A Long Island City Weekend in Queens

Long Island City Gantry State Plaza Park weekend getaway

Wondering how a Brooklynite ends up in Long Island City for a weekend getaway? Stranger things have happened! But you know when your self neglect goes so far, that you don’t even prioritize planning a vacation? (Moms out there??? Anyone?) Well, it was so bad that we didn’t finalize our destination until literally the day we left! But we came upon the perfect neighborhood in New York City for a weekend getaway, right outside of Manhattan. If you’re in vacation planning mode, scroll down for a perfect Long Island City Weekend itinerary!

After my Manhattan Momcation, my best friend and I decided to plan another weekend away, together! I mentioned self neglect, and this is how it went….we were considering going to the Jersey Shore or the Catskills, but decided to maximize our time together by planning a Long Island City weekend getaway, a neighborhood in Queens neither of us had been to before, but that we could easily get to within an hour.

view of Manhattan from Long Island City
view of Manhattan from Long Island City

Planning a Long Island City Weekend

Before I get to the details of everything we did, I thought I would share our quickly planned itinerary and resources. I was able to plan this Long Island City weekend, in about an hour and change of looking around the web (some of which involved pushing a baby on a swing! #momlife).

My first stop was Google Maps, and seeing what the obvious things to do were (waterfront parks, Moma). I referenced a couple blogs, and then headed to these Long Island City Events listings, to see about anything special going on.

All together, this was the itinerary that I came up with for us, and that I can whole heartedly recommend!

Itinerary for a Long Island City Weekend

*If you’re asking, didn’t you eat at some other places? My answer is yes, of course! But my general policy is to mention those places that I love, and not worry about the mediocre ones. Walk around and see what looks good!

Aloft Long Island City

Review of the Aloft Long Island City- Manhattan View

If you’ve ever been to an Aloft, then you know that they all look pretty much the same. That said, I think it’s a good thing!

The Aloft Long Island City Manhattan View, is located right by Queens Plaza, and is easily accessible by subway. Take the E/M/R lines to Queens Plaza, or the N/W/7 lines to Queensboro Plaza. I slightly prefer the first option, as it is an accessible station with an elevator!

Let’s talk customer service: right with location and cleanliness this is a highly important aspect, and I’ll tell you why. Our initial room was in the back tower and had a balcony, which could have been nice. However, there was construction going on right beside it. After talking to the front desk, they upgraded us to a Manhattan view room on a high floor! And it really made our stay so nice and relaxing!

Our room had a king bed, and a great view! There aren’t too many things to add about the room; the bathroom, shower and sink area were all newish and sparkling clean. The room had a little coffee machine, mini fridge, ironing board, safe, and small closet.

view from Aloft Long Island City room

The desk area was right under the window which was a nice touch! It was plenty of room for the two of us for the weekend, and I think it would be comfortable for you even if staying for a longer period of time.

The hotel lobby had a small breakfast area, a bar, and plenty of seating both indoors and outside in a courtyard. However the best amenity, was the roof top lounge area, that had both a variety of seating and an amazing panoramic view of Manhattan.

Long Island City in general is being rapidly gentrified. There are many, many luxury high-rises being built, adjacent to industrial warehouses. I can foresee that if the high rises keep filling up the skyline, eventually there won’t be that great of a view. But for now, I highly recommend this location!

view from Aloft Long Island City Manhattan View

Highlights of Our Weekend

Friday night we started with a late arrival. Seeing as this was a momcation, it took a while to leave everyone behind and get to our destination. Thank goodness we were both only about an hour away.

By the time we got settled into the hotel, it was too late for the Museum of the Moving Image…we had a late dinner and checked out the rooftop bar before heading to bed.

Saturday was our walking tour…we started with a leisurely brunch at Bellwether. It was fantastic! No wonder they are mentioned in the Michelin. Highly recommend the Eggs Benedict, although everything looked good.

Long Island City waterfront

Long Island City Waterfront

We then headed down to the Long Island City waterfront. For an urban park, it was really nice! You can tell that everything is still new, or revitalized, and it has a beautiful garden plan with layers of different plants, all along the way.

We walked from the very southern tip in Hunter’s Point South, (on the map it is marked as “extension”) with views of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, northward. Hunter’s Point South, includes a really nice sand area, dog run and playground. I can tell it would be fun with the kids!

view of Brooklyn from 
Long Island City
looking toward Brooklyn
Hunters Point South in Long Island City
Hunter’s Point South
Gantry State Plaza Park Pepsi sign
Gantry State Plaza Park Pepsi sign

Continuing along the waterfront, we stopped to take obligatory pictures at Gantry State Plaza Park and the Pepsi-Cola sign. So yes, we were really in Long Island City!

When the manicured waterfront ends, you walk inland, and almost immediately on the left, on 46th Ave, come up to a parking lot and artists’ warehouse. This is the home of the Long Island City Flea (LIC Flea and Food).

Flea Market season hadn’t started yet on our visit, but the warehouse indoors had several installations, as well as a dance show going on!

We were on the relaxed schedule so decided to go back to the hotel for a bit…but there are so many extra things to do within a short distance. If you’re interested in a more intense touring weekend, I would head to check out some or all of the following places.

Long Island City flea weekend area
mural in Long Island City

More things to do in Long Island City:

  • Sculpture Center (near Queens Plaza)
  • Queensbridge Park (on the waterfront under the Queensboro Bridge
  • Walk the Queensboro Bridge (enter walkway from Crescent St)
  • Walk around Astoria, the neighborhood to the north, including the Socrates Sculpture Park and the Noguchi Museum

Our Saturday night involved going out to a comedy club, but if you are in Long Island City from out of town, you could easily subway into midtown Manhattan to catch any number of shows. We liked the vibe on Jackson Ave, with lots of young people out and about.

Jackson Ave Long Island City
Jackson Ave in Long Island City
Indie LIC

Our Sunday was again devoted to a slow brunch, this time at Indie LIC. As a counter-serve place it was more low key, and we definitely saw lots of families with kids come in. I should note that the portions aren’t huge. But we really enjoyed the vibe inside.


Our main destination of the day, was to visit the MoMA PS 1. This is the more contemporary and experimental part of the Museum of Modern Art.

It is very small compared to the main MoMA in Manhattan, but also much cheaper. As with all art, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some of exhibitions were hits and some were misses, but it was just right for our purposes.

Do note, that there is a coat check downstairs…so if, like us, you want to check out of the hotel beforehand you won’t have to won’t be able to, walk around with your bag.

By the time we ended our leisurly tour of Moma PS 1, it was time to end our Long Island City Weekend getaway. We picked up our bags and bid farewell.

Moma PS1 in Long Island City
ice cream cone 3d

For today, I leave you with this three dimensional image of an ice cream cone, definitely my favorite piece at Moma PS1 at the time of our visit. Also, hope you have been having a fabulous summer!

How’s it going? Have you done anything new to you? We are enjoying ourselves on many tiny trips…and planning more adventures for August, maybe another round of camping! Wishing you sunny days!

5 thoughts on “A Long Island City Weekend in Queens”

  1. This looks and sounds like a lovely momcation/staycation on Long Island. And love that you didn’t even know your destination until the day of…now that’s adventurous!

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