Must-See Long Island City
by Michael Hsu, 10/02/2013
(From left) Gantry Plaza and Water's Edge Restaurant photos by Julienne Schaer
Once an epicenter of manufacturing, Long Island City is now home to one of the City's most exciting art scenes. The neighborhood is dotted with turn-of-the-20th-century industrial buildings that have been transformed into galleries, museums and studios, and there's a fast-growing list of must-visit restaurants, shops and performance venues.
But the neighborhood is more than a great day trip. It's also an excellent place to stay. There are more than two dozen hotels here, most built within the past few years, including major chains as well as boutique properties. Among them are Fairfield Inn New York Long Island City/Manhattan View, Holiday Inn Manhattan View, Wyndham Garden Long Island City/Manhattan View, Nesva Hotel – New York City Vista and Z NYC Hotel.
Best of all, getting to Midtown Manhattan from Long Island City is surprisingly fast. It's just one stop from Grand Central Terminal on the 7 train, cab fare is reasonable and some hotels offer free shuttle service to Manhattan or nearby subway stops. You can even travel by boat: the East River Ferry regularly serves the neighborhood straight from FDR Drive and East 34th Street.
And then there are the views. Whether you're relaxing in Gantry Plaza (a 12-acre state park located on the river) or having a drink at the rooftop bar of your hotel, you'll enjoy some of the best vistas of the Manhattan skyline. So pack a suitcase or at least a day bag—Long Island City has so much to see, eat and explore, you can keep busy for days on end.