Considering that New York City is mostly surrounded by water, you would think that waterfront living would be a snap. But New York’s waterways are still home to active ports, industry, and freeways like FDR Drive, making water access difficult if not impossible.

Manhattan is all but closed off from the water, Brooklyn has some pricey but beautiful options, and just getting to the beach can be an adventure in itself. All of these being true, here are the best neighborhoods to live in if you want to be near the water.

Dumbo – Brooklyn

The Dumbo neighborhood of Brooklyn is nestled between the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan Bridge and has the highest number of tech startup companies in all of New York City. Entirely the brainchild of David Walentas and formerly known as Gainesville, Dumbo is largely unknown outside of the city. Walentas purchased the entire neighborhood back in 1979 and transformed it into one of the most expensive areas of Brooklyn with iconic views of both the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridge. Lining the East River are Empire Fulton Ferry, Pier 1 Playground, and the Brooklyn Bridge Park, offering gorgeous views of Manhattan from one of the coolest neighborhoods in New York.

West Village – Manhattan

Waterfront living in the West Village incorporates the best of both worlds in New York City. You can find historical brownstones as well as newly constructed high rise condos with sweeping views of the Hudson River. Plus, you can’t beat the West Village’s proximity to the rest of Manhattan, or the shopping, restaurants, and nightlife. There’s something here for everyone.

Tribeca – Manhattan

Tribeca offers the best of industrial real estate, with countless warehouses and other historic buildings being converted into residential opportunities. Not only can you get killer water views when you choose to live on the edge of this neighborhood, but you also get access to some of the best cuisine in the city, not to mention endless celebrity sightings.

Battery Park – Manhattan

Battery Park made it to number 2 on the list of Top 15 NYC Neighborhoods according to Business Insider. Known as a family-friendly neighborhood, its slightly older residents enjoy a quiet area with very little crime. With limited waterfront to enjoy in Manhattan, Battery Park has access to the Upper Bay, beautiful parks, and plenty of saltwater fishing. Its leisurely pace is a refreshing change, and its lower Manhattan location means easy access to the rest of the city.

Living on the Beach

Three great beaches skirt the southern edge of Brooklyn. Coney Island, Brighton Beach, and Manhattan Beach all offer beach residing with distinctly different lifestyles. If you’re not from New York, you’ll be forgiven for questioning why Manhattan Beach would be in Brooklyn. Originally conceived as a posh getaway, Manhattan Beach gives you a grownup, family-friendly experience. The smallest but most expensive of the three, getting to Manhattan Beach can be challenging but worth it.

Brighton Beach features some of the best Russian restaurants in the city. A mile and a half from Coney Island, Brighton Beach is more crowded and more affordable than Manhattan Beach. Coney Island caps off our trifecta of NYC beach living.

This iconic neighborhood and boardwalk is a New York City staple. Home to Nathan’s Hotdogs, it’s everything you’d expect from an East Coast beach town. With a median sale price of just over $500,000, it’s the most affordable beach out of all three. Go beyond the boardwalk and check out what Coney Island has to offer.


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