The artists and other creative types who have set up shop in Williamsburg over the last decade have transformed it into a hub for great food, excellent shopping, inspirational live music, and more. For most visitors to the increasingly popular borough of Brooklyn, a jaunt to the dynamic neighborhood affectionately known as Willyburg is a must. While vast in its land area, much of the action in the neighborhood is centered around a compact, walkable area on its northern fringe.
Shopping on Bedford Ave.
A great place to start your walking tour of historic and culturally revived Williamsburg is just above the Bedford stop on the MTA’s L line. Known as Prime Williamsburg, the area is packed with consignment shops touting vintage clothes and antiques, restaurants, and cafes. Walk north to McCarren Park to enjoy the neighborhood’s most iconic green space. If you’re there on a Saturday morning, you can catch Greenmarket, a year-round weekly farmers market in the park at North 12th Street and Driggs.
Bowling, Brooklyn Style
From McCarren Park, head west on 12th Street until you hit Brooklyn Bowl, located just southeast of the park at Wythe Ave. This iconic venue is popular with people from all over Brooklyn and Manhattan, and often has live music that blends with the crash of ball against pin creating a nice soundtrack to your bowling experience. If you’d prefer a more intimate, somewhat grittier setting, The Gutter is just two blocks north at the corner of 14th Street and Wythe.
Eating at Smorgasburg/Shopping the Brooklyn Flea
Just southeast of Brooklyn’s bowling centers lies Bushwick Inlet Park, home to Summer Smorgasburg and the beloved Brooklyn Flea. On Saturdays in the summertime, this is a great place to enjoy a bite, browse an eclectic mix of clothes and decor, and catch free live shows from some of Brooklyn’s most beloved bands. In season, Smorgasburg and the Brooklyn Flea are open from 11am to 6pm. An indoor Smorgasburg and Brooklyn Flea is held in the wintertime at Industry City, in case you’re interested in checking out.
Inspiration at Artists & Fleas
If you’re in town at a time when the Brooklyn Flea is not on, check out Artists & Fleas on North 7th Street between Kent and Wythe. Open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 7pm, year-round, Artists & Fleas features more than 100 individual sellers each weekend. The experience is frequented by dozens of delightful Brooklyn food purveyors as well.
Brooklyn has undergone a great deal of change over the last several years, and the borough now offers something for almost everyone. Conveniently located in the heart of the borough’s downtown area, NU Hotel Brooklyn is a great place to stay and use as a base while exploring the neighborhoods that interest you most. Peruse other blog posts or check out our neighborhood guides to learn more about Brooklyn’s vibrant attractions.