Queens might seem like a distant, unreachable land when you’re living at the very bottom of Manhattan. But if you give this borough a chance, you’ll see just why it’s worth the trek.
Queens is not only the home of Spiderman, but also a vibrant immigrant community–which means cheap, incredibly delicious ethnic food is available around every corner. You can also find an exciting art scene, whether that’s as you walk down the street or in the borough’s numerous museums. After getting off the 7 or the W train, you’ll also be stunned by incredible views of Manhattan and the East River.
Ready to take the trip? Here’s your guide (directions included!) to four of Queens’ best neighborhoods.
Long Island City
Take the ⅘ to Grand Central -> transfer to the 7 train -> get off at Hunters Point Av and explore! (30 minutes)
Long Island City is one of the most accessible neighborhoods in Queens, and it’s one you won’t want to miss. Whether you’re planning a Fourth of July picnic or are looking for a place to dance out the stress from your summer internship, Long Island City might just be the perfect weekend escape.
Here’s what to do when you get there:
Breathe in some fresh air at Gantry Plaza State Park
Central Park is great, but you can’t beat the wide-open views of Midtown Manhattan that come with this park. Situated right on the East River, Gantry Plaza State Park is the perfect place to relax and read a book or bring friends for a picnic (though no cooking is allowed on park premises). Don’t forget to also check out the park’s basketball and handball courts!
Dance the night away at MoMA PS1
An affiliate of Manhattan’s Museum of Modern Art, MOMA PS1 describes itself as a “true artistic laboratory” that displays some of the world’s most challenging and experimental contemporary art. If museums aren’t your thing, MoMA PS1 has an outdoor dance party most Saturdays of the summer.
Take in some thoughtful art at The Noguchi Museum
The Noguchi Museum features the artwork of Japanese sculptor Isamu Noguchi. The exhibits include drawings, furniture designs, sculptures,and a sculpture garden. It is a truly unique experience and worth the visit.
Take the ferry from Wall St./Pier 11 -> get off at the Astoria stop (35 minutes)
Take the W train from South Ferry or Rector St. -> get off at the Broadway stop (45 minutes)
Take the ferry from Wall Street on a clear evening, and you’ll get to witness a spectacular sunset as you make your way to Astoria. The ferry drops you off in Astoria Park, where you can take a swim or see Olympic memorabilia. From there, explore the neighborhood and you’re sure to stumble across your new favorite Middle Eastern food or the perfect art for your next Instagram post.
Take a swim at Astoria Park
Astoria Park is home to a massive, FREE public swimming pool–the perfect place to cool off after walking to your internship in the summer heat. The park also has two fountains that served as Olympic torches in the 1936 and 1964 Summer Olympics.
Wonder the halls of The Museum of the Moving Image
The Museum of the Moving Image focuses on exhibits about the history, technique, and technology of, well, moving images: film, television, and digital media. If you’re interested in the creative arts, you’ll be overjoyed by the abundance of material on these topics. And even if not, here you’ll find it a truly exciting experience far different than any other museum offers.
Explore immigrant communities, like Little Egypt and Little Brazil
You can find some of New York’s most delicious–and authentic–ethnic food in Astoria. The neighborhood is home to some of the city’s most thriving immigrant communities. Get a taste of Egypt at Mombar or Kabab Cafe, and satisfy your sweet tooth at Al-Sham Sweets and Pastries. Or, walk over to Little Brazil and check out J & M Bakery or Malagueta Restaurant.
Take the ⅘ to Grand Central -> transfer to the 7 train -> get off at the last stop on the 7 train, Main St. (1 hour)
If you hop on the train in the Financial District, you might feel like you’ve stepped into another country by the time you get to Flushing, Queens. Whether you’re craving authentic Asian food or want to spend the day embracing some nature, Flushing might just be the neighborhood for you. Here’s how to spend your day when you arrive:
Find your new favorite dumpling spot
If you love trying new foods, Flushing is the place for you. If you’re looking for dumplings, grab a seat at the famous Dumpling Galaxy–or if you’re feeling adventurous, take the day and try all 20 of these essential Flushing dumplings.
Visit the Queens Zoo
The Queens Zoo is home to an abundance of wildlife, including sea lions, bison, coyotes, and more. Get away from the sound of cars honking and construction work and enjoy getting close to wildlife for the day.
Get back to your roots at the Queens Botanical Garden
The Queens Botanical Garden is made up of 39 acres of everything from an arboretum to a bee garden. If you’re looking for a quiet day away, taking in all different kinds of trees and flowers, this is the place for you.
Take the ⅘ to Grand Central -> transfer to the 7 train -> get off at Mets-Willets Point (50 minutes)
Citi Field is the home of the Mets, but if you’re going to see a game, it’s worth taking the day to explore the surrounding area. Here’s what you won’t want to miss on your day off:
1.Cheer the Mets on at Citi Field!
Or not–root for whatever team you want, just don’t make any New Yorkers mad! Whether you’re a baseball fan or not, Citi Field has an abundance of great food to offer, including the famous New York favorite, Cookie DŌ.
Explore Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Just next to Citi Field, this park has a dozen different things to do while you wait for your game to begin. You can play your own game of baseball, visit the Hall of Science, or explore the leftovers of two world fairs, including the Unisphere (a 350-ton steel globe).
Learn about the history of jazz at the Louis Armstrong House Museum
Whether you come for a special lecture, concert, or film screening, or just to see the exhibits, you won’t want to miss this tribute to one of jazz’s most important contributors.
Now you have everything you need for an awesome weekend in Queens. Enjoy, and let us know what your favorite neighborhood or sight was!