Visiting New York requires time. This city has so much going on that I doubt you can do it in a few days and say that it was enough. There’s always something new to see, a neighborhood to explore or a new dish to dig in.
That’s why I highly recommend saving one day to go to Red Hook. Originally a Dutch settlement, this very industrial-looking point located in the western part of Brooklyn has a lot of art galleries, restaurants, bars and shops to explore.
I believe this is the hardest part of coming up with your Red Hook itinerary. I suggest Hometown BBQ if you like meat and arriving early at places – if you come in late, get ready to wait in a crazy long line. But the smell is so good, I’m sure you won’t regret it.
If you’re looking for something quieter, I’d go for the The Copper Pot, a latin restaurant/bar. Now if you want to stick to the traditional seafood (you’re in the seaside after all), choose Red Hook Lobster Rolls.
The Waterfront Museum
Founded in 1985, The Waterfront Museum is housed aboard the 1914 Lehigh Valley Barge #79, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Its a great place for exhibition, school tours and performance arts (the latter happens in the summer). I really enjoyed learning about the barge and city’s history. The decoration and antique items are also really fun and interesting. Plus the people in charge of the museum are the nicest – they gave me a postcard and showed one of their art installations – both for free!
The Waterfront Museum is free – it accepts donations (and please do donate, the men who work here are truly devoted to making this an exception place to both locals and tourists).
The open hours are unfortunately very limited – only Thursdays (4-8pm) and Saturdays (1-5pm).
Okay, let me tell you a secret: I usually don’t like lime pie. But Stephen’s Key Lime Pie is to die for! Produced in Red Hook daily, the custard is so incredibly fresh and the crust is so crunchy. I also love the decoration, the view to the ocean and the surroundings – I saw a bunch of motorcycles, an abandoned trailer and an antique shop. This place is very busy in the summer, but I went in the winter and it was just as great. I can’t wait to go back on a warm summer day. Small individual 4″ pie costs $5.50, 8″ pie costs $20 and 10″ pie costs $30 (good to share with all your friends)!
To be honest I didn’t go to Red Hook looking for shopping but two things did catch my eye: a bookshop called Pioneer Books and the fact that there’s a Tesla store. However, I did stop at Cacao Prieto, a chocolate store which is also joined by Widow Jane Distillery. You can buy chocolate and have some whisky tasting at the same time.
After that, I went to Raaka Chocolate – a factory that offers free samples of every single product they sell as well as tours to get to know how the magic of making vegan chocolate happens. They have a wide – and uncommon – variety of options – definitely worth checking out!
If you really want to go shopping for clothes or accessories, I recommend getting a bus, uber or subway to the other 5th avenue – yes, it’s in Brooklyn!
Other things to see and do in Red Hook
A free ferry from Manhattan to Red Hook will allow you to take a closer look at the Statue of Liberty. If you’re already in Brooklyn, it’s okay. You still can see NYC’s most popular landmark when you visit The Waterfront Museum. Another fun trip to those who love home decor is visiting IKEA! By the way, the store offers free shuttle buses to nearby subway stations.
Do you like visiting locations off the beaten track? Leave your ideas in the comments section below.
PS: If you want help planning your trip to NYC, I can help you plan your itinerary. Send me an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org 🙂