Astoria Park – The famous Hellgate Bridge and amazing views of Manhattan draw New Yorkers from every borough to this park. Bring your towel and lay out on the grass until you can hop in the Olympic-sized pool come late June. It is known for the huge fireworks display on July 4 and kid-friendly movie screenings on the lawn throughout the summer.
Socrates Sculpture Park – A smaller park also found along the river, it is a unique constellation of modern sculpture, foreign movie screenings, and a weekly farmer’s market all summer. They also feature free yoga, tai chi and kayak rental from Hallet’s Cove on weekends.
Gantry Plaza Park – This lesser known park down under the Queensboro bridge features live music concerts on summer weekday nights as well as monthly free yoga (and now bootcamp!) by The Yoga Room.
Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden – Probably the only reason your friends have heard of Astoria, this boisterous beer garden is great any time of year but especially in the summer, when all Astoria locals can be found sitting at the picnic tables drinking pitchers of Czech beer any time of day or night.
Virtually any restaurant on Broadway, 30th Ave or Ditmars – The sun is finally out and the city has come back to life! Restaurateurs take advantage of sometimes cramped indoor space to spill out onto the front sidewalk or back garden (sometimes these are hidden so be sure to check!). Not much beats sitting outside, people watching, while enjoying a great meal with a cold drink of choice in hand. Opa!