Things to do in Brooklyn in a Day

Brooklyn in a Day: Hipster street art in Williamsburg
New York City consists of five boroughs. While most visitors focus on Manhattan, if you take time to visit NYC's other boroughs you'll find a more local experience. In particular, spending a day in Brooklyn can be fun. Brooklyn is a borough filled with intriguing neighborhoods. From historic Coney Island to hipster Williamsburg, there is something for everyone. Read on to learn about four ways to do Brooklyn in a day.

SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT: En route to Brooklyn, take the subway to Long Island City in Queens. You'll be rewarded with fantastic views of the Manhattan skyline. Take a peaceful walk along the East River and then hop on the ferry to Williamsburg in Brooklyn.
Days out in New York: Long Island City Queens

Brooklyn in a Day: Williamsburg NY

Plan a visit to Williamsburg on a Saturday and start your adventure in Brooklyn with a visit to Smorgasburg, a weekly open-air food market serving up all sorts of delectable dishes, many with an ethnic flair. We sampled watermelon maple syrup lemonade, a butternut squash donut and fried chicken served in a pineapple.
One day in Brooklyn: Lemonade, pineapple chicken, and butternut squash doughnut at Smorgasburg in Williamsburg
Great food at Smorgasburg in Williamsburg
Go for a caffeine fix at Partners Coffee Roasters in Williamsburg. The cold brew really hits the spot on a hot day. No trip to New York is complete without a proper foldable pizza slice. Grab a cheese slice for lunch at Joe's in Williamsburg.
Brooklyn in a day: coffee, pizza, and Oddfellows ice cream in Williamsburg
Things to do in Williamsburg Brooklyn:
Left: cold brew at Partners Coffee Roasters
Middle: Classic New York pizza slice at Joe's
Right: Six scoops of ice cream at Oddfellows
While away the afternoon at Brooklyn Brewery. Try unique craft beers you may not find in the shops.  I particularly loved the Brooklyn Bel Air Sour. It was tart and slightly astringent.
One day in Brooklyn: Brooklyn Brewery in Williamsburg
Brooklyn Brewery in Williamsburg
Continue eating your way through Williamsburg with a six scoop flight at Oddfellows, a Brooklyn institution. Black sesame Nutella, carrot cake cream cheese, sprinkles, burnt marshmallow, coffee crunch, and Santa's milk and cookies completed the experience. Walk off all the delicious eating and drinking by having a wander and browsing the quaint shops in Williamsburg.

Brooklyn in a Day: Park Slope

Another way to spend a day in Brooklyn is to take the subway to Park Slope. Park Slope has a decidedly residential feel. Make your way to the Olde Brooklyn Bagel Shoppe in Park Slope for a proper New York bagel for breakfast. Ask for what's hot and let that inform your selection. Be prepared to wait. The Olde Brooklyn Bagel Shoppe is extremely popular, especially on the weekend. It's worth the wait.
Brooklyn in a Day: Bagels at Olde Bagel Shoppe in Park Slope
Brooklyn bagels at Olde Brooklyn Bagel Shoppe
Bagel in hand, take a walk around Prospect Park. Sit on a park bench and watch the joggers and dog walkers rushing past. Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, the famous landscape architect, at the turn of the 20th century, the park has seen better days but is a living breathing piece of history and a green lung in the urban expanse of Brooklyn.
One day in Brooklyn: Prospect Park in Park Slope
Prospect Park in Park Slope Brooklyn
Head over to 5th Avenue for a cold brew coffee in a relaxing setting at Kos Kaffe in Park Slope. 5th Avenue is lined with all sorts of shops and restaurants. Take some time to browse.

Try Colombian food at Bogota Latin Bistro in Park Slope for brunch or lunch. I loved the zesty vinegar based sauces for dipping cornmeal empanadas. Migas with arepas and tostones (savory plantains) were simply delicious. Wash it all down with a spicy jalapeno guava margarita.
Brooklyn in a day: Bogota Latin Bistro in Park Slope
Bogota Latin Bistro in Park Slope
Finish your Brooklyn in a day itinerary focused on Park Slope with a stop at Threes Brewing. Waiting for the Renaissance was surprisingly sour. Opt for the smallest pours so you can try a few of their signature brews.
Things to do in Brooklyn: Kos Kaffe and Threes Brewing in Park Slope
Things to do in Park Slope: 
Left: Coffee at Kos Kaffe
Middle and Right: Threes Brewing

Brooklyn in a Day: Borough Park

Borough Park is an area of Brooklyn far off the tourist map. Known for a high concentration of Hasidic Jews, we appreciated the opportunity to check out some of the neighborhood landmarks. Shop at Glatt Mart, a Glatt Kosher supermarket. I definitely recommend the rugelach, little crescent shaped pastries. Stop at a kosher pizza and falafel shop for lunch. Some of the places in the neighborhood feel a little divey but seem to be popular with the locals. We tried falafel in a pita with a potato knish. Consider a visit to Borough Park as an alternative day out in Brooklyn.
Brooklyn in a day: Falafel and a knish in Borough Park
Things to do in Borough Park Brooklyn

Brooklyn in a Day: Coney Island and Brighton Beach

Coney Island and Brighton Beach at the southern tip of Brooklyn takes over an hour to get to from Manhattan on the subway. Coney Island is like a whole other world. If you happen to be in New York City for the Fourth of July, take the opportunity to witness once of the greatest competitions of all time -- the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest. This event is not for the faint of heart. Champion eaters from around the world descend on Coney Island for a shot at the annual title. Even ESPN televises the festivities. Try to get close to the stage (but not too close...you never want to be too close to someone that has just downed more than 60 hot dogs and buns in 10 minutes!) The anticipation is palpable. Even our canine friends were licking their lips waiting for the contest to begin.

SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT: Looking for more of a classic day out in Manhattan? Go where the locals go. Get a coffee and walk the High Line.

One by one, the competitors are introduced. When we went, we had the good fortune to see Takeru Kobayashi, the heavy weight and former title-holder from Japan take the stage. He was soon followed by another hot dog eating champion, Joey Chestnut, who strutted on stage carrying his Nathan's victory belt. The competition began and the crowd grew frenzied as hot dog after hot dog was wolfed down. Kobayashi and Chestnut were neck and neck. We were witnessing a world-record pace of hot-dog eating. While the time-per-dog seemed to decrease as time elapsed and many of the competitors had a pained look on their faces, we did witness history. Joey Chestnut downed 69 hot dogs in 10 minutes, a new world record! Having crossed that experience off your life-list, continue down the Coney Island boardwalk. Stop for a knish and Jamaican beef patty at a quintessential boardwalk shack. Ice cold lemonade really hits the spot.
One day in Brooklyn: Coney Island
Coney Island
After the morning's excitement, continue into neighboring Brighton Beach in search of a little sweet treat. Brighton Beach is an area of Brooklyn with a large Russian immigrant population. Situated under the subway tracks, Brighton Beach Avenue is lined with plenty of shops and eateries. We hit the sweet jackpot at Food Heaven which featured a dozen or more cakes that could be ordered by the slice. We asked for about 2 inches of the honey cake and two inches of the cherry cake to share with family and friends.

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Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: Things to do in Brooklyn in a Day
Things to do in Brooklyn in a Day
Discover different neighborhoods to visit in Brooklyn in a day. Spend a day in Brooklyn and find out what to do in Williamsburg NY. Find out things to do in Park Slope. Travel to Coney Island for the Nathen's Hot Dog Eating Contest. Visit Brooklyn's Borough Park.
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