Brooklyn STAYCATION

Enter the Hilton Brooklyn New York …step back in time with an all new affair…

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Forget the long distance road trips this summer and indulge in all that New York has to offer.  Become a tourist in your very own city with a weekend staycation and you’ll see your hometown like never before. Recently, we headed to Brooklyn and stayed at the brand new Hilton Brooklyn New York located right over the famed Brooklyn Bridge.

While new restaurants, fashion and thriving music and art scenes all play a part in Brooklyn’s notoriety, the borough has something else going for it that contributes to its must-see status:  history. Brooklyn pays tribute to its own rich and colorful history, along with the histories of global nations, with its wide variety of institutions, such as the Brooklyn Historical Society and Brooklyn Museum. 

Travelers can enjoy stepping back in time and enjoying some of that history when they book the Brooklyn Knowledge Package offered by the Hilton Brooklyn New York. The package includes overnight accommodations, two tickets to the Brooklyn Museum, a Brooklyn Museum paintbrush or art pencil, two tickets to the Brooklyn Historical Society, an eco-friendly tote bag and a pencil and notepad. With Hilton Brooklyn New York’s convenient location in Boerum Hill, the museum and historical society are just a walk or quick subway ride away.

Located only six blocks west of the Brooklyn Barclays Center, the Hilton Brooklyn New York is a site in its own. Once you walk through the hotel’s front doors, you are enveloped in modern-meets-midcentury décor with the smell of fresh coffee brewing in the café. The Hilton offers a wide range of room types, from double rooms to executive suites.  We stayed in a suite, and I couldn’t help but admire the attention to detail throughout the living and bedroom areas, and how spacious our weekend digs were. But, the real treat was the view from our room. The Hilton’s location is perfect for offering views of the thriving Brooklyn streets and the gorgeous Downtown Manhattan skyline just across the water. The hotel also boasts a great list of essential amenities, including a full gym, room service and a 24-hour market.

After a Friday afternoon check in, we walked around the area and soaked in the Brooklyn sites. Wandering for a few hours helped us work up a serious appetite, so we headed over to the Black Walnut restaurant inside of the Brooklyn Hilton for dinner. Upon sitting down, we ordered two of the restaurant’s signature cocktails, the No Name 6 and Capote, which immediately set the mood and helped us unwind. We then started our meal with the Charred Shishitos, which were the perfect sharing portion and full of flavor.  For the main course, we ordered the Grilled Strip Steak and Pan Roasted Halibut which, like our appetizer, were both savory and cooked to perfection. And not to worry, we didn’t forget about the most important course: dessert. We split their Vanilla Cheesecake, an amazing twist on the classic dessert topped with sweet potato caramel, gooseberries and a saltine crumble. And to top off all this amazing food, the restaurant’s décor was sleek and stylish, meshing perfectly with the rest of the modern-meets-midcentury look of the hotel.

The next morning, we woke to breakfast at the hotel to fuel up before we started another day of exploring. First on our list was the Brooklyn Historical Society Museum. An easy walk from the subway or bus, the museum is housed in a beautiful old mansion in a residential area just off the busy streets of commercial Brooklyn. Despite the bustle of the city, the environment inside is one of quietness minus the murmurs of other guests admiring the exhibitions.  It houses almost 450 years of New York City’s history, as illustrated by the stories of New Yorkers.  The lower level includes an interesting historic timeline about Brooklyn during the early settlement years while upstairs features an exhibit dedicated to Jackie Robinson. The Brooklyn Historical Society’s “In Pursuit of Freedom” exhibit takes a retrospective and introspective look at black lives starting from the end of the American Revolution in 1783, through the Civil War in 1861 and culminating with the Reconstruction era. 

Our next stop was the Brooklyn Museum, which is located right next to Brooklyn Botanical Gardens (a great bonus to visiting the museum is that it also gets you admission to the Gardens – a quick walk across the parking lot!) With so many fine holdings and temporary exhibits that are arresting, you’ll immediately lose yourself within all the art. Throughout the years, the Brooklyn Museum has never lost its innovative edge and retains a wide variety of exhibits that will please all guests. One of the most impressive exhibits was the Egyptian art and mummification exhibit. Not only are the objects fascinating, but special care was taken to add historical and artistic information about each piece as well. 

Another popular exhibit in the Brooklyn Museum is “The Dinner Party,” by Judy Chicago, which is housed in the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art. This exhibit has been a part of the museum’s permanent collection since 2007, and no, you’re not imagining things – each plate at the table bears an unmistakable resemblance to a woman’s private parts.

I’d recommend visiting the museum’s website for each month’s special events before planning your trip so that you get the most out of your visit.

Rates for the package start at $184 per night, and there is a two-night minimum. Reservations can be made by calling 718-834-8800 or visiting the hotel’s Special Offers page.

 

By Gwen Wunderlich

Photo Credit David Mitchel

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