Brooklyn is very different from the rest of New York City. Maybe it’s because it was its own city until 1898. Maybe it’s because of its geography, right next to and jutting out below Manhattan. Whatever it is, there is plenty to do and see in this famous district. Here are some of the best things to do while staying at a Brooklyn hotel.

On a day with good weather, walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. It may be a cliché, but all clichés exist for a good reason. Built in 1883, the Gothic arches are a great example of 19th-century American architecture. The bridge and was the longest suspension bridge in the world for twenty years. After crossing over to the Brooklyn side, you’ll notice a long line heading down Old Fulton St. Join in and expect the best pizza in town (and maybe even the world). Be careful: Grimaldi’s is cash only. Once you sit down, choose an original cake and if you are with hungry people, another cake with the works. Then walk around DUMBO to enjoy the art and culture. This is an evening you will remember for a long time.

If you’re staying in a Brooklyn hotel for the weekend, pick a day to walk Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg. The current hipster capital of the world, this neighborhood has gone from ramshackle warehouses to million-dollar penthouses in just over a decade. There are shops, restaurants, cafes and crowds of beautiful young people. Ask the locals where to go for brunch or stop at any restaurant recently rated by Zagat. You won’t be disappointed.

For a trip into Brooklyn history, hop on the B, D, F, N or Q train from your Brooklyn hotels. Take it south to Brighton Beach. Be surprised at the lack of English spoken in this predominantly Russian neighborhood. Walk west along the boardwalk and, if you feel like it, take a dip in the ocean and continue walking until you reach Coney Island, New York’s old Las Vegas. Connected via landfill to the mainland, this island attracted crowds eager to get away from the city and revel in luxury and sin. However, after World War II, access by car allowed people to travel to the more distant Jones Beach on Long Island, and Coney Island’s popularity waned. Since then, Coney Island has become an amusement park of the past. The nearby aquarium and remaining amusement park, Astroland, are still worth a visit, but most of the crowds have left. Except outside of Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs. His visit will inspire nostalgia for a time never before lived and leave you feeling like you’ve just seen an old friend after a long absence.

These three-day trips will give you a better understanding of Brooklyn’s history. You’ll see three completely different areas and recognize how Brooklyn has changed in the last two hundred years. And when you get back to your Brooklyn hotel, you’ll want to write down all the stories you’ve collected from his adventures in Kings County.

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