How to Make the Most of a Day in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn

Situated along the historic Coney Island peninsula, Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, is one of the most fascinating neighborhoods in all of New York City. Also known as Little Russia, Brighton Beach holds the highest concentration of Russian immigrants outside of the eastern hemisphere and was the site of the Russian immigration wave in the 1970’s. Here, guests will find streets lined with fruit and caviar stands, plush restaurants, and liquor stores stocked with Ukrainian vodka – and it’s all just a short subway ride from At Home In Brooklyn! Here are just a few of the things that make Brighton Beach so special.

Brief History of Brighton Beach, Brooklyn

Once a summer getaway for wealthy New Yorkers, Brighton Beach became a hotspot for Jewish immigrants escaping Nazism in Europe around the time of World War II. The 1970s also brought a second wave of Ukrainian Jews, and a large number of Russian-speaking, immigrant-oriented shops, offices, banks, night clubs, and schools opened in the area. Today, visitors can watch the culture thrive at annual festivals, in food emporiums serving traditional delicacies, and on the colorful characters who walk the streets – often decked out in fur coats.

4 Great Places to Explore in Brighton Beach

  1. The Beach: With similar weather to that of the Black Sea, Brighton Beach is within walking distance of Coney Island, NYC, but has a much more tranquil atmosphere. Little Russia is more of a family place, where the sound of lapping waves and the occasional accordion create a peaceful day in the sand. While you’re there, take advantage of the area’s many markets and gourmet food shops and pick up some goodies for the subway ride home.
  1. The Brighton Ballet Theater: Established in 1987, the Brighton Ballet Theater is one of the most famous Russian ballet schools in the United States. More than 3,000 children have trained in ballet, modern and character dances, and folk dances here, and the theater holds two large-scale productions and countless presentations in the Tri-state area each year.
  1. Master Theater: This live-music theater near the waterfront features performances by local Russian musicians and singers, as well as those from the United States and other countries. Audience members can often be seen singing along to performances and dancing in the aisles, and the sizable space seats more than 1,300.
  1. Vintage Food Corporation: With its dark wood fixtures, smiling shopkeepers, and delicious flavored coffees, this small Turkish store is a must-see. You’ll find many Turkish treats including dried fruits, candies, and rows of inexpensive nuts, as well as plenty of Russian delights like blackberry preserves and chocolate-covered apricots. Yum!

Book Your Stay with At Home In Brooklyn!

After a day on the beach or a stroll through the market, come home to our Brooklyn bed and breakfast and rest up in one of our beautiful rooms or suites! In the morning, you can enjoy a delicious continental breakfast that will leave you feeling refreshed, restored, and ready to take on another one of New York’s incredible neighborhoods. We can’t wait to hear about what you discover in Little Russia!

Need help finding your way to Brighton Beach, Brooklyn? Check out our blog about navigating New York public transportation, then download a copy of our free vacation guide!

Photo Credit: Kichigin | Thinkstock