Williamsburg Walking Tour

From Grit to Hip, a Williamsburg Walking Tour

Uncover Williamsburg’s layers of history and its evolution from a gritty industrial area, to a counterculture haven, and finally to the hip Mecca it became today!

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Tour Length

2 hours

This tour will examine the layers of Williamsburg, some noticed, some unnoticed, that come together to form an unlikely synthesis of industry, art, grit, and hip.

Williamsburg, today, is seen as a high-end “Real estate development with water views.” That’s exactly how a reputable NY blogger described the post-2006 rezoned neighborhood word for word. A neighborhood most recently known as the home planet of the hipster was before a haven for counterculture artists looking for cheap rents that was before an enclave to every major immigrant migration NYC has ever seen (looking for cheap rents) and was before that a melting pot Mecca of American industry and capitalism that was before… in the very beginning… a high end “real estate development with water views.” Who says you can’t go home again?

This Williamsburg walking tour was developed in partnership with the Wythe Hotel which is located in a 1901 factory building on the Williamsburg waterfront.

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  • Discover how Williamsburg was originally created as a real estate development to attract wealthy Manhattanites and trace the footprint of this long-gone era of Williamsburg.
  • Learn about the counter culture which thrived in the neighborhood during the 90’s and where this history is being preserved today.
  • Locate and decipher works of art from today’s creative community including the mosaic glass water tower and shed by renowned artist Tom Fruin.
  • See the “Mona Lisa of Williamsburg” and hear the story behind it.
  • My boyfriend and I just moved to Williamsburg and joined this tour to learn more about the history of the neighborhood. Our guide Justin was really good, clearly knew his stuff and super friendly! Great experience for locals.

    Katie T.
  • Loved learning about the street art, and the history behind the Domino Factory! Highly recommend this tour.

    Brett N.

What Guests Have to Say

Experienced this tour before? Drop us a line!

Know Before You Go

Where To Meet
Lobby of the Wythe Hotel, 80 Wythe Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11249

How To Get There
By Subway: L to Bedford Av, G to Nassau Av

What To Bring/Wear
Comfortable shoes.

Frequently Asked Questions

How strenuous is the tour? How much walking will we do?

This tour is easy and most people can participate.

Is there an age limit or recommendation?

No age limitation.

Who will guide our tour?

One of our licensed NYC Tour guides.

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