Gowanus Canald and city view in Brooklyn
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25 GREAT Things to do in Gowanus

Looking for the best things to do in Gowanus, Brooklyn? We got you. This Brooklyn neighborhood is full of the city’s creative spirit, a former industrial area that is now full of artists and entrepreneurs occupying former warehouses and industrious spaces. If this sounds ‘so Brooklyn,’ that’s because it is.

You can find some of the ‘locals only’ and ‘under the radar’ gems of Brooklyn here in Gowanus from restaurants, performance venues, and other cool hangouts including a great craft brewery scene!

This area has been transforming over the last several years and if you were to ask someone’s parents or grandparents about Gowanus they’d have a very different idea of what this neighborhood once was, not a hotbed for creatives and quickly becoming another pricey neighborhood in Brooklyn to reside in!

Since the area was very industrial, you can expect to see converted warehouses, rowhouses, and the famous canal that was once so toxic from years of industrial pollution and sewage that it had a murky ‘lavender’ color to it. Now, that canal is still a bit polluted, the EPA is still presently trying to revitalize the water and habitat here.

The warehouse spaces have since been repurposed into artist spaces and galleries, event spaces, bars, and restaurants. This neighborhood is bait for the creatives and it’s easy to see why.

Getting more fashionable by the year, you can find plenty of great things to do in Gowanus as well as nearby in Park Slope, Red Hook, Downtown Brooklyn, and Carroll Gardens, the neighboring neighborhoods within walking distance.

So let’s dive into all the fun happenings and what to do in Gowanus!

But first, where is Gowanus, Brooklyn?

For this guide to the best things to do in Gowanus, we are going to give the neighborhood boundaries as it can get sort of tricky if you’re not familiar with the area.

Gowanus neighborhood boundaries are almost a perfect rectangle spanning from the north at Baltic Street, to the south at Prospect Expressway, to the west at Smith & Hoyt Streets, and to the east to 4th Avenue.

What to do in Gowanus

fun mural in Gowanus Brooklyn across from the Bell House

Play & Hang Out at Royal Palms Shuffleboard


Address: 514 Union Street

One of the most popular and fun things to do in Gowanus with a group or party, or even just a friend is Royal Palms Shuffleboard, a cool tropical hangout spot with a bar, 10 shuffleboard courts, and other games. I love how this space oozes the ambiance of vintage Florida!

Royal Palms Shuffleboard is 21+ and over and primarily walk-in. You can reserve a court for a party on their site if you have a special occasion you want to secure a court for by reserving a cabana.

If you’re not a fan of playing games you can still have fun at the bar watching others play, there is plenty of space to hang out with a drink and a few other games like giant Jenga you can play around the space. Even the bathrooms are gorgeous with flamingo wallpaper.

Catch a Performance at The Bell House

The Bell House in Gowanus Brooklyn

Address: 149 7th Street

One of the most fun things to do in Gowanus is take advantage of the cool events and performances happening at The Bell House. This large bar/venue is set in a former warehouse where you can find a variety of different performances and shows to catch from big names to some of the best-curated lineups of up-and-coming talent.

If you’re a fan of comedy clubs in Brooklyn, you’ll want to check The Bell House’s lineup as they frequently host comedians and comedy shows, some of which have been live tapings for Netflix specials!

I really love the variety of entertainment they have here. It’s not just comedy, you can find their calendar is always full of different events from live podcast tapings, musicals, and full concerts take place here.

But that’s not all, there are even more fun and good times going on at the Bell House. This is also the location of the Secret Science Club events, which are free, where scientists, astrophysicists, neuroscientists, and all other kinds of brainiacs do special talks and educational events where regular folks like you and me can nerd out and learn something!

Read Next: Best Things to do in Brooklyn

Toss an Axe at Kick Axe Throwing

Address: 622 Degraw Street

For fun, non-conventional things to do in Gowanus try your hand at axe throwing! Channel you’re inner Paul Bunyan (he was an axe thrower wasn’t he?) and check out axe throwing!

Inside you’ll find axe-throwing pros to train you and your friends or family how to perfect your form before you’re off to the battle of seeing who has the best axe throw.

What makes this place even kookier is that there’s also a bar here. That doesn’t sound dangerous at all.

If you’re looking for a unique date spot or Sunday Funday spot we recommend checking this place out! Who knows when you’re axe-throwing skills might come in handy one day.

Eat Your Weight in Pie at Four & Twenty Blackbirds

Four & Twenty Blackbirds in Gowanus

Address: 439 3rd Avenue

One of the most famous sweet treats in Brooklyn and top things to do in Gowanus is try the famous sweets from Four & Twenty Blackbirds.

This bakery with a clever name from an old nursery rhyme, Four & Twenty Blackbirds in Gowanus and the edge of Park Slope is a pie-focused shop run by two sisters who have mastered the craft of pies.

With a successful New York Times-selling cookbook all about their pies, these ladies have taken the pie scene in the city by storm.

All of their pies feature locally sourced ingredients as well as some exotic ingredients that make some of the most unique flavors of pies you and your granny have ever heard of like matcha custard. YUM!

They also feature some classic flavors if you’re not feeling adventurous, but one of their most beloved and fan favorites is their Lemon Chess pie if you’re overwhelmed with choices and not sure where to start!

Grab a Beer at Threes Brewing

Address: 333 Douglass Street

For more fun nightlife options and things to do in Gowanus for any beer lover, you’re going to be excited about this one! Threes Brewing is one of the best craft breweries in Brooklyn offering a relaxed atmosphere and spot to enjoy a brew and socialize.

In the warmer months, their backyard patio opens up and is a popular hangout spot to have a brew. Inside, there’s a cozy bar that’s great for an afternoon break or an after-dinner drink.

Threes Brewing is known for its lagers, but they have a great selection of other beers to try as well.

And if you fall in love with these brews you can take a few cans home with you. We love their artwork and packaging too! Not only do they taste good but they look good too!

If you visit before the bar opens up in the afternoons, you can enjoy a coffee or espresso from Ninth Street Espresso from 8 am to 3 pm daily!

They also operate a little stand at Governors Island if you find yourself thirsty while wandering around the island/park along with a tasting room in Greenpoint.

Enjoy one of the Best Beers in Brooklyn at Other Half Brewing Company

Other Half Brewing in Brooklyn

Address: 195 Centre Street

As a beer lover and a hazy IPA lover, I can assure you that Other Half Brewing is one of the best breweries available in the city. And without a doubt, one of the best things to do in Gowanus is visit their first tasting room (they now have one in Williamsburg right along Domino Park and even Upstate, DC, & Philadelphia too).

You’ll find this brewery tucked away in an obscure corner street under the noisy BQE. It’s on the edge of Carroll Gardens and Red Hook too sort of merging all these neighborhoods to this beer haven. Located in a former warehouse, like most things to do in Gowanus, you’ll find their spacious tasting room and brewery.

Their merch is even cool and sometimes you’ll be strolling up to the brewery to find a long line for whatever limited edition beers they just dropped with eager beer lovers waiting to take home their 4-pack at their taproom pickups.

If you love a good IPA, especially hazy IPAs you’re in luck as they always have a great selection of them featured on tap as well as other specialty beers and unique flavors that are always rotating!

There are nearly two dozen beers on draft here and recommend doing some tasters and a flight before committing because there are always quite a few good styles and varieties to try. Before committing, be sure to do some tasting flights.

And if you need more reasons to drink beer around Brooklyn, each of their locations offer different beers on draft!

Grab a Brew at Strong Rope Brewery

Address: 574A President Street

Another great brewery right here in Gowanus are the English inspired ales and American brews served at Strong Rope Brewery. All of their beers are made with local New York state hops and grains to bring you the taste of Britain through their brews as well as popular American-style ales.

This small brewery is not to be missed and is another one of the best things to do in Gowanus for beer lovers. They open in the afternoon daily too so it’s a great spot if you’re not wanting to wait around until the evening to enjoy a beer!

If you’re hungry, they don’t have a kitchen but they do often have food pop ups or are totally cool with guests ordering food and bringing it in, they are just a short walk to Dinosaur BBQ, Baba’s Pierogis, and both Union Street Pizza and Public Display of Affection pizzas.

Strong Rope also hosts events like their weekly Monday Trivia Nights and other fun events from open mic to jam sessions.

They also have an upstate location in the Adirondacks and a great waterfront location in Red Hook too! The Red Hook location has outdoor picnic tables that overlook the Statue of Liberty if you need an excuse to drink beer over there too!

Hang out at Finback Brooklyn


Address: 545 President Street

Another great brewery and what to do in Gowanus for those beer connoisseurs! Check out Finback Brooklyn, an outpost for this Queens-based brewery featuring a great selection of small-batch beers to try.

Their Gowanus ‘tasting studio,’ is a great place to gather with friends. They have bites to eat from their on-site restaurant, Dumpling Up, specializing in all kinds of delectable dumplings, along with coffee and cocktails!

As a fan of juicy and hazy IPAs, their selection does not disappoint. If you’re into other types of brews, don’t worry they have those too!

Devour Coal Oven Pizza at Table 87


Address: 473 3rd Avenue

Let me tell you, this is my favorite pizza in Brooklyn, or at least this area because guess what? Brooklyn is home to some insanely good pizzerias. But you can bet if I am hosting guests or out-of-towners, I am taking them to the Gowanus location of Table 87.

There are a few things I love about Table 87 pizza and specifically this location (I’ve tried the others and they’re good, but there’s something better about this location and the way they cook the pizza here specifically that make it worth just coming to the Gowanus location if I’m having a craving, they never disappoint).

So why do I love it so much? First off, it’s one of the few spots for NYC pizza that offer coal oven pizza. Coal ovens used to be a pretty popular way to fire up a pie, but due to some environmental regulations, it’s nearly impossible for new pizza shops to get a coal oven.

The coal oven char has such a unique flavor and there’s nothing else that quite compares.

Another reason I love Table 87 so much are the size of the pizzas (and slices). Typically my husband and I order a large pizza then we take the rest home for leftovers and heat up the next day. It’s honestly the best way to go if you can take leftovers with you. If not, don’t worry they do sell by the slice and their slices are generous portions as well. Not to mention, it’s almost impossible to find coal oven slices in the city!

Their ingredients are fantastic. You can tell when you take a bite they are using quality ingredients from the sauce to the cheese, oh and the fresh basil on top is a nice touch! Make sure to ask for a side of their hot peppers in oil and garlic too.

There is also a full sit-down restaurant here and a bar. The bar always has an Other Half Brewery beer on draft, which pairs so well with one of their slices. Once you’re hooked on Other Half’s hazy IPAs you start to notice when bars have it on draft, as it’s not always common to find.

Another fun and random fact about this Gowanus hot spot is that the owner made an appearance on Shark Tank! He pitched the frozen coal oven slice for people to be able to pick up at the grocery store and heat up at home around the country.

It’s cool if you’re not in NYC, because if you are in the city you’ll want to make a trip to Gowanus and visit this specific location to have it in person yourself. After all, there’s nothing else that compares (not even the other locations in my humble opinion!).

So be sure to head to Table 87 while exploring all the best things to do in Gowanus, their pizza is perfection! This is also one of our picks for best picks for where to eat in Brooklyn!

Take a Class at Brooklyn Glass

Brooklyn Glass in Gowanus

Address: 142 13th Street

For more hands-on things to do in Gowanus for those wanting to get a little creative, check out the glass-blowing classes and workshops at Brooklyn Glass.

Their hands-on classes teach students how to make their own glass objects like bowls, stemless wine glasses, plant propogation sculptures to jewelry. They also have one-day workshops or series of classes that train you how to blow glass from beginner to advanced!

If you want to dabble in specialized glass artistry like neon or flameworking, they’ve got that too!

Never blown glass before? No worries, they have plenty of options for first-timers and beginners.

Besides getting to create something with your own hands you can also watch the pros and more advanced glassblowing during your visit.

Revisit Brooklyn’s Past at Old Stone House

Old Stone House in Park Slope Brooklyn

Address: 336 3rd Street

One of the more historic things to do in Gowanus on the edge of where Gowanus and Park Slope meet is the famous historic landmark, Old Stone House in Washington Park.

The Old Stone House is listed as a National Register of Historic Places monument and is a restored version of a Dutch stone farmhouse built in 1699 owned by Dutch immigrants who farmed the land here and harvested oysters.

The Old Stone House was an integral part of the 1776 Battle of Long Island, or the Battle of Brooklyn, the largest fight in the Revolutionary War. On August 27, 1776, the Old Stone House was where the Americans led and commanded the fight against the British and General Charles Cornwallis.

The Battle of Brooklyn was a loss for Americans, the British won this fight and occupied Brooklyn and Manhattan for seven years to come. However, George Washington and his troops escaped the British to fight again and win the war.

In more recent history, the house was used as a clubhouse for what we know today as the Brooklyn Dodgers.

If you’re one to appreciate history and historic landmarks, be sure to fit this in during your trip exploring the best things to do around Gowanus as well as the best things to do in Park Slope.

Enjoy the Food Scene of Gowanus


Gowanus isn’t a place for tons of attractions that are going to attract tourists, it’s more of a local scene on your day-to-day. But one thing that does attract folks to the neighborhood (beyond the high concentration of breweries for one neighborhood) is the eateries you can find right here in the neighborhood.

We break down all our favorite restaurants in Gowanus in another guide, but in addition to Table 87 (which you’ve learned is worthy of being mentioned all on its own since it’s my favorite pizza around) there are some really great spots to grab a bite to eat. Here a few worth mentioning!

Dinosaur BBQ is the beloved neighborhood BBQ joint. There used to be two BBQ spots (RIP Pig Beach to Queens) within a block of one another, but now this is all that’s left, and it’s really good if you’re craving some good ol’ American barbecue.

One of my absolute favorite spots in the city to get mussels and oysters is at Littleneck right here in Gowanus. This cozy seafood eatery has got some great options on the menu, but their P.E.I. mussels in a savory coconut curry broth and crusty bread are the one dish I can’t live without when I come.

Claro is an excellent dining option in Gowanus featuring Oaxacan cuisine, house tortillas, and a wonderful mezcal selection. This is a great dinner spot with brunch offered on the weekends.

Parklife BK is another one of my favorite eateries in Gowanus featuring a unique take on Mexican cuisine from their Persian-Texan chef. You’ll find influences off all three cultures in their dishes plus they have a really great outdoor patio when it’s nice out!

Tour Powerhouse Arts Center

Address: 322 3rd Avenue

This giant space that once housed the Central Power Station of the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company along the Gowanus Canal was formerly abandoned and known as the “Gowanus Batcave,” being used by squatters and drifters as well as a space for underground and unsanctioned events, a filming location, and set for music videos has now been completely transformed into one of the newest arts centers in the city.

The space is now a working fabrication facility and venue that also hosts spaces for artists including a community ceramics studio. They offer guided tours of the space to see the transformation of the historic property along with visiting spaces like the Ceramics Studio, Print Shop, Grand Hall, Loft, Small Hall, and Public Art spaces.

During the tours, you’ll get to see work from local artists who are a part of their membership. If you’re an artist, you can apply for a membership to get access to their space to create.

In addition to all of this, they also have trade-based skills training programs and paid work-based learning opportunities for New Yorkers!

Enjoy a Rooftop Screening at Rooftop Films

Address: 232 3rd Street

One of my favorite seasonal summer activities and things to do in Gowanus is attending one of the rooftop screenings by Rooftop Films! While they have screenings all over the city, my favorite location being Green-Wood Cemetery, their main venue, and OG location is their rooftop at the former Old American Can Factory.

Their programming includes screenings of independent films and showcasing the work of emerging filmmakers in outdoor locations. Their most popular program is their Summer Series from May through August at outdoor locations. Those who want to join just have to get a ticket!

During the off-season, they also offer screenings at some indoor venues! And if you’re a filmmaker or aspiring filmmaker, they are a non-profit that also have programs including a filmmaker fund and rentals for screenings!

They do offer an occasional event and screening at indoor locations off-season too. It’s best to check their schedule to see what’s currently scheduled so you can snag some tickets!

Sip on Wine in a Cabin at Black Mountain Wine House


Address: 415 Union Street

This isn’t only one of my favorite places to go to in Gowanus but in Brooklyn! Black Mountain Wine House is a cozy, rustic little hang-out spot serving up light bites and great wine that makes you feel like you’re in a cabin in the mountains.

Located on the edge of Carroll Gardens, this space makes you feel like you’re in a little getaway in the Adirondacks (one of our favorite places to escape on a weekend getaway so there’s really no wonder why I love this spot so much).

In the colder months they have a fireplace going to make you feel extra cozy and in the summer, the space just feels like you’ve temporarily escaped the city for a mountain town hot spot.

Listen to Tunes at Public Records

Address: 233 Butler Street

One of the best things to do in Gowanus if you’re a vegan or love music (or are both) is check out Public Records. This venue/music space doubles also as a vegan cafe.

By day you can enjoy the cafe, bar, and vegan restaurant and by night you can check out one of the live performances. This isn’t a place though where you come to get buzzed, their cocktails are on the lighter alcohol side and they also feature many non-alcoholic drinks as well to make the experience fun without alcohol having to ‘fuel’ the good times.

Upstairs at Public Records considers itself a hi-fi record bar and sound room creating a unique music venue that breaks all the traditional rules including promoting a healthy night out free of any animal products and very low alcohol consumption. This is one of the most popular listening bars in Brooklyn for audiophiles!

They also have an array of eclectic musical offerings for those sticking around to the evenings for a show. Also, if you love vinyl, check out all the best record shops in Brooklyn!

Read Next: The Best Instagram Spots in Brooklyn

Check out Bouldering Project Brooklyn

Address: 575 Degraw Street

Looking to get physical and do something a bit adventurous in Gowanus? Check out the Bouldering Project Brooklyn aka Brooklyn Boulders as one of our top picks for things to do in Gowanus that checks off both of those boxes.

Enjoy rock climbing indoors at Brooklyn Boulders and put your body and strength to the test. They dub themselves as a ‘hybrid rock climbing and fitness facility,’ or in layman’s terms it’s a really fun community and indoor rock climbing spot in Gowanus!

They also have more spaces to work on your fitness, yoga, boxing, art, and even a co-working space making it one of the more unique hybrid spaces in the borough!

To visit, you can either get a pass, sign up for a membership that gives you access to everything, or sign up for one of their classes (great for anyone trying to improve their skills!).

Climb at Movement Gowanus

Address: 242 Butler Street

There are not one, but two options for indoor rock climbing in Gowanus and they are about a block away from one another!

Spanning 36,000 square feet they are the largest rock climbing gym in the city. Not only do they have tons of access for those wanting to climb, but they offer yoga and other fitness facilities too. They also offer classes and private lessons if you want to improve your climbing skills!

Like the other climbing space, you can visit by purchasing a pass or signing up for a membership.

Check out a Show at Littlefield

Address: 635 Sackett Street

Another awesome venue and performance space in the neighborhood can be found at Littlefield. This former warehouse-turned-venue offers a variety of performances and shows worth checking out featuring everything from comedy shows, dance parties, live music, film, podcasts, theater, you name it – they probably have had it here.

The venue focuses on independent performances and their lineup is one worth checking on frequently as it’s always different!

A few regular events are happening here, like the Punderdome, a pun slam competition that gets pretty lively and rowdy! This is the first event I saw at Littlefield and realized I’d be back for more.

There’s a full bar and if you’re hungry, they serve up bites from Parklife BK!

Shop at No Relation Vintage

No Relation-Vintage-in-Gowanus-Brooklyn

Address: 654 Sackett Street

I love a good vintage store and No Relation Vintage is one that I always seem to score at. This is one of the locations of L Train Vintage, one of the best local chains and vintage stores in Brooklyn to check out.

Not only do they have a huge (and ever-changing) selection of vintage clothing and accessories, but this is one of the few places that I go vintage shopping in the city and don’t think to myself, “wow, that’s a high finders fee.”

Their prices are reasonable considering the quality and selection they offer! I always seem to find something at this location in particular.

If you’re looking for some new threads, this is what to do in Gowanus!

Thrift at Big Reuse

Address: 1 12th Street

Another treasure trove of old goodies to sift through can be found at Big Reuse, hidden down 12th Street by Lowe’s. This giant thrift store has anything and everything you may want to thrift from clothing to records, home goods, and even salvaged building materials!

Big Reuse is a non-profit, donation center and retail store. So the prices here are going to also be reasonable, compared to many other thrifting options you’ll find in the city.

The space is pretty large and it can be a bit scattered, so be ready to come in and take your time to comb through all the treasures here, you never know what you’ll find!

Enjoy a Backyard Spa Day at Citywell

Address: 496 President Street

Everyone deserves a little pampering and R&R sometimes. What if I told you that one of the best things to do in Gowanus was to escape to a small, backyard spa tucked away on a residential block of the neighborhood?

cityWell Brooklyn is a hidden oasis where you can recharge using their spa amenities. The space is intimate complete with outdoor hydrotherapy, massage services, steam rooms, hot tubs, outdoor firepits, and luxury showers.

It’s a boutique bathhouse, and one of the more unique spas in NYC to check out.

Find the Small Doors of Dennet Place


One of my personal favorite hidden gems of Brooklyn and the quirkiest things to do in Gowanus as you’re strolling around are the tiny and mysterious doors of Dennett Place. This hidden lane is full of pretty homes, some of which are colorful, that all have mini doors unlike anywhere else in the city.

This street has historically been an enclave for Italian-Americans for at least a century and is nicknamed the Cat’s Alley. The homes on Dennett Place are said to be where the workers lived who built the church up the street.

The mysterious small doors have other theories, one saying they were meant for easy coal storage, some saying they were just less expensive, and some rumors were that people were just shorter.

Regardless of the reason, this is a little gem and this small street has a lot of character and charm!

Cross the Carroll Street Bridge

Carroll Street Bridge in Gowanus Brooklyn

While exploring the best things to do in Gowanus, especially if you’re on foot, is check out one of the least used bridges in NYC (out of just under 800 bridges and tunnels in the city) with an average of only 1000 crossings per weekday as well as one of four remaining retractable bridges left in the country! (two of the four can be found in NYC!)

This little blue, one-lane bridge from 1889 can be found over the Gowanus Canal and is a city landmark. 

When you cross this hidden gem in Gowanus be sure to spot the operator’s house. Now that the bridge and canal aren’t regularly used, there’s usually no one in there. However, if you do see someone in there, that means the bridge is about to open which is a not-so-common occurrence!

A fun fact about the operator is that whoever is the attendant has to be able to travel to the bridge within 2 hours in case the bridge needs to retract!

Enjoy the Skyline views from the smith-Ninth Streets Station

View of Subway Brooklyn and Manhattan Skyline from Smith and 9th Station

This one seems weird until you do it. If you love seeing skyline views, this is what to do in Gowanus on your way here or on your way out.

From the elevated platform of the Smith-Ninth Streets subway station in Gowanus, you get a great view of the NYC skyline! I like it when I have to transfer here or use the subway platform here because of the view. Not to mention, you can get a birdseye view of Gowanus too.

A fun fact about this stop is it used to be the highest rapid transit station in the world! And once you go up all the escalators and stairs to get to the top, you’ll easily be able to believe that fact. It stands at 87.5 feet above ground and really does offer a great vantage point.

It’s also kind of cool to see the trains come and go with the skyline in the backdrop too. The F & G trains operate here, so if you have a chance to take this route, do it!

Things to do Nearby Gowanus

Gowanus mural on 9th street in brooklyn

While there are a lot of amazing things to do in Gowanus, there are also amazing things to do in the nearby neighborhoods we thought were worth mentioning!

Red Hook

Located next to Gowanus is the neighborhood of Red Hook which also has some great places to eat and things to see including some of the best views of the Statue of Liberty Brooklyn has to offer!

Explore the cool cultural and artist center Pioneer Works, learn about the history of the New York Harbor at the Waterfront Barge Museum, or shop for vintage jewelry at Erie Basin to name a few, and see our full guide to best things to do in Red Hook to plan your visit.

Industry City

Located nearby, another one of our top picks for what to do in Gowanus is visit nearby Sunset Park where you can find Industry City. Industry City is the result when artists and creatives get ahold of a decaying industrial manufacturing complex.

Here you can find a mecca of art, murals, shopping, eating, drinking, and playing!

This space is a warehouse complex that houses incredible places to eat from the Japan Village, a market place for all types of Japanese food and even a grocery store, to a food court and restaurants ranging from BBQ to Korean, bars, coworking spaces, artisan workshops and boutiques, and art installations.

There are several craft beverage spots here too from distilleries to breweries and even a sake brewery!

We love the art installations and murals they have commissioned out to artists from all over the world, from small spaces outdoors and indoors to giant paintings covering the entire building like the vibrant colorful mural by artist Camille Walala’s piece.

In the warmer months you can hang out in their outdoor spaces which are just as jaw-dropping as the rest of the place. There’s something for everyone here.

Park Slope

One of the best areas to explore near Gowanus is Park Slope. Considered one of the most desirable neighborhoods to live in the city with gorgeous tree-lined streets, stunning brownstone homes, shops, cafes, restaurants, and more.

See our complete guide for best things to do in Park Slope to help you plan your activities and exploring around this area!

Carroll Gardens

Another cool and quiet little neighborhood near Gowanus is the beautiful Carroll Gardens full of pretty boutiques, cute restaurants, and gorgeous brownstones.

We recommend grabbing a sweet brunch at Buttermilk Channel, sip on coffeee as you shop vintage records at Black Gold Records, try egg ice cream at Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain, try ice cream made with Indian spices at Malai, play board games all day at the Brooklyn Strategist board game cafe with friends, or shop antiques at Yesterday’s News.

See our guide to the best things to do in Carroll Gardens and BoCoCa for more ideas.

Dekalb Market

Another awesome thing to do near Gowanus is Dekalb Market at City Point. The Dekalb Market is a foodie’s dream featuring over 40 vendors serving up cuisines from all over the world and even places to grab a drink.

From classics like Katz Deli to sipping on brews at Sixpoint Brewery you can find satellite locations of some of the most iconic places to eat in the city as well as other tasty vendors.

There are all kinds of food for every budget, which makes this a great spot to go eat if you want you and your friends to have tons of options.

We also recommend checking out Alamo Drafthouse on the upper level of City Point. This movie theater is a one of a kind cinema experience with a full-service menu and bar while you enjoy your film from a cozy leather chair. They have great food as well and an impressive beer list.

Also, inside Alamo Drafthouse check out The House of Wax, a cocktail bar and rare collection of turn of the century wax collection featuring the anatomy of the body. The collection was called Castan’s Panopticum from Berlin from 1869 until 1922 when it hasn’t been seen since put on display here!

Barclays Center & Atlantic Avenue

Located at what we consider the start of Park Slope’s 5th Avenue is Barclays Center and Atlantic Avenue where you can find tons of sporting events, concerts, and other events all at the edge of Gowanus.

The giant indoor arena home to the Brooklyn Nets basketball team, New York Islanders NHL team, and concert venue.

Around the outside, you have the Atlantic Terminal Mall with shops and restaurants. Consider checking out an event or game while you’re here.

Getting Around Gowanus


Getting around to all the best things in Gowanus couldn’t be easier. Pretty much all there is to do in Gowanus is walkable distance, but if you want to cover alot of ground we recommend using the Citibike app to rent bicycles to get around, or you can always walk!

Citibike is just as easy, simply download the app and enter your details. Then on the map in the app you can find your nearest docking station, there are a few in Gowanus just a few blocks away from eachother. For single rides you get the bike for 30 minutes, for a day pass or annual pass holders you get the bike for 45 minutes before having to redock.

When you’re done, check the app for the nearest docking station with openings and return your bike.

The subway is another option. There are four main stops surrounding the perimeter of Gowanus including 4th Ave, Smith – 9th Street, Union Street, and Carroll Street Station.

  • 4th Avenue Station runs the F, G, and R lines.
  • Smith – 9th Street Station runs the F & G lines.
  • Union Street Station runs the R line.
  • Carroll Street Station runs the F & G lines.

Where to Stay in Gowanus


Looking for where to stay in Brooklyn during your visit? See our entire guide by neighborhood and budget to help you pick the best area to stay in or choose one of these Gowanus hotels below.

Hotel Le Bleu

Hotel Le Bleu is a great, quiet location on the edge of  Park Slope and Gowanus. This Art Deco Hotel offers sophisticated and comfortable rooms with free self parking. There is a beautiful terrace with a lovely view of Brooklyn on the property as well as a 24-hour business center. The location is great and is located just a short walk from the 4th Ave subway station.

Book Now on Booking.com | Compare Prices for Later on Hotels.com | See Rates on Expedia.com

Fairfield Inn & Suites

One of the best locations and hotels to explore all the best things to do in Gowanus is the Fairfield Inn & Suites on 3rd Avenue. Besides being uber close to the giant event venue Barclay’s Center, you’re just steps away from the doors of Three’s Brewing and Brooklyn Boulders as well as a short walk to Union Street Station.

Enjoy their bright and comfortable rooms with city views. Breakfast is included and there’s a gorgeous rooftop garden offering a great place to bring some food or just sit with a great view of Downtown Brooklyn.

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Things to do in Gowanus (Post Summary):

  • Play & hang out at Royal Palms Shuffleboard
  • Catch a Performance at the Bell House
  • Toss an Axe at Kick Axe Throwing
  • Visit Four & Twenty Blackbirds
  • Grab a Beer at Threes Brewing
  • Enjoy One of the Best Beers in Brooklyn at Other Half
  • Grab a Brew at Strong Rope Brewery
  • Hang out at Finback Brooklyn
  • Devour Coal Oven Pizza at Table 87
  • Take a Class at Brooklyn Glass
  • Revisit Brooklyn’s past at Old Stone House
  • Enjoy the Food Scene of Gowanus
  • Tour Powerhouse Arts Center
  • Enjoy a Rooftop Screening at Rooftop Films
  • Sip on wine in a cabin at Black Mountain Wine House
  • Listen to Tunes at Public Records
  • Check out Bouldering Project Brooklyn
  • Climb at Movement Gowanus
  • Check out a Show at Littlefield
  • Shop at No Relation Vintage
  • Thrift at Big Reuse
  • Enjoy a Backyard Spa Day at cityWell
  • Find the Small Doors of Dennet Place
  • Cross the Carroll Street Bridge
  • Enjoy the Skyline Views from Smith-Ninth Streets Station

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