A mecca for young creatives for over a decade, Williamsburg is in the same cosmos as hip East Berlin.
Interestingly, the hip Williamsburg scene plays out against a backdrop of old industrial buildings, modest attached homes (though punctuated by increasing numbers of expensive waterfront high rises), and a long-standing residential community of Hasidim. Williamsburg is a mish-mash of cultures and vistas, a place that's perhaps not as beautiful as, say, the campus of Brooklyn College, nor as uniform as landmarked brownstone Brooklyn.
If there's one neighborhood that's indicative of the "new Brooklyn," it's Williamsburg. Come take a look! Because even if you've lived in Brooklyn for a thousand years, Williamsburg can seem like foreign terrain.
For plain old bowling, head to The Gutter (200 N 14th St), another bowling alley with a bar that has vintage overtones.
3. DRINK GOOD BEER: Tour Brooklyn Brewery, Visit Williamsburgs Bars & Beer Gardens
4. GO FOR A DRINK: Visit a Cocktail or Wine BarInterested in a casual experience that costs less than dinner out, but feels fancier than just having a beer? Have a nibble with your date at a bar ( See best bar food in Williamsburg.) Or, head to one of the interesting cocktail bars in the neighborhood. If wine's your thing, explore some of the neighborhoods small, low-key, tasteful wine bars.
5. SEE A SHOW: Theater, Live Music, Art
6. SHOP for VintageIf it's vintage clothing you're shopping for, Williamsburg has a lot to offer, and in different price ranges. For just plain hunt-and-find experience, go to the huge, popular Beacon's Closet. But there's more....
- Cheap Vintage Shopping in Williamsburg.
- Designer Vintage Clothing and Shoes in Williamsburg.
- Men's Vintage Clothing in Williamsburg.
The classic Williamsburg trendsetting store for mid-century modern is Two Jakes.
7. PLAY OUTDOORS: Go to a Summer Outdoor Movie, Shop at Brooklyn FleaEnjoy several parks in Wiliamsburg. McCarren Park is centrally located betwen Nassau Ave, Bayard St, Leonard St, and N 12 Streets and has baseball fields and basketball courts, bocce, playgrounds, running tracks and dog run areas. You can also visit East River State Park for killer Manhattan views.
Summer The list of things to do in Brooklyn simply explodes as the summer rolls around. In Williamsburg, you can go to free outdoor movies in the park (see below), take the ferry to DUMBO or Manhattan. Or, on the weekends, eat outdoors like a king or queen at Smorgasburg, an outdoor food festival held every weekend in East River State Park.
8. FARM-TO-TABLE: Take a Cooking Class at Kitchen, Tour Mast Brothers ChocolateGiven the locavore, farm-to-table ethos in this corner of Brooklyn, it's no surprise that one can also find interesting cooking classes. Need to learn how to carve a hock of ham? What to do with knives? How to make a killer pie crust? Take a class at Brooklyn Kitchen. Then head to Whisk, a to-die-for kitchen supply store. Or, treat yourself with a tour of the acclaimed Mast Brothers chocolatier.
9. BOOK A PARTY for a Special OccasionEven if you're not from the 'hood, why not have a birthday party or special occasion in Wiliamsburg? (Because if there's anything people know in this neighborhood, it's how to party.) Check out the best bars in Williamsburg for a birthday party. Or, book a table at the wonderful Diner.
Free Things to Do in WilliamsburgWilliamsburg can be expensive — but it doesn't have to be.
There are great parks (and free outdoor movies in the summer), window-shopping and holiday festivals in the winter. It's fun to simply walk around the area to see how the different strains in the neighborhood — Italian, hipster and moneyed residents — all play together. Check out the bike stands at the subway stations (you'll see a lot of bikes), local art galleries, and gaze at the skyline of Manhattan.
A trip to Williamsburg can cost hundreds of dollars (if you dine and drink well, or shop), or no more than a subway ride. After all, the best entertainment of all is free: people-watching. Free Things to Do in Williamsburg.