When an invitation to attend my best friend’s wedding in Brooklyn arrived in the mail, I was over the moon to celebrate her special day in such an awesome city. My excitement was also met with a little dread over the potential cost of the trip. I was set on seeing and enjoying as much of Brooklyn as I possibly could during our four days there without breaking the bank. Here’s how my husband and I enjoyed Brooklyn on a budget.
3B Bed and Breakfast
It’s easy to blow a budget in New York just on your accommodations so we went the very conservative route and stayed at 3B Bed and Breakfast. I wouldn’t call 3B a typical Bed and Breakfast. I think it’s more accurate to place it somewhere between a youth hostel and a bed and breakfast. It has the international, nomadic feel of a youth hostel, but is meticulously decorated and comes with a gourmet breakfast like a B&B. 3B is run by artists occupying the first floor. It has 4 rooms and a shared bathroom. We were quite happy with our decision to stay at 3B and save a little money.
The Brooklyn Bridge and DUMBO
Sightseeing is FREE so we did a lot of it! Our first night, we spent quite a bit of time admiring the Brooklyn Bridge and the beautiful view of Manhattan across the river. Then we headed over to DUMBO, which stands for “down under the Manhattan Bridge overpass,” where you have a view of the Empire State Building perfectly framed by the Manhattan Bridge. This is the beauty postcards are made of.
Park Slope For Lunch
Park Slope is just so pretty. It’s filled with beautiful brownstones and awesome restaurants. We decided on Juventino for lunch and we dined in the outdoor area out back to enjoy the beautiful weather.
River Café Wedding
My best friend’s wedding at the River Café in Brooklyn was exquisite and obviously the highlight of our trip. The River Café is located at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge and offers amazing views of Manhattan. The venue was perfect for this intimate wedding of less than 50 guests. Dinner was superb and nothing beat watching the sun set over Manhattan from the outdoor patio. I even managed to find a Nicole Miller dress on sale for half price from Neiman Marcus and it was perfect for the occasion.
Fort Greene Brooklyn Flea
One thing we learned at the Fort Greene Brooklyn Flea is that you’re probably not going to find any great deals at a flea market in Brooklyn. Oh well. It was still tons of fun to scour through so many interesting items for sale. And there were lots of great food vendors there, which made my husband very happy.
Grand Army Plaza Farmer’s Market
From Fort Greene, we walked to Prospect Heights to visit the Grand Army Plaza Farmer’s Market. It was so great to see such fresh fruits and vegetables offered in such and urban environment. We couldn’t resist picking up some mint iced tea and baked goods to snack on.
Prospect Heights Botanic Gardens
From the Grand Army Plaza Farmer’s Market, we headed to my cousin’s condo in Prospect Heights. We packed everyone up (2 little kids included) and spent the rest of the afternoon in the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. Admission is normally $12 for adults but my husband and I entered for free with my cousin’s membership. The Brooklyn Botanic Gardens date back to 1897 and offers 52 acres of gardens. That’s huge!
Brooklyn Accordion Club
That night, we headed to Manhattan to see a friend play the accordion in City Hall Park as part of “Make Music New York”. How often do you get to see a dozen accordionists playing outdoors? It was pretty awesome. And free!
Brunch and Flea Marketing in Williamsburg
Do you have a dream hotel you would love to stay at but can’t afford? For me, that dream hotel is the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg. To me, heaven is made up of exposed brick, exposed wood beams, concrete floors, soaring ceilings, and floor-to-ceiling windows. The Wythe Hotel is my rustic industrial heaven. Unfortunately, at around $400 per night, it’s not in my budget. So what’s the next best thing? Enjoy a meal in your dream hotel’s restaurant! We loved every minute of our brunch at Reynard Tavern at the Wythe Hotel. And when we finished up, we headed over to the Williamsburg Flea Market. Again, the goods were a little pricey but the food vendors were fabulous. A salted chocolate donut made the trip worth it.
We covered a ton of ground during our four day trip and I’m proud to say we did an amazing job of enjoying Brooklyn on a budget.