If getting “off the beaten path” is how you explore the city then Red Hook, Brooklyn has to be on your list of neighborhoods to visit. This former Revolutionary War outpost and center of Brooklyn’s industrial age is home to funky art spaces, distilleries, tasty restaurants and quirky bars. Here’s our list of the best places to scope out on your walk through the area:
Public Park – Louis Valentino Jr. Park with beautiful views of the Statue of Liberty
Noble Tree Coffee Roasters AKA Noble Tree By the Sea
Kings Coffee Roasters
Court Street Grocers Hero Shop
Raaka Chocolate Factory
Red Hook Winery
Red Hook Bait and Tackle Bar
Foxy and Winston
Van Brunt Stillhouse
Roberta’s for Lunch
Stroll to the Bushwick Collective to see some of NYC’s best street art and grafitti
Williamsburg for a afternoon coffee, stroll down Bedford Avenue and Grand Streets
Walk to the waterfront for sunset views of Manhattan (if it’s the weekend, go to Artists and Fleas).
Grab a cocktail at the William Vale, Williamsburg Hotel or Wythe Hotel rooftops. For craft beer drinkers, swing by the Greenpoint Beer and Ale Co or Spritzenhaus.
Want more? Check out our Epic Bar Crawl in Williamsburg post for suggestions on where to go.
We hate it when it rains. Fortunately this city is jam-packed with fun things to do even when the weather sucks that aren’t just getting drunk at the bar. Here’s a list of our favorite spots and activities in the city:
Spin NYC – The holy grail of Ping Pong in the city. Spin NYC located in Midtown Manhattan has excellent food, good music and bar serving tasty suds for you to enjoy. Susan Sarandon is an investor in the bar and has been known to swing by on occasion.
Fat Cat – Ping Pong (not as serious at Spin), table-top Shuffleboard, Billiards, drinks AND live jazz. YES! This is the go-to place for hunkering down and waiting out a storm. Pro Tip: Go when it starts to rain, people don’t venture out once it starts to rain!
The Uncommons – Manhattan’s only board game cafe serving beer and wine. You can literally play anything you want from Settlers of Catan to Magic the Gathering. Pro Tip: Go mid-week during the day to get a table, it can be next to impossible to sit on the weekends.
Drink – Usually crowded but worth the wait is McSorley’s Ale House – the oldest family owned bar in the city (and it looks like it). You only have two options for beer, light or dark. Pro Tip: Don’t be surprised if they give you two beers when you order one, every order consists of two pints! Other favorites include The Dead Rabbit in FiDi and Leave Rochelle Out of It in NoLita are guide favorites.
Food Crawl – Pick a neighborhood and use Yelp to guide you on a culinary quest through the city. Yelp is the most popular user review website for restaurants in NYC, we recommend only ordering 1 entree at each establishment and trying to sample 3-4 spots. If you go for quick eats like dumplings or bbq sandwich you may be able to do more!
Spritzenhaus Beer Hall – We point out this gem in Greenpoint often when we do our Brooklyn bike tour. Spritzenhaus is a German style beer hall with endless amounts of beers on tap and tasty pretzels and sausages on the menu. The tables are communal so you can strike up a conversation with friendly locals and they even have Jenga. Best of all there’s a huge fire pit in the center of the bar so it’s particularly nice on cold days. Pro Tip – Weekend days can be pretty crowded so try going off hours.
Brooklyn Bowl – Another featured stop on our Brooklyn bike tour, Brooklyn Bowl is a bowling alley, bar, restaurant and music venue all rolled into one! Bowling is roughly $50 x hour x lane so grab some friends and reserve a lane early, it gets busy! Check out the lineup in advance or just go and trust they only feature top talent. Pro Tip – Get there early if you want to bowl, it gets busy. Saturday’s during the day are reserved for families.
Palms Shuffleboard – This is why we love Brooklyn. The Palms Shuffleboard is a gorgeous warehouse in Gowanus, Brooklyn with 10 full-sized shuffleboard courts, a bar and restaurant. It’s deep in the neighborhood of Brooklyn so plan accordingly if you’re planning to visit. Check out Dinosaur BBQ next door and grab a beer at Threes Brewing down the street. Pro Tip – Avoid Sundays, they have league play those days so it’s difficult to get a lane.
The Big Whiskey – This sports bar in Williamsburg is perfect for catching any American Sport (sorry soccer/football fans) and enjoying pub games too. Ping Pong in the back, a giant of Jenga, board games and tabletop shuffleboard downstairs, you can’t go wrong with this divey sports bar in the BURG.
Chocolate Tour – Artisan Chocolate is so hot right now. Visit the most famous artisan chocolate maker in Williamsburg, The Mast Brothers and take a tour and sample their tasty treats first hand. Tours are only $10 x person, last about 30 minutes and come with a bunch of samples to try. Visit them here to find our details about their tours – https://mastbrothers.com/pages/visit
Let’s face it, planning a trip to NYC can be a pretty daunting task. With so much information out there it’s hard to find good, honest suggestions for what to do and see, where to stay and what to experience when here in NYC. Fortunately for you, we’re here to help.
Biking– Did you think we’d suggest otherwise? Biking lets you cover the most ground while still letting you see and experience the energy on the street. Biking infrastructure has improved tremendously in the past 10 years so getting around NYC on a bike is easier than ever. All Get Up and Ride tours come standard with a bike but if you’re looking to ride on non-tour days, check out Sun & Air in Williamsburg or CitiBike with convenient locations all around the Citi. Just make sure you know where the bike lanes are and where Citi Bike stations are.
Subway – Our #1 suggestion, take the subway! – It’s typically the most convenient and reliable way to get around, especially if you’re on a time crunch (like coming on our tour or catching a show). Here’s a great video, with tons of information (maybe not the best production quality):
Uber – New York City now has 4 Ubers for every Taxi cab. No need to tip or wonder how much your trip is going to cost, pricing is shown to you up front with this convenient app. Not to mention you can see when your ride is there. Use the code FEELING22 for free ride worth $22 if you’re a first time user of Uber.
WHERE TO STAY
Airbnb – Although it’s been demonized in the past few years for contributing to the un-affordability of the city, staying with a local Airbnb is the best way to connect with local culture and save money on lodging. Our favorite neighborhoods to stay in are Williamsburg, Brooklyn or the East Village in Manhattan. BE AWARE – booking an entire apartment when the landlord isn’t there is technically illegal so opt for shared rooms or private rooms that share a common living space!
Brooklyn Hotels – Enjoy the most breathtaking views of the city by staying in Brooklyn. We love the Wythe Hotel, William Vale and new Williamsburg Hotel. A little less pricey option in Greenpoint that we love is the Box House Hotel.
Manhattan Hotels – AVOID Time Square, it’s touristy and far from the best restaurants and nightlife in the city (but if you’ve already booked a hotel in Times Sqaure, we still love you!). Opt for hotels in Lower Manhattan or around Central Park. Our favorites include: the Sixty LES or Sixty Soho (call their reservation department and mention Get Up and Ride for 10% off your stay), The Soho Grand and Roxy hotels, the Standard Hotel in the Meat Packing or East Village or the Nomad Hotel.
YesBroadway – Our friends started this blog to make it easy to know provide those interested in theatre and easy to digest review of give people an insiders look at Broadway
TodayTix – Don’t wait in line at the TKTS booth, download the TodayTix app and get the same discount you’d get at the booth without waiting in line! Use the code MYLTT for $10 off any ticket!
The Skint– a personal favorite of the team, its the go-to newsletter for free and relatively cheap things to do in the city. A lot of comedy nights and storytelling shows for those of you wanting to get an authentic local crowd.
TimeOut NY or Village Voice – You can get physical copies of TimeOut every Wednesday around popular cafes around the city; the Village Voice is also distributed at newspaper stands around the city. From restaurants and bar reviews to events for all types of interests (LGBT, Theatre, Film and Literature), both these newsletter offer great resource for timely things to do. Keep in mind, they’re the most popular weekly publications so be mindful of big crowds if they’re promoting a cool event! Pro Tip – Don’t bother looking at these publications until the day you arrive.
OhMyRockness – Great list of small, indie shows playing all over NYC. The list specifically pics the best up and coming bands instead of only pushing the biggest stars.
Yelp – In NYC it seems that everyone’s a food critic. If you don’t mind reading the lengthy reviews by wanna-be writers, you can rest-assured 4 to 5 star reviews for local restaurants are a solid recommendations. Best of all, you can find good places near you.
Eater – Things like the Heat Map with the hottest restaurants in every neighborhood and in-depth reviews of all the best restaurants, Eater NY has enough recommendations for even the most hardcore foodie.