A Ferry Staycation to Astoria


 It has been an interesting few months, to say the least. One couldn’t be blamed for relating to or perhaps finding themselves singing along to I Want To Break Free by Queen, the next time it inevitably plays on Q104.3. Fortunately, escaping seems a little less impossible than lately. As the city enters Phase 2, the staycation day trip has become option for those wanting to take a break from Netflix.

The Rockaway Ferry is a perfect solution for those wanting to get out for the day and take a break from the peninsula. Not that there’s anything wrong with the peninsula! But if you’ve been forced to stay here, you might think about a one-day escape.

After docking at Pier 11 in downtown Manhattan transfers are available to routes throughout the city. The Astoria line is particularly interesting for those wanting to see a variety of locations. After launching from Pier 11, stops include the Brooklyn Navy Yard, East 34th Street, Long Island City, Roosevelt Island, with the final stop in Astoria. If you decide to stay on the ferry for the full trek, it is only about a 45-minute trip from Pier 11 until its final stop.

Along the way, you’re treated to fantastic views and you can truly appreciate the magnificent skylines. The United Nations, East River bridges, Roosevelt Island and the famous Pepsi sign in Long Island City are just some of the sites to enjoy.

Once there, it’s less than a 10-minute walk to Astoria Park, which is located on the waterfront and overlooked by the RFK Bridge. The park is situated along the East River, giving anyone a nice view of Randall’s Island and Harlem. Continuing down Ditmars Boulevard there are a variety of take-out options, Rose’s and Joe’s Bakery is a local favorite and worth a stop for a treat. Also, for any thirsty traveler, a number of watering holes are clustered along Ditmars Boulevard. You can choose among Jack Jones Astoria, Vintage, and The Ditty or choose all three.

Exploring Astoria is an easy day trip and the ferry ride gives you the option to make detours at any of the stops along the route. While planning, it is important to note that currently all NYC ferries are only operating at fifty percent capacity due to Covid-19. Masks or face coverings are required. 

But even a face covering won’t mask the enjoyment of one-day staycation on the ferry!

 By Sean Boyle