I’m so excited to bring you this new travel series! I’ve found that when asking people advice about visiting their city, it’s best to ask them where they’d take a friend.
So, in “5 Things,” I’ll ask some of my favorite bloggers in cities all over the country to share insider travel tips on where to eat, shop, stay, and play in their neighborhoods (plus, what to pack to make the adventure complete)—the things they’d do. In the series’ inaugural post, Shoko Wanger of Sho & Tell introduces us to Williamsburg in Brooklyn, NY.
5 Things: Williamsburg
Shoko Wanger of Sho & Tell
I’ve lived in Williamsburg for four years now and have become gleefully accustomed to the steady influx of visitors that stream through in the spring and summer months. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of things to do in the area—we’ve got some of the best restaurants and shopping in the city (though I admit, as an adoring resident, I’m biased). It would be impossible to fit everything I love about Williamsburg into a weekend—but, happily, that’s just another reason to return.
Bakeri, 150 Wythe Avenue, (718) 388-8037
The backyard at Bakeri is a true gem—a tiny, tucked-away oasis just minutes from the bustle of Bedford Avenue. It’s a great stop for coffee or tea, sandwiches on housemade breads, or assorted pastries (my favorite is skolebrød, a custardy Norwegian treat showered in grated coconut). Everything’s exceptional—and served up by a smiling staff in powder-blue jumpsuits, no less.
Beautiful Dreamers, 326 Wythe Avenue, (718) 388-4884
Located on an unassuming block on the south side of Williamsburg, Beautiful Dreamers is a bohemian wonderland packed with ethereal treasures: clothing and clay incense burners, handmade pottery and patchwork quilts, plants in every nook and cranny. There’s a wooden swing near the front window; behind the cashier, white doves rest, cooing quietly in a sea-green cage.
Wythe Hotel, 80 Wythe Avenue, (718) 460-8000
The rooftop view at the Wythe Hotel is reason enough to book a stay. Further incentives: it’s beautifully built and a paragon of Brooklyn design (it’s co-owned by the same team behind neighborhood mainstays Marlow & Sons, Marlow & Daughters,and Diner). Its rooms feature pine ceilings, furnishings made by local artisans, and custom Williamsburg-themed wallpaper. It’s also home to an acclaimed restaurant, Reynard, and a gorgeous bar, The Ides, where said rooftop views are best enjoyed.
Williamsburg waterfront and East River State Park, Kent Avenue at N. 8th Street
I love the Williamsburg waterfront, with the bridge to the left and the Manhattan skyline straight ahead. Have a picnic in the grass, take a walk on the pier, or hitch a ride to Greenpoint or DUMBO on the East River Ferry. During warm weather months, Smorgasburg—a food-focused flea market with over 75 vendors—makes its home here every Saturday, in East River State Park.
I learned quickly that a big bag is key to mastering a day out in New York. Without a car to stow things in, I often find myself carrying ridiculous amounts of stuff around with me every day: makeup, an umbrella, an iPhone charger, a camera, and all the various odds and ends I pick up over the course of a day. A roomy bag makes it easier—and more comfortable—to be out and about with everything a multi-hour excursion requires. I like these backpacks from Baggu, which, as it happens, is a Williamsburg-based company. (You can visit their shop at 242 Wythe Avenue.)
Photos by Jacquelyne Pierson.