A DIY Queens Craft Brewery Tour

Lots of cities have tour companies offering to take visitors around to visit craft breweries or wineries. However, you don’t need to pay for an expensive tour if you know where to go. There are a bunch of Queens craft breweries you can visit without a costly tour.  All you need is some cash or a credit card for drinks and a love for beer. Ready to taste and toast? Let’s go on my DIY Queens craft brewery tour!

Queens Craft Brewery

A flight of beer at Fifth Hammer Brewing

First things first: Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and Staten Island are ALL part of New York City. They are 4 of the 5 boroughs (Manhattan is the 5th). New York City is not just Manhattan. Capisce? Any visitor to NYC can take advantage of visiting a Queens craft brewery during their visit. Allons-y!

Plan to do this tour on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday. Why? Because not all are open every day. I’ve noted below when each Queens craft brewery is closed, for your planning purposes.

Transportation

Some of these craft breweries are walkable distances from others, and some require covering a bit more ground between them. One of the easiest ways to cover short distances in New York City is by Citi Bike. Citi Bike is the local bike share program in NYC (similar to the Boris Bikes in London, etc.). You can buy a day pass or a three-day pass if you are not a local, and enjoy unlimited Citi Bike rides during your trip.

Otherwise, you’ll need about $10 on your MetroCard or an Uber/Lyft/other account to get from stop to stop. Got it? Good.

The best of Queens CRAFT BREWERIES

How to use this map: View the map bigger by clicking the bracket window-looking icon in the upper-right corner, next to your photo/avatar. Save the link to your phone if you’re traveling. Use the layers to toggle between stuff that you’re looking for. I’ve grouped the Layers by breweries and by transportation type, as well as routes between each (biking, walking or driving).

Stop #1: Transmitter Brewing

Queens Craft Brewery Tour

Walking to Transmitter Brewing

Take the 7 train from Manhattan to Vernon-Jackson (the first stop in Queens), then walk to Transmitter Brewing, the first stop on our Queens Craft Brewery tour. Note that you’ll probably think you’ve gone the wrong way. It’s VERY industrial here and can look a bit scary. Alternatively, you can walk on the Pulaski Bridge and take the staircase down where you see the Transmitter sign. The Pulaski Bridge connects Long Island City (Queens) to Greenpoint (Brooklyn) and has dedicated sidewalks and bike lanes, in addition to traffic lanes.

Queens Craft Brewery Tour

Transmitter Brewing from the outside

Transmitter Brewing is a Queens craft brewery known for its large-format bottles (750ml) and its farmhouse-style brews. Its own website touts it as an urban farmhouse brewery – couldn’t have said it better myself!

Queens Craft Brewery TourThe beers are all named according to a system – sort of a binomial nomenclature (nerd alert!).  My favorite is H4, a Harvest sour ale made with Italian plums. They sell by the bottle for tasting on-site and to carry out. You can try some of their options that are for tasting on-site only. I suggest grabbing a bottle or two of the ones that stand out to you, and hang out with your tourmates at a picnic table. Continue reading

Top 5 To-Dos in Valparaiso, Chile

Valparaiso, Chile is a colorful seaside town with UNESCO World Heritage Site status, where the only thing more impressive than the colors of the buildings and the freshness of the seafood is the steepness of the hills (of which there are over 40!).

Valparaiso, Chile

Just one of Valparaiso’s colorful staircases

There’s so much to do there, but without further ado, here are my Top 5 To-Dos in Valparaiso, Chile: 

5.  Walking Tour of Street Art

Valparaiso Chile Street Art

Valparaiso has some pretty amazing street art, and there’s no better way to see it all than to take a walking tour of the city with a guide.  We did the Valparaiso Highlights Tour with Tours4Tips, which wasn’t a street art-only tour, but we covered a LOT of great murals and learned about the famous street artists that have works throughout the city. The tour meets daily at 3pm at Plaza Sotomayor.

Valparaiso Street Art

Valparaiso, Chile Valparaiso, Chile Street Art

You’ll see some works by famous Chilean street artist Inti Castro (or just “Inti“), as well as some works by other high-profile artists from Valparaiso, Viña del Mar and Santiago like Charquipunk, and Un Kolor Distinto.

Valparaiso, Chile

One of the many works by Inti

You’ll find this piece when Continue reading

So much to post, so little time!

Friends, I apologize. I’m SO far behind on posting and sharing with you guys…it’s sad.


I’ve been making lots of updates to this site, but lots are behind the scenes, like re-uploading photos that aren’t displaying properly when viewed in different browsers (auto-rotation and Firefox are apparently not a “thing”), creating a brand spankin’ new branded Instagram account and drafting a few posts that I am not QUITE happy with yet.

Those are all excuses, but thought you might be wondering what the heck is going on since my last post is MONTHS ago.

Courtesy of Giphy

Anyway, looking forward to sharing some great new content starting this weekend. I have lots of great places to share with you!

Including:

Lisbon & Cascais, Portugal

The Azores, Portugal

Edinburgh, Scotland and the Scottish Highlands

London, Salisbury (Stonehenge) and Bath

Austin, TX

Denver, CO

Valparaiso, Chile

+ more

Thanks for sticking with me and I look forward to sharing more with you soon!

photo by: Got Credit

Iceland Road Trip: The South Shore

The South Shore of Iceland in one neat little day-long (ok, maybe 18 hours) Iceland road trip. If you have a bit more time and can spend a few days in Iceland, then this is the route for you! You’ll cover waterfalls, glaciers, glacial lagoons, national parks, black beaches, lava fields and much more on this unforgettable route.

WHY DRIVE THE South Shore YOURSELF?

After figuring out that we didn’t want to do an organized coach tour (see also: Road Trip of the Golden Circle), we opted to wake up at the crack of dawn and drive ourselves out to Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon, at which we had a 1pm reservation for a Zodiac boat tour.  

We also wanted the freedom to be able to stop wherever we liked if something looked interesting. From everything we’ve read, the south shore of Iceland has so much to offer, it’d be crazy to just drive right by it all.

Pro-Tip: Make sure you have a chip-enabled credit card with pin with you if you’re on an Iceland road trip – you’ll need it to buy gas at gas stations along the way.

HITTING THE ROAD

We set out from Reykjavik after a quick stop for breakfast and coffee at Sandholt Bakery in Reykjavik’s city center (more on that later – about $14 US). We stocked up on snacks (fresh-baked soft pretzels from the bakery and bottled waters) and made our way east, out of the city.  Our plan was to just go to the glacier lagoon and then spend the rest of the day sightseeing on the way back at our leisure. It worked out really well.

The weather was a little iffy – drizzling, light rain, then sunshine, some wind, and basically everything but snow. So, be prepared for a few different seasons if you’re visiting in the summer! Then it was onward to our first stop: the Jokulsarlon glacier lagoon! Continue reading

Experiencing the Quebec City Toboggan Run

What’s it like to go down the famous toboggan run in Quebec City (Toboggan Slide au 1884), just beside the Château Frontenac at the Terrasse Dufferin? Well, see for yourself!

We captured this video with our GoPro Hero4 Session and a handy-dandy chest strap, which Luke wore as the front rider in our run.

It was exhilarating, to say the least! The queue wasn’t even that long, although there definitely was a queue. We went on Christmas day, and waited for about 15 minutes. As you can see, three toboggans go at a time, and there seem to be about 9 in all.

Buy a ticket from Continue reading

Top 5 Most Overrated NYC Attractions

After years of taking friends and relatives around the City that Never Sleeps, I’ve been forced more than once to endure the tourist traps that define this great concrete jungle, but no real New Yorker ever tries to visit unless absolutely necessary. Here are my Top 5 Most Overrated NYC Attractions, and a few alternatives to get the same or similar experiences, without overpaying and braving the slack-jawed masses.

5.  Ice Skating at Rockefeller Center

Everyone wants to go ice skating at Rockefeller Center. Beneath the famous Christmas tree and the gaze of Prometheus, 150 skaters at a time can skate around in circles while being gawked at by hordes of tourists.

$25-$32 will get you admission to the rink and $12 will get you rental skates. Ouch.

Rock Center is beautiful and a must-see during the holiday season, especially. In the summer there’s a great outdoor bar and cafe that’s erected over the rink – so it’s a great place to be year-round. But, you don’t need to skate there.

Instead: Go ice skating at Bryant Park or The Rink at Brookfield Place – basically anywhere else.

Bryant Park‘s skating rink is free (yes, FREE!) with skate rentals of $20, and the Winter Village is definitely worth a look. You can store your bags for a fee and pay $28 to skip the line. Just allow plenty of time and you won’t need to do that, though. If you’re visiting, plan to visit during working hours, when the poor folks who live here need to be at work. And know that I’m envious of you!

The Rink at Brookfield Place, in the shadow of the World Trade Center, right by the water and surrounded by fabulous shopping and restaurants, is a great deal at $15 per 90 minute session and a $5 skate rental.  You can even pay a bit extra to take a skating lesson from former U.S. Olympic skaters. How cool is that?

4.  Statue of Liberty

Sure, Lady Liberty is a beaut’ and she celebrates her 125th anniversary this year. But, do you really want to get on a boat with a bunch of other tourists and be held captive, then corralled around the queue to get in, then wait some more, go Continue reading