Queens is the largest borough in New York, offering a good mix of things to see and do. A quick stroll through the world's most ethnically diverse urban area introduces you to dozens of cultures and languages. The 1964 New York World’s Fair, which took place at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, put the borough on the map. The event showed viewers that Queens can hold its own against Manhattan or Brooklyn. Its eclectic neighbourhoods and world-class museums attract visitors hoping to escape the typical NYC tourist trail.

From the South Asian enclave of Jackson Heights to the booming Chinatown of downtown Flushing, Queens embodies New York City's multicultural setting. You’ll wander into eateries, shops, entertainment venues, and other businesses that you’d find nowhere else in the USA. The diversity of Queens doesn’t end with its residents – the borough has among the city’s most beloved outdoor spaces. Whether you prefer radiant gardens or sandy beaches, Queens will surprise you with its natural beauty.

Queens In New York - one of the highlights of 10 Movie Locations in New York and 5 Boroughs of New York (Read all about New York here)

What are the highlights and features of Queens?

Start the day at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park to wander around the largest park in the borough. The public space has cultural attractions that spotlight nature, the arts, sciences, and sports. You can smell blooming flowers inside the Queens Botanical Garden, catch a riveting performance at the Queens Theatre, participate in interactive exhibits at the New York Hall of Science, or watch a New York Mets baseball game at the adjacent Citi Field. Don’t forget to take the classic Queens photo at the Unisphere and Observation Towers before leaving the park.

Set along the East River, Astoria Park is a local favourite for recreational fun with splendid views of the Triborough and Hell Gate Bridges. Surfs up on Rockaway and Jacob Riis Park Beaches as swimmers, sunbathers, and surfers flock to the NYC beaches during summer. For a scenic hike, tackle the trails inside Alley Pond Park to escape the urban bustle for a while.

What are the best museums in Queens?

Queens has a dynamic collection of museums that competes with other major metropolitan areas across the United States. The renowned Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria delves into the film industry and entertains visitors of all ages. Movie buffs can check out classic films, techies get to try their wits at film and sound editing, and your favourite Muppet characters will make the kids smile.

Located in Long Island City, MoMA PS1 features enlightening artwork that’s unafraid to push boundaries. The creative space nurtures thought-provoking artists and engages audiences with fascinating exhibits. 

A must-see is the  Panorama of the City of New York at the Queens Museum, located inside Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. The scale model depicts NYC in the 1960s and shows incredible detail of each borough. With a permanent collection of 10,000 objects from earlier World’s Fairs, the museum holds a special place in New York City history. 

Good to know about Queens

Astoria and Long Island City receive quite the buzz in travel spheres but make sure to check out other enclaves in Queens. Jackson Heights is just the beginning, and part of the neighbourhood became “Little India” thanks to its large South Asian community. The multicultural area includes Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Sri Lankans, Nepalese, and other ethnic groups. If you feel like hanging with the hipsters, immerse yourself in the artsy vibe of Ridgewood surrounded by young professionals.

Whichever neighbourhood you wish to explore, you won’t be far away when flying into NYC. Both John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) and LaGuardia Airport are in Queens and offer many transport options to your destination. From JFK, you must ride the AirTrain from your terminal to reach the Jamaica and Howard Beach stations for public transport. If you fly into LaGuardia, the Q70 SBS, M60 SBS, and Q48 bus help you connect to the New York City Subway.

Queens In New York

Daniel Grenier | Contributing Writer