Visiting Brooklyn

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, cool art, and a progressive music scene--to picturesque Brooklyn Heights—packed with historic brownstones and carriage houses--and fast-growing 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 is something for everyone. 

Read on for even more specific recommendations of what to do, see, and eat in Brooklyn. And if in doubt, turn to a Brooklynite and be sure to glean some solid information. Just be ready to pack a week's worth of stuff into a couple of days.


Getting Around

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.

We've also got CAR2GO for short term rentals, UBER, Lyft, ZipCar, and I'm sure one or two other things the internet invented this morning.

Citibike is a popular bike-sharing service. We highly recommend taking advantage of this and going for a ride on the Brooklyn Greenway.


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 Marathon and Half Marathon start.

Not far from the start and Prospect Park in the now-hip Gowanus neighborhood, the Hotel Le Bleu is stylish; nearby is the Union Hotel. There is also a Holiday Inn Express (use the code RUN for the best rate), and a Super 8. The Look Hotel (part of the Ascend family of hotels) is located nearby in Red Hook and would also be a great lodging location for out of town visitors. A bit further off in Downtown Brooklyn, there is the Marriott Brooklyn Bridge.

If you wish to be located near good nightlife and myriad restaurants, The Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg is a great option.


Where TO Eat

We're no Zagat, but here are some of our favorite places!

Red Hook

Carroll Gardens and Gowanus

Park Slope

  • Bar Toto – our NYC 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

  • The Bagel Hole – straight out of the oven, takeout only

  • V-Spot – Vegan Colombian eats

DUMBO

WILLIAMSBURG

  • Peter Luger – THE classic New York steakhouse. Get the porterhouse for two

  • Mesa Coyoacan – Inventive tacos. Try anything with the mole

  • Marlow & Sons – New England farm (and ocean) to table

  • Diner – Upscale diner in a 1920’s Pullman rail car


Things TO Do

The Brooklyn Museum

Our own world-class art museum, with rotating exhibitions and a stellar permanent collection

Dekalb Market Hall

Located in City Point, in Downtown Brooklyn, this food hall is not to be missed!

New York Transit Museum

Fascinating subway cars and buses from the early days of public transportation. Great for train-loving kids

Prospect Park Zoo

Small local zoo with a petting area and farm animals. Nearby is a 100-year old carousel

Kick-Axe

Gowanus spot for (you guessed it) throwing axes. Yes, really. That’s a thing.

Brooklyn Children’s Museum

Interactive exhibits for kids, near the Brooklyn Museum in Crown Heights

Sunshine Laundromat

Laundromat by day; NYC’s finest collection of pinball machines by night. Williamsburg

Green-Wood Cemetery

One of the city’s oldest cemeteries, designed by Fredrick Law Olmsted. Weekend tram tours. Greenwood Heights

Kings County Distillery

Moonshine and bourbon in the historic Brooklyn Navy Yard. Tours and tastings: Tuesdays through Sundays

The Wyckoff House

One of the oldest homes in NYC, dating to 1652, in Brooklyn’s Flatbush neighborhood

Grand Army Plaza Green Market

Saturday morning spot for seasonal produce, fresh fish, baked goods and more. Stop by after the race!

The Cyclone

The most famous wooden roller coaster in the US, and one of the oldest (1927) still in operation. Coney Island

Brooklyn Brewery

Tours and tastings in their Williamsburg digs