Brooklyn, one of New York City’s five boroughs, is our favorite — and not just because it's the home of the NYCRUNS Brooklyn Marathon & Half Marathon. No matter how long you're in town, or what you came here to do (ahem, run 13.1 - 26.2 miles), you won't have any trouble finding things to do, see, and eat. The only problem you're likely to run into will be finding time to squeeze in everything on your list.
With neighborhoods ranging from Williamsburg--a nightlife hotbed that also has great restaurants, and a serious music scene--to picturesque Brooklyn Heights—packed with historic brownstones and carriage houses--and scenic Dumbo (that's Down Under The Manhattan Bridge Overpass) with views of Manhattan that'll take your breath away, Brooklyn has a tight grip on both old and new. It’s not a cliché to say there’s something for everyone.
Read on for even more specific recommendations of what to do, see, and eat in Brooklyn. Just be ready to pack a week's worth of stuff into a couple of days.
This is New York, so public transit, particularly the subway is your friend. Getting a taxi (sometimes these are green instead of yellow in Brooklyn) is also a time-honored choice, and you won't typically have trouble flagging one in the street.
Of course we have UBER & Lyft, and we've also got CAR2GO & ZipCar for short term rentals.Scooters are not really a thing here, but Citibike is a popular bike-sharing service you might enjoy checking out.
WHERE TO STAY
We live here, so we rarely stay in hotels. However, there are a few we'd recommend. All of these are a short cab or Uber ride from the start corrals.
Not far from Prospect Park, in the now-hip Gowanus neighborhood, the Hotel Le Bleu is stylish; and also nearby is the Union Hotel. There is also a Holiday Inn Express, and a Super 8. The Look Hotel (part of the Ascend family of hotels) is located nearby in Red Hook and a bit further off in Downtown Brooklyn, there is the Marriott Brooklyn Bridge.
If you wish to be located near exceptionally good nightlife, The Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg is a great option.
WHERE TO EAT
So many choices….here are a few
Hometown BBQ – Our favorite local spot for pit-smoked brisket and pulled pork
Red Hook Lobster Pound – A local seafood favorite
Ft. Defiance – Oysters, and a rare find for weekday breakfast
Carroll Gardens and Gowanus
Mama Maria – A perfect spot to carb-load before the race
Buttermilk Channel – The best fried chicken, plus a great brunch
Ample Hills Creamery – Hot spot for cold treats
Bar Toto – the mayor’s favorite local spot for salads and pasta
Dizzy's – dubbed “The Finer Diner”
Lot 2 – tiny and elegant, with ever-changing specials
Giuseppina –wood-fired thin-crust pies
La Bagel Delight – bagels, coffee and a deli counter
V-Spot – Vegan Colombian eats
Vinegar Hill House – elegant farm-to-table spot in a historic building
Westville Dumbo–vegetarian hot spot
Gran Electrica – margaritas (and also some tasty Mexican eats)
THINGS TO DO
This is Brooklyn, so pretty much anything you can imagine, you can do here. Some things we like…
Our own world-class art museum, with rotating exhibitions and a stellar permanent collection
Located in City Point, in Downtown Brooklyn, this food hall is not to be missed!
Fascinating subway cars and buses from the early days of public transportation. Great for train-loving kids
Small local zoo with a petting area and farm animals. Nearby is a 100-year old carousel
Gowanus spot for (you guessed it) throwing axes. Yes, really. That’s a thing.
Interactive exhibits for kids, near the Brooklyn Museum in Crown Heights
Laundromat by day; NYC’s finest collection of pinball machines by night. Williamsburg
One of the city’s oldest cemeteries, designed by Fredrick Law Olmsted. Weekend tram tours. Greenwood Heights
Moonshine and bourbon in the historic Brooklyn Navy Yard. Tours and tastings: Tuesdays through Sundays
One of the oldest homes in NYC, dating to 1652, in Brooklyn’s Flatbush neighborhood
Saturday morning spot for seasonal produce, fresh fish, baked goods and more. Stop by after the race!
The most famous wooden roller coaster in the US, and one of the oldest (1927) still in operation. Coney Island
Tours and tastings in their Williamsburg digs