Weekend Staycation in Brooklyn
New York City
Arts & Culture
Food & Wine
Whether you're visiting or playing tourist in your own city, the notoriously trendy Williamsburg neighborhood in Brooklyn doesn't disappoint. From its epic skyline views to farm-to-table restaurants perfect for brunch and a cocktail (or two), Williamsburg is a destination in and of itself. As a Brooklynite for 10+ years (and L train loyalist), here's my list of tried & true favorites.
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Where to stay Williamsburg, Brooklyn
The William Vale
Ultra-modern, 5-star property in one of Brooklyn's most vibrant neighborhoods featuring unparalleled views of the NYC skyline.
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Things to do Williamsburg, Brooklyn
Williamsburg has a variety of green offerings to give you some nature vibes in the midst of the city. McCarren Park is a go-to, and it's a great spot for people watching, hanging with your dog or a picnic with friends.
A five-acre park along the waterfront, Domino Park is named after the now-closed Domino Sugar Refinery. Make sure to stop by the taco stand from Danny Meyer.
One of the best parts of Brooklyn is the Manhattan skyline, and the Marsha P. Johnson Park is the perfect spot to soak in the views. The park is named after a Marsha P. Johnson, an icon & gay rights activist and transgender woman of color who was a pioneer of the LGBTQ+ civil rights movement.
You can also do a pool day at a hotel. My recommendation is the Williamsburg Hotel for the rooftop pool... Its neighbor, the William Vale, also has a rooftop pool but the views are not nearly as nice, and there's a better set-up at the Williamsburg Hotel.
Skip the corporate brands and opt for more boutique options when in Brooklyn. Brooklyn Denim Co. has A+ denim and associates who really know their stuff. Antoinette has both vintage and new clothing for women. Alter has a great selection from different brands. Brooklyn Fox Lingerie is a great boutique option as well. And RIP to Bird.
For thrifting, your best bets are Awoke Vintage, Buffalo Exchange, Crossroads Trading. Artists & Fleas is also an excellent option for a variety of different merchants.
For things that aren't clothes... Some favorites are: Rough Trade for records, Spoonbill & Sugartown Books, Le Labo for fragrances, and Beam for home goods & furniture.
See a show
Williamsburg is well-known for its music & nightlife scene, and depending on your preference, there's a venue for all different styles of music. Music Hall of Williamsburg and The Knitting Factory are classics and have a variety of offerings in terms of line-ups. National Sawdust is more arts and performance-based. In east Williamsburg/basically Bushwick, you'll find Brooklyn Steel, Elsewhere and The Brooklyn Mirage, all of which tend to veer more toward the warehouse music scene vibe.
A note from Kelley
The ferry is an under-rated way to get from Manhattan to Brooklyn. Subways are the go-to, but if it's a nice day outside, opt for the boat ride across the East River.
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