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Top Things to Do in Queens, New York

Queens, one of New York City’s most diverse and vibrant boroughs, offers a rich tapestry of experiences for visitors. Whether you’re a foodie, a culture enthusiast, or just looking to explore, Queens has something for everyone. Here are some top things to do in Queens, New York:

Explore Flushing Meadows-Corona Park

  • Highlights: Home to iconic structures like the Unisphere and the New York Hall of Science.
  • Activities: Visit the Queens Museum, take a stroll around the park, or catch a match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center during the US Open.

Unisphere is a 140-foot-tall stainless steel globe, a symbol of the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair, is one of the park’s most recognizable landmarks. It offers perfect for photo opportunities and a leisurely stroll around its reflecting pool.

Queens Museum is located within the park, this museum is known for its impressive Panorama of the City of New York, a detailed scale model of the five boroughs. Explore rotating art exhibitions, participate in educational programs, and enjoy the museum’s art collections.

New York Hall of Science Originally built for the 1964 World’s Fair, this museum features over 450 interactive exhibits. Engage with hands-on science and technology displays, enjoy the outdoor science playground, and watch educational films in the 3D theater.

USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center is home to the US Open, one of tennis’s most prestigious tournaments. Attend a match during the US Open, take a guided tour of the facility, or play on one of the public courts available year-round.

Queens Zoo is a small, family-friendly zoo that focuses on animals native to the Americas. Visit the aviary, see the playful sea lions, and learn about various species through interactive exhibits.

Meadow Lake and Willow Lake are two large bodies of water within the park that offer a serene escape. Rent a paddleboat on Meadow Lake, fish, or walk along the scenic trails around Willow Lake.

Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Aquatic Center and Ice Rink is a year-round facility offering swimming and ice skating. Swim in the Olympic-sized pool or skate on the indoor ice rink.

Cultural Events and Festivals: The park hosts a variety of cultural events, concerts, and festivals throughout the year. Attend festivals celebrating different cultures, enjoy outdoor concerts, and participate in community events.

Discover Astoria

  • Highlights: Known for its diverse dining scene and cultural attractions.
  • Activities: Enjoy authentic Greek cuisine, visit the Museum of the Moving Image, or relax at Astoria Park with views of the East River and the Triborough Bridge.

Astoria Park is located along the East River, Astoria Park offers stunning views of the Manhattan skyline and the Triborough Bridge. Enjoy a picnic, take a walk or jog along the waterfront, swim in one of NYC’s largest outdoor pools, or play a game of tennis.

Museum of the Moving Image is dedicated to the art, history, and technology of film, television, and digital media. Explore interactive exhibits, watch classic films in the state-of-the-art theater, and participate in educational workshops.

Diverse Cuisine: Astoria is renowned for its culinary diversity, offering a wide range of international foods. Dine at authentic Greek restaurants like Taverna Kyclades, enjoy Middle Eastern dishes at the Kabab Café, and sample delicious Italian pastries at La Guli Bakery.

Socrates Sculpture Park is an outdoor museum and public park dedicated to presenting large-scale sculptures and multimedia installations. Stroll through the park to see contemporary artworks, participate in art workshops, and attend summer outdoor movie screenings.

Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden is one of the oldest beer gardens in New York City, offering a relaxed atmosphere with plenty of outdoor seating. Sip on a variety of beers, enjoy traditional Czech and Slovak dishes, and attend events like trivia nights and live music performances.

Steinway Street is a bustling commercial street lined with shops, boutiques, and restaurants. Browse for fashion, electronics, and unique gifts, and grab a bite at one of the many cafes and eateries.

Tour Long Island City

Long Island City (LIC), located on the western edge of Queens along the East River, is one of New York City’s fastest-growing neighborhoods. Known for its vibrant arts scene, stunning waterfront, and industrial-chic vibe, LIC offers a mix of cultural, recreational, and culinary experiences.

  • Highlights: Rapidly developing with a mix of old industrial buildings and new high-rises.
  • Activities: Visit MoMA PS1 for contemporary art, enjoy the waterfront at Gantry Plaza State Park, or try local breweries.

Visit MoMA PS1 is one of the largest and oldest non-profit contemporary art institutions in the United States. Explore cutting-edge exhibitions, attend live music performances and art talks, and enjoy the seasonal Warm Up music series in the courtyard.

Gantry Plaza State Park is a 12-acre riverside park offering spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline. Walk along the waterfront esplanade, relax in the beautifully landscaped gardens, enjoy the playgrounds, or have a picnic while watching the sunset.

Hunters Point Library is an architecturally stunning library designed by Steven Holl Architects. Browse the extensive book collection, enjoy reading in the bright and airy spaces, and take in the panoramic views of the East River and Manhattan from the rooftop terrace.

Sculpture Center is a contemporary art museum dedicated to sculpture. View innovative exhibitions featuring works by emerging and established artists, participate in public programs and tours, and explore the unique space housed in a former trolley repair shop.

LIC Piers is a series of piers along the East River offering recreational spaces and stunning views. Fish off the piers, take a leisurely walk, or simply sit and enjoy the peaceful riverfront environment.

LIC Flea & Food Market is a popular weekend market featuring local vendors. Sample a variety of cuisines from food trucks and stalls, shop for unique vintage items, handcrafted goods, and enjoy live music and entertainment.

Noguchi Museum was founded by the renowned Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi, this museum is dedicated to his life and work. Wander through the serene galleries and outdoor sculpture garden, participate in art workshops, and attend special exhibitions and events.

Local Breweries: LIC boasts a vibrant craft beer scene with several noteworthy breweries. Take tours and enjoy tastings at places like LIC Beer Project, Fifth Hammer Brewing Company, and Rockaway Brewing Company.

Secret Theatre is a small, independent theater known for its diverse range of performances. Watch plays, musicals, and improv shows, and support local performing arts talent.

Pepsi-Cola Sign is an iconic landmark and photo spot along the East River. Take photos with the historic neon sign, enjoy the adjacent park, and take in the views of the river and the skyline.

Queensboro Bridge, also known as the 59th Street Bridge, it connects LIC to Manhattan. Walk or bike across the bridge for fantastic views of the city, and explore the surrounding areas on both sides of the river.

Dining and Casual Eats: LIC is home to a burgeoning food scene with a mix of fine dining restaurants, casual eateries, and trendy cafes. Dine at acclaimed restaurants like M. Wells Steakhouse, indulge in authentic Italian at Manducatis Rustica, or enjoy a casual meal at John Brown Smokehouse.

Cultural and Community Events: LIC hosts numerous events throughout the year, reflecting its diverse community. Participate in street fairs, art festivals, outdoor concerts, and community gatherings that celebrate the local culture and spirit.

Stroll Through Jackson Heights

Jackson Heights is a neighborhood that truly embodies the spirit of diversity and community. With its rich cultural offerings, historic charm, and vibrant street life, it promises a unique and enriching experience for everyone.

  • Highlights: A melting pot of cultures with a vibrant community.
  • Activities: Savor international cuisine, particularly Indian, Nepali, and Tibetan dishes, and explore the historic Jackson Heights Historic District.

Diverse Cuisine is known for its incredible variety of restaurants and food markets. Indian & South Asian: Try the flavorful curries, biryanis, and street foods at places like Jackson Diner or Dosa Delight. Latin American: Enjoy authentic Colombian, Ecuadorian, and Peruvian dishes at spots like La Pequeña Colombia and Urubamba. Tibetan & Nepalese: Sample momos (dumplings) and other Himalayan delights at Lhasa Fast Food or Phayul.

Historic District: Jackson Heights is home to one of the largest and most diverse historic districts in New York City. Walk the Tree-Lined Streets: Stroll through the beautiful blocks between 69th and 87th Streets, and between Roosevelt Avenue and Northern Boulevard. Admire the Architecture: Look for the pre-war garden apartments and Tudor-style homes, many of which have been preserved for their historical significance.

Little India is an area along 74th Street and its surrounding blocks, bustling with South Asian shops and eateries. Shopping: Browse for traditional clothing, jewelry, and spices at stores like Patel Brothers and Butala Emporium. Dining: Enjoy the rich flavors of Indian sweets, street snacks, and meals at restaurants and sweet shops like Rajbhog Sweets.

Travers Park is a community park offering recreational spaces and facilities. Play basketball or tennis, bring your kids to the playground, or participate in local events and festivals hosted in the park.

Cultural Festivals and Parades: ackson Heights hosts a variety of cultural events reflecting its diverse community. Annual Pride Parade: Join the vibrant LGBTQ+ celebration every June. Diwali Festival: Celebrate the Hindu festival of lights with music, dance, and food. Roosevelt Avenue Street Fairs: Experience the lively atmosphere with food vendors, performances, and shopping.

Local Markets: The neighborhood features numerous specialty grocery stores and markets. Explore stores like Apna Bazaar and Little India Store for exotic spices, fresh produce, and unique ingredients from around the world.

Nightlife: Jackson Heights offers a variety of bars and lounges reflecting its multicultural ambiance. Terraza 7: A unique music venue and bar known for its live Latin music and cultural events. Friends Tavern: One of the oldest LGBTQ+ bars in Queens, offering a welcoming atmosphere and lively events.

Street Life: The bustling streets of Jackson Heights are filled with energy and activity. Street Vendors: Sample delicious street food like arepas, tamales, and fresh fruit juices from the many vendors. Roosevelt Avenue: Walk along this main thoroughfare to experience the vibrant mix of cultures, shops, and restaurants.

Experience Forest Hills

Forest Hills, Queens, is a neighborhood known for its leafy streets, historic architecture, and vibrant cultural scene. It offers a mix of suburban tranquility and urban convenience, making it a delightful place to explore. Here’s what you can do in Forest Hills:

  • Highlights: A charming neighborhood with a mix of old and new.
  • Activities: See a concert at the Forest Hills Stadium, shop along Austin Street, or take a walk in Forest Park.

Forest Hills Gardens is a historic district designed in the early 20th century with beautiful Tudor-style homes and lush gardens. Walk the Streets: Take a leisurely stroll through the picturesque streets, admiring the charming homes and manicured lawns. Visit Station Square: The heart of Forest Hills Gardens, featuring stunning architecture and a central fountain.

Forest Park is a sprawling green space offering a variety of recreational activities. Hiking and Biking: Explore the numerous trails that wind through the park. Carousel: Ride the historic Forest Park Carousel, a designated New York City landmark. Sports: Play tennis, golf, or baseball at the park’s facilities. Picnicking: Relax and have a picnic in one of the scenic areas.

Forest Hills Stadium is an iconic outdoor venue that hosts concerts and events. Live Music: Attend concerts by top artists and bands. Community Events: Participate in festivals and community gatherings.

Austin Street is the main commercial thoroughfare of Forest Hills, lined with restaurants, cafes, and shops. Restaurants: Enjoy a meal at one of the many eateries, offering a range of cuisines from Italian at Nick’s Bistro to Asian fusion at Jade Eatery & Lounge. Cafes and Bakeries: Sip coffee or indulge in pastries at spots like Martha’s Country Bakery. Shopping: Browse the boutiques and specialty stores for unique finds.

West Side Tennis Club is a historic tennis club known for hosting the U.S. Open until 1977. Tennis Matches: Watch competitive matches or play on the historic grass courts. Clubhouse Events: Attend social events and gatherings in the elegant clubhouse.

Cinemart Cinemas is a beloved local movie theater offering a mix of mainstream and independent films. Film Screenings: Catch the latest releases or enjoy classic films. Special Events: Attend themed movie nights and film festivals.

MacDonald Park is a small, peaceful park located near the heart of Forest Hills. Leisurely Walks: Enjoy a walk through the park’s pathways. Reading and Relaxing: Sit on a bench and read a book or simply relax.

Local Breweries and Bars: Forest Hills offers a variety of spots to enjoy a drink. Station House: Sip craft beers and enjoy comfort food in a rustic setting. Dirty Pierre’s: A local favorite known for its eclectic atmosphere and wide selection of drinks.

Cultural and Community Events: The neighborhood hosts a range of events throughout the year. Street Fairs: Enjoy local street fairs featuring food, crafts, and entertainment. Seasonal Festivals: Participate in holiday celebrations and seasonal festivals.

Local Art and Music: Forest Hills has a growing arts scene with various galleries and music venues. Art Exhibits: Visit local galleries showcasing the work of emerging and established artists. Live Music: Enjoy live performances at local venues and outdoor concerts.

Relax at Rockaway Beach

Rockaway Beach, located in the Rockaways in Queens, New York, is a beloved seaside neighborhood offering beautiful beaches, outdoor activities, and a vibrant community atmosphere. Whether you’re looking to relax on the sand, enjoy water sports, or explore local culture, Rockaway Beach has something for everyone.

  • Highlights: NYC’s only legal surfing beach.
  • Activities: Surf, sunbathe, or enjoy the boardwalk. Visit during the summer for a lively beach scene.

Rockaway Beach Beach is known for its wide, sandy shores and Atlantic Ocean waves. Activities here are: Sunbathing: Lay out a towel and soak up the sun. Swimming: Enjoy a refreshing swim in the ocean. Surfing: Head to designated surf spots like Beach 67th Street or Beach 92nd Street, popular with surfers of all levels. Beachcombing: Take a leisurely stroll along the shoreline and collect seashells.

Rockaway Beach Boardwalk is the newly rebuilt boardwalk stretches for miles along the beach, offering stunning ocean views and easy access to beach amenities. Activities you can enjoy here are Walking and Jogging: Enjoy a scenic walk or jog along the boardwalk. Cycling: Rent a bike and ride along the designated bike paths. People-Watching: Sit on one of the many benches and watch the bustling beach activity.

Local Eateries: Rockaway Beach is home to a variety of food options, from casual beachside stands to trendy cafes. Rockaway Beach Surf Club: Enjoy tacos and drinks in a laid-back, surf-themed setting. Rippers: Grab a burger and fries at this popular beachfront spot on Beach 86th Street. Cuisine by Claudette: Savor Mediterranean-inspired dishes at this cozy café. Uma’s: Try delicious Uzbek cuisine, featuring unique flavors and fresh ingredients.

Water Sports: The beach and surrounding waters offer plenty of opportunities for adventurous water activities. Take a lesson or rent a board from local surf shops like Locals Surf School. Rent a paddleboard and explore the calm waters of Jamaica Bay. Join a guided kayaking tour or rent a kayak for independent exploration.

Jacob Riis Park is located at the western end of the Rockaway Peninsula, this historic park offers a quieter beach experience. Beach Activities: Enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and picnicking. Art Deco Bathhouse: Explore the historic bathhouse and its beautiful architecture. Riis Park Beach Bazaar: Attend seasonal events, food vendors, and live music performances.

Enjoy Live Music and Events: Rockaway Beach has a vibrant arts and music scene. Catch live music at local venues like Rockaway Brewing Company or Caracas Arepa Bar. Participate in seasonal festivals, outdoor movie nights, and art shows.

Rockaway Beach Surf Club is a community hub for surfers and beach lovers, offering food, drinks, and events. Enjoy casual fare like tacos and cocktails. Attend surf-related events, art exhibitions, and community gatherings.

Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge is a natural oasis located just a short drive from Rockaway Beach. Activities you can do are birdwatching: Spot a variety of bird species in their natural habitat, hiking: Walk the trails and enjoy the peaceful natural surroundings. nature Programs: Participate in guided tours and educational programs.

Fort Tilden is a decommissioned military fort that is now part of the Gateway National Recreation Area. Wander through the abandoned military structures. Enjoy the scenic trails and bike paths. Visit the less crowded beaches for a quieter day by the ocean.

Visit the Queens Botanical Garden

Visit the Queens Botanical Garden for a peaceful retreat in the heart of Queens. This 39-acre oasis features stunning floral displays, themed gardens, and serene walking paths. Enjoy seasonal events, educational programs, and the beauty of nature year-round. Whether you’re a plant enthusiast or simply looking for a relaxing escape, the Queens Botanical Garden offers something for everyone.

  • Highlights: A peaceful 39-acre urban oasis.
  • Activities: Explore themed gardens, attend seasonal events, or simply enjoy the tranquility.

Check Out Citi Field

Catch a game at Citi Field, home of the New York Mets! Located in Flushing, Queens, this modern ballpark offers a fantastic atmosphere for baseball fans. Enjoy thrilling games, diverse food options, and stunning views of the field. Whether you’re a die-hard Mets fan or just looking for a fun outing, Citi Field provides an unforgettable experience.

  • Highlights: Home of the New York Mets.
  • Activities: Catch a baseball game, take a stadium tour, or visit the adjacent Corona Park.

Cultural Experiences in Flushing

Flushing, Queens, is a bustling neighborhood known for its rich cultural diversity, delicious food, and vibrant atmosphere.

  • Highlights: A bustling neighborhood with rich Asian culture.
  • Activities: Visit the Queens Botanical Garden, explore Flushing Chinatown, or see a performance at the Flushing Town Hall.

Explore Jamaica

Jamaica, Queens, offers a rich blend of history, culture, and modern amenities, making it a dynamic and inviting destination for both residents and visitors. Whether you’re exploring historic sites, enjoying diverse cuisine, or taking advantage of its excellent transportation options, Jamaica has something for everyone.

  • Highlights: A historic area with a vibrant arts scene.
  • Activities: Visit the King Manor Museum, shop at the Jamaica Colosseum Mall, or enjoy live performances at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center.

Cultural Attractions: King Manor Museum: Visit the historic home of Rufus King, a signer of the U.S. Constitution, to learn about early American history and enjoy special events. Jamaica Performing Arts Center (JPAC): Attend performances ranging from theater and dance to music and cultural festivals in this beautifully restored 1858 building.

Shopping and Dining: Jamaica Avenue: Shop along this bustling commercial strip that features a mix of national retailers, local boutiques, and street vendors. Visit the shopping center The Shops at Skyview for a variety of retail options and dining experiences. Enjoy a wide array of international cuisines, including Caribbean, South Asian, and African American dishes at local favorites like The Door and Sybil’s Bakery.

Parks and Recreation: Relax in Rufus King Park, a green space with playgrounds, sports fields, and the historic King Manor Museum. Enjoy outdoor activities in Baisley Pond Parksuch as fishing, bird watching, and picnicking in this scenic park with a large pond and walking trails.

Transportation Hub: Jamaica Station: Benefit from excellent transportation links including the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR), New York City Subway (E, J, Z lines), and AirTrain JFK, providing easy access to JFK Airport and Manhattan. Bus Terminal: Utilize the extensive bus network connecting Jamaica to other parts of Queens and Brooklyn.

Community and Events: Jamaica Arts Center: Engage with the local arts scene through workshops, exhibitions, and performances. Cultural Festivals: Participate in various community events and cultural festivals celebrating the neighborhood’s diversity, such as the Jamaica Dance Festival and the Family Fun Day.

Enjoy Gantry Plaza State Park

  • Highlights: A waterfront park offering stunning views of the Manhattan skyline.
  • Activities: Relax by the river, picnic in the park, or take a leisurely walk along the waterfront. The park also has playgrounds and sports facilities.

Visit the Alley Pond Park

  • Highlights: One of the largest parks in Queens, offering a natural retreat.
  • Activities: Hike the nature trails, visit the Adventure Course, or explore the environmental center. The park’s wetlands and forests provide a peaceful escape from the city.

Experience the Culinary Diversity of Queens

  • Highlights: Queens is known for its incredibly diverse food scene.
  • Activities: Sample authentic foods from around the world in neighborhoods like Astoria, Jackson Heights, and Flushing. Don’t miss the Queens Night Market, which offers a variety of international street foods.

Queens County Farm Museum

  • Highlights: The largest remaining tract of undisturbed farmland in NYC.
  • Activities: Tour the historic farm buildings, visit the animals, or participate in seasonal events like the annual Queens County Fair.

Queens is a borough that celebrates diversity and offers a unique blend of cultural, historical, and recreational activities. Whether you’re visiting for a day or planning a longer stay, Queens is sure to provide an unforgettable New York City experience.

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