Hope you’ve all had a great week. I’ve had a restful one recovering from my eye surgery and meeting my friend’s newborn baby boy. He’s adorable and I’m absolutely obsessed!
As you might know, I was out in New York a few weeks ago and will be doing a whole series on some great spots out there. This week’s post will be the first in the New York series and is a guest post by Summer Salut at DoYouSalut.com. Summer hails from New York and will be sharing one of the city’s hidden gems. Look out for more from her as we’ll be doing a London/New York collab soon! You can follow her (@doyousalut) on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Gantry Plaza State Park: A Hidden Gem in NYC
New York City has a lot of great things to do and see. Most of the time when people come to NYC they visit Times Square, Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, etc. These places are nice but sometimes can be overcrowded. We have plenty of hidden gems in NYC that are just as amazing as the other iconic spots. One of my favorite places is Gantry Plaza State Park.
Gantry Plaza is located in the Long Island City (LIC) neighborhood of Queens. This area is becoming the new Manhattan. It has sky-rise buildings and great places to eat and drink. Gantry Plaza State Park is a beautiful space along the East River which has a little something for everyone.
The park is broken up into different “sections”. At one end there is a playground, turf-field, beach volleyball court, and dog park. In that section you can find young families playing, happy laughing children, and fitness enthusiasts working out. Next to the beach volleyball court is the NYC Ferry, which takes you to various locations throughout NYC.
If you are into old school reggae music, Caribbean vibes, and a nice cool beverage, then LIC Landing and COFFEED shop is the place to go! Located next to the ferry and beach volleyball court this café/coffee shop hybrid is a great place to chill, relax and enjoy the view.
The other end of Gantry Plaza State Park is the “hangout” section. Here you’ll find lovers cuddling on the lounge benches or friends picnicking on the grass. This area has a very chill vibe as well.
All the things mentioned earlier are great but what makes Gantry Plaza amazing is the unique breathtaking views of the Manhattan Skyline. At one end of the park you can see the Freedom Tower playing peek-a-boo between the other buildings. The Empire State Building and Chrysler buildings can also be seen. They too can look like they are hiding depending where in the park you are located.
These views are nice during the day but the best time to go is during sunset and at night. Imagine seeing the Manhattan buildings from away light up the sky. The second best thing about the park is that all of this is FREE! Yup! There isn’t a fee to get into the park. All of the sections I mentioned aren’t official sections; they are just the flow that seems to happen. People usually mingle and do their own thing.
To get to Gantry Plaza State Park (if you are coming from Manhattan) take the 7 train from Times Square and get off at Vernon Blvd Station, get out of the station at the Vernon Blvd & 50th Street exit. From there you walk a couple of blocks towards the water and viola! – you are ready for a getaway from the madness that is Manhattan!
I hope whenever you visit NYC (even if its winter) that you visit Gantry Plaza State Park and enjoy a little piece of the Queens paradise.
Lou: I hope you guys enjoyed this post. I visited my friends who live in this area and we walked through part of the park. Believe me, it’s absolutely gorgeous! Have any of you guys been to Gantry Park? Let me know in the comments below. And NYC folk, let me know what other must-see spots there are in your city 🙂