Courtesy the Wythe

No longer living in Manhattan’s shadow, Brooklyn has become a destination in its own right. The not-so-outer borough—which would be the United States’ fourth-largest city if it were independent—is home to an extraordinary diversity, from long-time Russian, Italian and Polish communities to young professionals recently decamped from across the river, who come for Kings County’s thriving arts, shopping and culinary scenes. Brooklyn has become a catchphrase for cool, a hotbed for creative hipsters and old-school cultural institutions alike.

Cheat Sheet

  • Sleep…at the Wythe Hotel, a hot-spot boutique hotel in prime Williamsburg
  • Experience…the hair-raising thrill of the Cyclone roller coaster at Coney Island
  • Splurge…on the tasting menu at Bushwick’s 12-seat Blanca
  • Eat…a perfectly charred porterhouse at classic New York steakhouse Peter Luger
  • Drink…expertly shaken tipple at Cobble Hill craft cocktail haven Clover Club
  • Savor…artisanal chocolate at bean-to-bar factory Mast Brothers Chocolate
  • Visit…the Brooklyn Museum, the city’s second-largest collection of art
  • See…the cherry blossoms at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Sakura Matsuri Festival
  • Shop…vintage finds and up-and-coming labels on Williamsburg’s Bedford Avenue
  • Know…that as an Indagare member you can contact our Bookings Team for customized recommendations and itineraries.

Lay of the Land

“Brooklyn was a dream. All the things that happened there just couldn't happen. It was all dream stuff. Or was it all real and true and was it that she, Francie, was the dreamer?”
~Betty Smith, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Just one stop from Manhattan on the L train lies trendy Williamsburg, the neighborhood that essentially put hipsters on the map across the world (the Parisian phrase très Brooklyn means utterly cool). Though the creative hub lost its edge well before the luxury condos went up on its waterfront, it hasn’t lost its character. The oft-derided territory of skinny jeans and ironic trappings is what most people refer to when they say North Brooklyn, but a deeper exploration of the area will take visitors to the borough’s northernmost area, Greenpoint (directly south of Queens). The Polish enclave of kielbasa butchers and quiet, tree-lined streets is seeing an emergence of boutiques, innovative restaurants and, of course, rising rents.

Going south down the waterfront, Brooklyn Heights is located below the iconic Brooklyn Bridge. The upscale residential neighborhood boasts cobblestoned streets, record price–fetching townhouses and postcard-perfect views of the Manhattan skyline. Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens, home to both yuppie newcomers and long-time Italian families, are two more leafy residential neighborhoods with plenty of boutiques and cafés.

Further inland sit many of the borough’s institutions—including the Brooklyn Museum and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden—in Prospect Heights, as well as bucolic Prospect Park, Brooklyn’s largest green space. Just west of Prospect Park lies Park Slope, notorious for its stroller-pushing moms in designer wear and ever-growing collection of bars, restaurants and shops.

Kings County’s southern expanse—from Bay Ridge to Coney Island and Sheepshead Bay—is mostly residential, though its many hidden gems and old-world establishments attract visitors seeking to escape the borough’s gentrification wave.

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Beyond… Brooklyn

Consider combining your trip with one of these destinations.

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