2. Gantry Plaza State Park: 4-09 47th Rd.
You may have seen the giant red Pepsi Cola sign in Instagrams, or from across the river in Manhattan, but never knew where it was. Well, that is Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City, my friend. Full of gorgeous green grass, plenty of stone benches and lounge chairs, and arguably the best under-the-radar views of Manhattan. The new Queens ferry line has a stop in the park, so you can get there from the east side of Manhattan, Astoria or Roosevelt Island. Or you can just hop on the ferry and ride yourself back around, taking in the spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline and LIC (they serve drinks and snacks on board!). In the summer, float along the East River a different way with kayaking from the LIC Community Boathouse.