We admit it. We love Red Hook. But we also know that getting there can seem daunting, especially for first-time visitors from other boroughs. Or so they tell us when they break our lunch date at Fort Defiance.


The NY Water Taxi Ikea Ferry offers the most picturesque approach, with its views of the lower Manhattan and Red Hook waterfronts. The ferry leaves from Pier 11 in lower Manhattan, where Wall Street meets the East River, and lets you off in Erie Basin Park, behind the Ikea. Check the schedule, though, before you decide on this option: ferries run once or twice an hour, 2pm–8pm on weekdays and 11:20am-8:40pm on weekends.