5. Brooklyn Navy Yard

Established in 1801, and known then as the New York Naval Shipyard, the Brooklyn Navy Yard operated for nearly two centuries as the center of American naval shipbuilding. Walt Whitman would have been extremely familiar with the Navy Yard as he lived for a time in the abutting Wallabout neighborhood. The Navy Yard not only employed many of the residents of its surrounding neighborhoods, it also served as an area for social gatherings, or Sunday afternoon family strolls.

The Navy Yard’s buildings includes a variety architectural styles, dating from the 19th century onward. Closed in 1966, the current Navy Yard houses an industrial park and a center, BLDG 92, where one can learn about the history of the Yard and its surrounding neighborhoods for free. Also check out the crumbling mansions of Admiral’s Row that can still be seen on a walk by the Navy Yard.

A bonus spot is the last home of Whitman, recently the subject of a preservation battle. Check out photos here.

Check out 7 spots in NYC where you can drink where the Beat generation writers did and this fun map that highlights the authors of the Upper East Side.