoubtedly return.

Faced with the return trip to Manhattan I opted for the East River Ferry, which runs from Wall Street to Brooklyn and Queens, before ending at 34th Street in the shadow of the U.N. complex. The ferry was a real treat. It was a gorgeous day and an excursion on the river with stunning views (above) was much better than a stuffy subway ride. BTW – the ferry fare was less than $3 – a true bargain.

It was a long day after waking up super early to catch a flight – but only having 72 hours in the city – it was great to get out and make the most of it. After this little outing – no rest for the weary – it was time to get back to the hotel to clean up for a night of theater on Broadway.

Learn more about the Brooklyn Bridge here.

Check out the NYC Ferry system here.