Astoria, Queens Travel Guide: 6 Great Spots
This Astoria, Queens travel guide will help you make your way though this bustling NYC neighborhood. Take a short train ride over from Manhattan and experience all the culture and great food.
Astoria is a neighborhood in the borough of Queens. Queens is one of 5 boroughs in New York City. Lots of markets and restaurants line the streets of Astoria. It’s a Melting Pot of different cultures. Isn’t that what New York City is all about? Keep reading for some of the places I’ve been to in Astoria, Queens.
1. Astoria Park
This park is the perfect size. Sit under one of two beautiful bridges and take in the water view. People were setting up picnics the day I visited. I was on a picnic too. The waterfront location is the perfect spot for hanging out with friends. See top image.
The park dates back to 1913. New York City acquired the land for a park along the river in October 1913. First it was called William J. Gaynor Park. That was the name of the mayor from 1910-1913. In December 1913 it officially became Astoria Park.
2. Athens Square
Athens Square is near the 30th Avenue train station. It’s named after, you guessed it, the capital of modern Greece.
Take a look at the various statues within the small park. Look out for Aristotle, Socrates and a few others. It’s a nice calm spot to take a midday stroll. They are also playgrounds in the back for children.
The Mayor of Athens gifted the city a replica of the Piraeus Athena for the park in 1998. The statue was created by sculptors Georgopoulos and Spiro Goggakis. It was designed to be a bronze copy of the ancient statue of Athena.
3. Ralph’s Famous Italian Ices & Ice Cream
During the day Ralphs famous Italian Ices & Ice Cream is a great stop. They have so many flavors. I’m eating passion fruit in the picture. It was like biting into fresh passion fruit nectar. The flavor was absolutely delicious.
Ralph’s Famous Italian Ices started out when Ralph Silvestro began selling his famous Italian ices in Staten Island in 1928. Other locations throughout New York City have opened up since. The rest is history.
4. Arcadia Bar & Kitchen
Head on over to Arcadia Bar & Kitchen for a great night out. The food was absolutely amazing. Everyone I was with agreed. I went with the hot spicy chicken sandwich. Spicy seasoning combined with hot honey and pepper jack cheese makes for an amazing combination. The fries were also really really good.
The fries reminded me of the great fries at Sunset Grill in Norwalk, Connecticut. I had missed those type of battered fries. I topped it off with a Gummy Bear Martini. It was created by mixing raspberry vodka with cranberry, lemon and lime juices. All that with a gummy candy skewer inside. I like sweet drinks and this one was very good.
5. Kaufman Astoria Studios
This studio was one of the places I wasn’t able to make it to. It’s definitely on my list. Sesame Street, Orange is the New Black and many other shows are filmed here. Definitely check it out if you are in Astoria.
The Kaufman Astoria Studios has been in business for more than 90 years. The studio was started by Adolph Zukor in 1920.
6. Gantry Plaza State Park
This is technically part of Long Island City, Queens. It’s walking distance from Astoria and definitely a great addition to your visit.
The Gantry Plaza State Park is 12 acres full of scenic riverside views. Experience the Manhattan skyline from a unique point of view. Gantries are an interesting feature. These monuments show the industrial history of the area. They were once used to load and unload rail car floats and barges.
I almost forgot about the massive Pepsi-Cola sign! A Pepsi bottling plant was located at part of the Gantry Plaza State Park. It closed in 1999. The sign has been there since 1936. It is an iconic part of the Long Island City waterfront and was named a New York City landmark in 2016.
Bonus: Fire Escape
Don’t leave this post without checking out my quintessential New York City fire escape photoshoot. I just couldn’t help myself. Enjoy!
I hope you enjoyed this Astoria, Queens travel guide. Keep a look out for a few more New York City posts. It felt good to be back in the Big Apple.