Walking the Waterfront: DUMBO Neighborhood Tour

Join us for a walk through the historic streets of DUMBO as we explore how the water has shaped Brooklyn, and vice versa. DUMBO’s history encapsulates the history of the borough’s 131-mile shoreline – once an agricultural hinterland, this area became America’s first suburb after the introduction of steam ferries, then emerged as a shipping and manufacturing powerhouse rivaling the city across the river. The landscape of DUMBO was built on innovation and hard labor, and we will hear stories of both the captains of industry and ordinary workers who built Brooklyn. We will also explore the deindustrialization of Brooklyn, and the remaking of DUMBO into one of New York City’s most desirable neighborhoods, a commercial and residential district ringed by parkland where piers and factories once stood.

Tour Info & Highlights

  • Learn how Brooklyn’s waterfront has evolved over centuries
  • Hear stories of DUMBO’s transformation, from Brooklyn’s early days to the present
  •   SATURDAYS 11am // 1.5 hours
      Walking tour
      Empire Stores, Brooklyn

Health & Safety Guidelines

Please make note of these other guidelines for all of our tours.

  • Tours are limited to 15 participants.
  • Access to public restrooms may be limited throughout the tour, so please plan accordingly.
  • Maintain social distancing: In order to ensure everyone’s safety and comfort, we ask that everyone stay at least 6 feet apart from people who are not in their immediate pod or group.
  • Everyone must bring a mask: Please bring a mask that fully covers your nose and mouth, as circumstances may arise in which a mask is required. Please note that many of our staff live in households with small children that cannot currently be vaccinated, so they may request that you wear your mask, even when outside.
  • If you have not received a full course of a vaccine, we ask you to please wear a mask for the duration of the tour, per New York State guidelines.
  • If you are feeling unwell either before or during your tour experience, please remove yourself from the tour and let us know so that we can refund your ticket or reschedule you to a future date.
  • We’re committed to working together to create a healthy and safe experience for our team and visitors, and our professionally-trained guides will be there to support you. Turnstile Tours’ staff have received training on compliance with new health and safety protocols, will have hand sanitizer on their person, and will be wearing their masks at all times during the tour and when interacting with the public.  
  • We have a zero-tolerance policy for individuals who endanger staff, visitors, and partners by refusing to abide by these rules, or who engage in verbal or physical harassment, displays discriminatory or threatening behavior, or otherwise interferes with the experience of others. Tour participants who violate these policies may be asked to leave the tour without a refund.
  • Turnstile Tours collects and retains the names and contact information of all tour attendees in the event that contact tracing efforts are necessary, and this information may be shared with public health authorities.
  • Even if you have received a vaccine, you must abide by all of these rules.
  • Turnstile Tours’ enhanced safety protocols are based on current City and State mandates and recommended guidelines. As in any public setting, we cannot guarantee that you will not be exposed to COVID-19. By taking a tour with Turnstile Tours and going outside, you voluntarily assume such risks.


  • General Admission: $25 per person
  • Seniors (65+): $20 per person (10% off)
  • Children (5-12): $12.50 per person
  • Children under 5 are welcome to attend free
  • Advance ticket purchase is required


All public tours begin outside the atrium on the water side of Empire Stores, located at 55 Water St. The space is accessible through the building from Water St or from Brooklyn Bridge Park. View our neighborhood map for directions.

  • Subway: The nearest subway stations are at York St (F) and High St-Brooklyn Bridge (A,C), and each is about a 10-minute walk from Empire Stores. Visit mta.info for maps and service alerts.
  • Ferry: NYC Ferry provides service to DUMBO on the East River and South Brooklyn routes. When you disembark at DUMBO/Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 1, follow Water St underneath the Brooklyn Bridge to 55 Water St.
  • Driving and Parking: Street parking is extremely challenging in DUMBO every day of the week, and we strongly recommend that you utilize public transportation. There are several parking garages in the neighborhood, but keep in mind that these are often full.
  • Bicycle: The nearest bicycle rack is on Dock St on the west side of the building. DUMBO is also served by CitiBike, and the nearest stations are 2 blocks away.
    • Remember that BHS DUMBO is located on the 2nd floor of 55 Water St, accessible by stairs or elevator located in the courtyard on the north side of the building.
    • If you are using a wheelchair, walker, or have trouble with steps, we recommend entering from the Brooklyn Bridge Park side of the building, as the Water St entrance does have stairs, though there is also a wheelchair lift.

Private Tours

Please contact us for more details on booking a private tour, or visit our Group Tours page. Private tours can be offered seven days a week, subject to availability.