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How to Spend an Extra Day in Brooklyn

The attractions in NYC's most populous borough are endless

by Shivani Vora

October 4, 2023

Brooklyn Bridge / Photo: Laurenz Heymann / Unsplash

A city within a city, Brooklyn is New York’s fastest-growing and most populous borough, with 2.6 million residents. Incorporating more than two dozen diverse neighborhoods ranging from the seaside escape of Coney Island to the hipster bar-filled enclave of Williamsburg, it’s bigger than Boston, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., and Minneapolis combined. And let’s not leave out the art-gallery-lined streets of DUMBO, the elegant brownstone blocks in Cobble Hill, and Flatbush’s Little Caribbean.

The attractions in Brooklyn are endless. Whether you’re a history fiend, culture lover or gourmand, this is a borough that appeals to anyone and everyone.

DeKalb Market Hall

DeKalb Market Hall / Photo: Courtesy of Robert K. Chin

Brooklyn’s food scene continues to become more dynamic and expansive every year. Forget dining at just a handful of places and instead head over to DeKalb Market Hall. It’s home to more than 35 vendors. The spots include classics such as Arepa Lady, a venue that serves cornmeal cakes, and A Taste of Katz’s, famous for its deli sandwiches.

Wythe Hotel

Wythe Hotel / Photo: Courtesy of Wythe Hotel

For luxury, great design, amazing food and people-watching, you can’t go wrong at Williamsburg’s Wythe Hotel. Housed in a building that was originally a factory, the stylish property has 69 guest rooms with original high timber ceilings and oversized windows. Dining and drinking venues include Le Crocodile and Bar Blondeau.

The Bushwick Collective

The Bushwick Collective / Photo: Batchelder/Alamy Stock

Founded by Bushwick local Joe Ficalora, this vast open-air gallery invites global street artists to adorn its walls with massive graffiti murals. It came after Miami’s Wynwood Walls but is just as impressive in its creativity and scale. You can explore on your own or take an inexpensive walking tour with a company such as Brooklyn Unplugged Tours.

Brooklyn Museum

Brooklyn Museum / Photo: Courtesy of Sarah Desantis

Situated in a stunning 19th-century neoclassical building, the Brooklyn Museum features a permanent collection of more than a half-million pieces. Artists such as Cézanne and Rothko are represented, along with artifacts from Egypt and works from Europe, Asia and all over the United States. Check the events calendar before your trip for information on upcoming performances and artist talks.

Prospect Park

Prospect Park / Photo: Washington Imaging/Alamy Stock Photo

Central Park may get all the fame when it comes to New York’s nature playgrounds, but the 585-acre Prospect Park holds equal appeal. Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, it’s filled with diversions. Visit the Lefferts Historic House, a farmhouse with exhibits that showcase the history of the property, or hit the Audubon Center to learn about the park’s wildlife. You can also picnic on one of the many lawns, ice-skate at LeFrak Center at Lakeside, or bike through the leafy paths.