Once a bastion of Latino working-class life, Williamsburg is the dining and nightlife center of northern Brooklyn. This erstwhile bohemian magnet has seen the starving artists move to Bushwick for cheaper rents, leaving gleaming condos and refurbished brownstones to professionals and hip young families. There’s lots to explore, from vintage-cocktail dens to shops selling one-of-a-kind creations from local craftspeople.
Offering fabulous, waterside Manhattan views, the East River State Park is an open green space that becomes a major draw in the summertime with picnicking and occasional concerts.
Once upon a time Williamsburg was the center of beer-brewing in New York. Continuing the tradition, the Brooklyn Brewery not only brews and serves tasty local suds, it also offers tours.
If you want to expand your wardrobe to include some local flavor, stop in at Buffalo Exchange, a much-loved resale shop, where you'll find lightly used, on-trend fashions for men and women.
For a glimpse of curious old objects from the city's days of yore, visit City Reliquary, a snug storefront museum packed with NYC relics, including exhibits on the 1939 World's Fair.
Latin American Detour
A fun little shop for browsing, Fuego 718 transports you south of the border with Day of the Dead boxes, colorful frames and mirrors, and kitsch and crafts from Mexico, Peru and beyond.
More Brooklyn Booze
Crank that time machine back one more notch at retro Maison Premiere, which features bespoke cocktails, oysters and other treats with a smart Southern vibe.
If it's a weekend, browse the aisles of Artists & Fleas, a shopping warren of several dozen booths featuring locally crafted jewelry, accessories, artworks, cosmetics, housewares and vintage records and clothes.
Williamsburg is home to the lone American outpost of legendary UK record store Rough Trade, a warehouse-sized dream for music lovers and LP collectors that also hosts frequent in-store concerts of upcoming talents, with tickets usually not more than $15. You can finish up your neighborhood stroll with a fresh latte from the in-store cafe.
- Specialty cocktails
- Local arts & crafts
Williamsburg is in northern Brooklyn, just one stop from Manhattan and about 5 miles from Times Sq.
Subway L to Bedford Ave.