Discover Unforgettable Experiences - 19 Best things to do in Red Hook, Brooklyn

things to do in red hook brooklyn
Discover Unforgettable Experiences - 19 Best things to do in Red Hook, Brooklyn

Red Hook is a neighborhood located in the western part of Brooklyn in New York City. It is known for its maritime history, industrial character, and unique atmosphere. If you are considering visiting there and want to explore “that part of the world” by yourself then, we are here to help you out. 

We are looking for a reason to explore all things to do in red hook Brooklyn. This is a highly underrated place to visit as a tourist place. However, you can explore things to do in Brooklyn and discover what makes Red Hook so special and one of the coolest neighborhoods in the borough.

Whether it is your first time visiting NYC or your 10th trip to New York City you’ll find endless things to do. So, if you are looking for ideas and what things to do in New York as first-timers… then this blog will surely help you out. 
There are several best things to do in New York, and one of the main attractions to visit is Brooklyn’s Red Hook. Dutch colonizers named it “Red Hook” because of the red clay found here on the edge of the peninsula, the Dutch called it Roode Hok, which meant “red point.”

Red Hook is a neighborhood with a rich history as an industrious shipping port. Its architecture reflects this, with many old warehouse-style buildings, pre-Civil War federal-style buildings, and row houses that used to be the homes of shipyard workers and longshoremen. Red Hook is not easily accessible by public transportation, with no direct subway stops. The nearest subway stop is in Carroll Gardens, which requires a walk. Alternatively, you can reach the area by water using the ferry. Despite its isolated location, Red Hook has a vibrant food scene and an active arts and culture community. You can also enjoy beautiful waterfront views that feature Lady Liberty herself. So, one of the coolest things to do in Brooklyn is visit Red Hook.

In this guide, we will show you how to spend quality time in Red Hook. During your visit, make sure to walk around and enjoy all the things that pay homage to this once-prosperous waterfront hub of the city from the nautical-themed decor on homes and businesses, homes that have ‘red hooks’ hanging about on the exterior of their houses, and the bustling seafood scene all paying tribute to this waterfront neighborhood. So, if you are planning to visit NYC and considering what things to do in brooklyn this weekend??? Then do follow this guide, you will have a clear vision of sightseeing and what fun things to do in brooklyn.

What To Do in Red Hook

If you are considering visiting NYC and want to do some unique things in nyc, then do visit their historical places to see its rich culture. The Red Hook’s museums & galleries are waiting for you to visit them and these things can easily be done in nyc with kids. You don’t have to plan a little extra if you are with your kids. 

This neighborhood may surprise you as it's not easily accessible by public transportation, but it has a thriving creative community that includes museums, galleries, and artist studios worth exploring. If you're looking for the best things to do in Red Hook, make sure to check out at least one of these cultural institutions. Some of the best indie Brooklyn art galleries worth mentioning are located here.

Museums & Galleries



One of the coolest museums in Brooklyn and one of the free things to do in brooklyn ny, is visiting Pioneer Works. This museum was made to pay tribute to the factory that used to be housed in the same building, The Pioneer Iron Works made iron products and railroad tracks as early as 1866. Today, the building that housed the workshop is a collaborative urban cultural center. It offers a not-for-profit space for artists and scientists to create and showcase their work.


The adventurous things to do in nyc are visiting the Red Hook’s cool museum, Waterfront Barge Museum, or the Waterfront Museum and Showboat Barge. This museum is dedicated to the historic preservation and heritage of the New York Harbor and waterfront, from the history of the passageway for commuters, its role in the local economy, and water sports and recreation.



Kentler International Drawing Space opened its nonprofit organization and gallery showcasing modern drawings and works done on paper by talented and emerging artists to the public in their creative space. The works on display feature nearly 300 of both US-based artists as well as works by international artists in their showroom and gallery.



If you’re a lover of art and love seeing artwork, then this is a pick for things to do in Red Hook for you. New York-based artist, Auguste Garufi invites visitors to stop in his working studio where his current works are on display that tie in his love of poetry into his mixed forms of art through film, canvas, and installations.



You can find one of the most unique galleries/churches/art installations in the city. It is considered to be one of the weird things to do in nyc also known as “The Robotic Church”. The artist Chico MacMurtrie, who works with multimedia, has a collection of over 50 pneumatic robot sculptures on display in a former Norwegian Seaman’s Church in Red Hook, Brooklyn.



Another interesting gallery and what to do in Red Hook if you are fascinated by Inuit Art and culture is the Look North Inuit Art Gallery. This gallery’s focus is dedicated to promoting Inuit and Arctic Culture through art with a display of authentic contemporary sculptures, paintings, etchings, and prints from both well-known artists and up-and-coming creatives.


Discover the history of Red Hook with a visit to the Mary Whalen, a rare 1938 bell boat that is now designated on the National Register of Historic Places. Although you can't currently go on the boat, you can still admire it as the last of its kind. Portside New York, a nonprofit organization, runs programs on the Mary Whalen and you can take a virtual tour to experience the boat's unique telegraph signal controls.

8. Red Hook Parks

Red Hook Parks

If you are looking for the best parks in brooklyn, then consider visiting these parks in Red Hook.

9. Louis Valentino Jr. Park & Pier

Louis Valentino Jr. Park & Pier

This is one of the hidden parks and one of the best spots to catch a Brooklyn sunset. If you want to enjoy a great view of the Statue of Liberty, head to the end of the pier. From there, you can catch a front-facing glimpse of the statue, as well as a Brooklyn view of the Manhattan skyline.

10. Erie Basin Park

Erie Basin Park

Another great spot to check out in Red Hook, Brooklyn is Erie Basin Park, located right next to the IKEA and on the waterfront. It is considered to be the best walks in brooklyn towards this narrowish, tree-lined space with spacious and private benches and lovely grass.

11. Coffey Park

Coffey Park

Coffey Park is a beautiful park named after a former state senator and district leader. The park itself has nice paved walkways cutting through the park with permanent chess and checkerboards in the center.

12. Tavern on Van Brunt Street in Brooklyn, Red Hook

Tavern on Van Brunt Street in Brooklyn, Red Hook

Van Brunt Street, which seems to be a “Main Street” is lined with cool shops, cafes, restaurants, and bars. Here are a few notable stops along Van Brunt St., let’s explore all the great things and so many other fun things to do in brooklyn at night in Red Hook.

13. Record Shop

Record Shop

If you love vinyl records, Brooklyn has some amazing record shops, and this one is no exception. It's owned by a local musician named Bene Coopersmith, who opened this store to share his collection with others. You can find a wide variety of genres here, and even some rare vinyl records for collectors.

14. Red Hook Tavern

Red Hook Tavern

It is considered to be the best restaurants in brooklyn, famous for its Bar-B-Que in Red Hook, and is a popular spot with American fare, famous for its burgers, and hang-out spot.

15. AR Hot Bagels

AR Hot Bagels

If you want to know about the bagel shops in brooklyn ny, AR Hot Bagels is one of the best. Best enjoyed in the morning, especially if you want your favorite bagel flavor as they can sell out as the day goes on, for your classic bagels and cream cheese or bagel sandwiches.

16. Hyssop


This little, adorable storefront brought to us by chef Melinda Tracy introduces a curated collection of everything you need for hosting the perfect dinner from cool tea towels, cutting boards, and beeswax candles to ceramic serving dishes and food ingredients like locally sourced honey, coffee, tea and other fun things. So, if you are looking for the best coffee shops in brooklyn… then consider this place. She sells farm-to-table prepared meals to go.

17. Brooklyn Ice House

Brooklyn Ice House

Looking for ideas on things to do in nyc at night then this laid-back tavern is waiting for you. It’s a great neighborhood watering hole with a cool backyard space and patio with affordable drinks to pair with their great bar grub.

18. San Pedro

San Pedro

If you want to eat tacos, the best brunch spots in brooklyn want you to stop there, their carnitas tacos are heavenly and this spot is known for its margaritas. A relaxed, cool vibe going on here and plenty of vegetarian options which is why this is one of our favorite Brooklyn taco spots. So, if you are looking for the best vegan restaurants in brooklyn, consider this place.

19. Red hook Mark'pizza Ristorante

Red hook Mark'pizza Ristorante

If you are looking for the best pizza in brooklyn New York, then this place at Van Brunt Street will never disappoint you. Make your day special with their special pizzas.

Red Hook’s Food Scene

1. Hometown Bar-B-Que

Hometown Bar-B-Que

This is one of the best BBQ spots in Brooklyn and all of NYC and gives fine dining experiences in Brooklyn. This Texas-style BBQ joint attracts people for its brisket, slow-smoked meats along with their sides, and craft brew selection.

2. Defonte’s Sandwich Shop

Defonte’s Sandwich Shop

This is one of the most legendary sandwich shops in Brooklyn known for their largely satisfying hero sandwiches.

3. Brooklyn Crab

Brooklyn Crab

In the summer, grab a seafood feast at the cool multi-level outdoor dining setup at the Brooklyn Crab. Enjoy the waterfront views, the cool old car sitting out in front, buckets of crab, and their raw bar. 

4. Court Street Grocers Hero Shop

Court Street Grocers Hero Shop

It is yet another amazing sandwich shop in Brooklyn with its main shop in neighboring Carroll Gardens being Court Street Grocers, this outpost is their Red Hook hero shop and has a menu of seriously good sandwiches, its B+C breakfast sandwich with chorizo is one of the famous.

5. Ample Hills Creamery

Ample Hills Creamery

Looking for the best spots for ice cream in Brooklyn, then Ample Hills Creamery here in Red Hook which also has a museum. So, get your scoops then tour the museum at the largest ice cream production facility in all of NYC.

6. Raaka Chocolates

Raaka Chocolates

Another sweet spot in Red Hook, Brooklyn. This is one of the few chocolate factories left in the city that offers the opportunity to visit the factory at their store where they sell the unroasted chocolates, they make from bean to bar. They specialize in chocolate bars in a variety of flavors as well as quality baking chocolate to create something sweet at home.

Random Fun Things to Do in Red Hook and the Neighborhood of Red Hook

One of the favorite things to do in Red Hook, Brooklyn is just walk around and feel the atmosphere and cool vibe with a serene environment. You notice random nautical-inspired decor on some of the homes. If you are you curious about the little red hooks you see hanging on some houses in Red Hook? The only thing discovered is that the neighborhood got its name from the red clay soil, and the little red hooks are a fun way for the locals to show their pride and love for their community.

You can go shopping on the roadside carts as well in Red Hook. If you are looking for some best thrift stores in brooklyn, then do your research first and then go over there you will definitely find some amazing and crazy things at cheaper prices over there.

Also, the food scene is very good there at Red Hook, you can search for the best rooftop restaurants in brooklyn, to catch up with friends and hang out in fresh air.
Brooklyn Bridge is one of the most iconic landmarks in New York City and a marvel of engineering. You can go visit to see and explore the facts about the brooklyn bridge. If you are looking for ideas to explore and want to know what things to do near brooklyn bridge, then search the internet and select the best places to go and have fun.

But first decide, where to stay in brooklyn?? Brooklyn is a diverse borough with various neighborhoods, each offering a unique atmosphere and amenities. Some of the best places you can stay could be Williamsburg, DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass), Brooklyn Heights, Park Slope, Greenpoint, Bushwick, Prospect Heights, Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens, etc. There are several fun things you can do in the neighborhood of Red Hook as well; famous northern neighbors are Williamsburg and Greenpoint. 

Hunt the internet and decide about the fun things you can do there, other than Red Hook. Search the internet for things to do in greenpoint brooklyn, and you will definitely have some amazing search results. You can also search like best barber shops in williamsburg brooklyn, you will have a clear idea about what to do or where to go for a specific kind of shopping and services.

Frequently Asked Questions

What's the best way to get around Red Hook?

There are several ways to get around the Red Hook and which one is the best… depends on your preferences like you can walk, go biking, get public transportation, or use car rental, water taxi, or shuttle services. You can also consider joining guided tours that offer transportation as part of the package.

What outdoor activities are available in Red Hook?

Activities like Waterfront Parks, Kayaking and Canoeing, Fishing, Biking, Walking Tours, Street Art Exploration, visiting Red Hook Winery, Soccer and Sports Fields, Soccer and Sports Fields, Outdoor Events, and Photography, etc. are waiting for you to explore and get involved in the best tourism supported by Red Hook.

Are there any historical sites or museums to explore in Red Hook?

However, although Red Hook may not be as well-known for its historical sites and museums, it does have some notable places that showcase its history. Like Waterfront Museum and Showboat Barge, Red Hook Community Farm, Visitation Monastery, IKEA Red Hook, etc.

What's the best time of the year to visit Red Hook?

The best time to visit Red Hook can depend on your preferences and the type of activities you're interested in. However, Fall brings cooler temperatures and colorful foliage. It's a great time for exploring outdoor spaces, attending fall festivals, and enjoying the changing scenery.
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