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Saturday, January 6, 2024

Astoria Park: A Jewel on the Queens Waterfront

  Rajesh Kumar Rana       Saturday, January 6, 2024

Astoria Park is a 59.96-acre oasis in the heart of Queens, New York City. Nestled along the East River's Hell Gate strait, it offers breathtaking views, diverse recreational activities, and a rich history that dates back to Native American settlements. Whether you're seeking an adrenaline rush on the skate park, a relaxing stroll along the waterfront, or a splash in the iconic Olympic-sized pool, Astoria Park (Wikipedia) has something for everyone.




Astoria Park - Queens, NY


Sign of Astoria Park, Queens, New York City
Sign of Astoria Park, Queens, New York City
Source: Wikipedia 


A Park Steeped in History:

Long before trendy cafes and modern apartments dotted the Astoria landscape, this waterfront was home to the Pot Cove Native American settlement. The land has witnessed centuries of transformation, from estates of wealthy businessmen to a bustling public park. In 1913, Astoria Park officially opened its doors, becoming the city's first large park dedicated to active recreation. Its unique design, with facilities concentrated in the south and scenic landscapes in the north, has endured the test of time, offering a blend of urban vibrancy and natural beauty. Discover full history of Astoria Park






Facilities

Astoria Park has a number of facilities, including:


Sports and Recreation:

  • Bocce Courts: Challenge your friends to a game on NYC's oldest and largest bocce courts. First-come, first-served, no permits needed! (Location: Lower Shore Boulevard, 23rd Avenue & 23rd Road)
  • Tennis Courts: Hone your skills on well-maintained courts. Permits required during season (April to November).
  • Running Track: Lace up your sneakers and conquer the 0.25-mile loop.
  • Basketball Courts: Shoot some hoops with friends or join a pick-up game.
  • Skate Park: Shred the 21,500-square-foot park with multiple levels and features for all skill levels.
  • Playgrounds: Charybdis Playground and others offer fun for kids of all ages.




Relaxation and Fun:

  • Stunning Views: Soak in the breathtaking panorama of the East River, Manhattan skyline, and iconic bridges.
  • Picnic Areas: Spread out a blanket and enjoy a leisurely meal under the trees.
  • Dog-friendly Areas: Let your furry friend run free in designated off-leash zones.
  • Spray Showers: Cool down on hot days with refreshing water sprays.
  • Astoria Pool Snack Bar: Grab a bite after a day of fun in the sun. (Closed for summer 2023 for repairs)




Additional Amenities:

  • Public restrooms
  • Wi-Fi hot spots
  • Fitness equipment
  • Bandstand (hosts events throughout the year)




Things to Do in Astoria Park:

  • Take a swim in the historic Olympic-sized pool (open from Memorial Day to Labor Day).
  • Enjoy a picnic on the waterfront.
  • Go for a run or walk on the scenic promenade.
  • Play tennis, basketball, or bocce.
  • Let the kids loose in one of the playgrounds.
  • Catch a sunset over the East River.
  • Take a boat tour of the Hell Gate.


Astoria Park is a great place to relax, have fun, and enjoy the outdoors. Whether you're a local looking for a staycation spot or a tourist visiting New York City, Astoria Park is definitely worth a visit.


Things to remember:

  • Outdoor pool is closed for the season (October to May).
  • Tennis permit required during season (April to November).
  • Dogs must be leashed except in designated off-leash areas.




Astoria Pool - NYC Park's oldest and largest pool
Image of Astoria Pool - NYC Park's oldest and largest pool
Source: Flickr 



Plan Your Visit:

Whether you're looking for an adrenaline rush, a relaxing day out, or quality family time, Astoria Park has something for everyone. Pack your sneakers, sunscreen, and picnic basket, and get ready to experience the magic of this Queens gem!


  • Location: 19th St. bet. Astoria Park S. and Ditmars Blvd., Queens, NY 11105
  • Getting there: Easily accessible by subway (Astoria Blvd N/Q or Ditmars Blvd F), bus, or car.
  • Opening hours: The park is open from 6:00 AM to 11:00 PM.
  • Ticket: Admission is free.
  • Parking: There is a parking lot available near the park entrance on 19th Street.
  • The park is wheelchair-accessible.





Additional Tips:

  • Visit the NYC Parks website for detailed information about park hours, rules, and upcoming events.
  • Pack a Frisbee or soccer ball for impromptu games.
  • Explore nearby attractions like the Triborough Bridge and Hell Gate Bridge.
  • Take a scenic walk or bike ride along the waterfront.



Check the NYC Parks website for updated information on facilities, hours, and events.
Astoria Park is a testament to the power of urban green spaces. It's a place to connect with nature, engage in your passions, and create lasting memories. So come on down, unleash your inner explorer, and discover the magic of Astoria Park!




Further Exploration:

  • History buffs: Learn about the park's rich history, from its beginnings as a landfill to its transformation into a beloved community space.
  • Art enthusiasts: Visit the Socrates Sculpture Park nearby to witness contemporary art amidst nature.
  • Foodies: Explore the vibrant Astoria neighborhood for diverse culinary experiences.



Astoria Park is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. Whether you're seeking an adrenaline rush, a peaceful escape, or quality family time, this Queens treasure has something for everyone. So pack your sneakers, sunscreen, and picnic basket, and get ready to experience the magic of Astoria Park!



I hope you enjoy your visit to Astoria Park!

Please note that the pool is currently closed for repairs and will reopen in the summer of 2024.





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