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Although Queens County dates back to the late 1700s, Queens became a borough of New York City near the turn of the century. Queens is the largest borough and is home to approximately 2 million people. Queens is located east of Manhattan and north of Brooklyn. Generally speaking, there are five main sections of Queens: Far Rockaway, Floral Park, Flushing, Jamaica, and Long Island City.
Getting Around in Queens
If you’re flying into New York City from out of town, chances are your first stop will be in Queens—two major airports, LaGuardia and JFK, are both in this borough. If you’re traveling to Queens from Brooklyn or Manhattan, you can drive or take the subway. Once you’re in Queens, public transportation includes the subway and buses. It’s definitely possible to take public transportation and walk around to get from place to place in Queens, but just keep in mind that this borough is much more spread out than Manhattan.
If you enjoy going to museums, New York City is the perfect destination for you. Queens itself has several museums, including the New York Hall of Science. The New York Hall of Science is an excellent option for a family activity, as kids will love the science-themed playground, Rocket Park Mini Golf, and exhibits they can actually touch. Then, balance out all that left-brain activity with some right-brain action and head to the Queens Museum of Art. One highlight is Robert Moses’s The Panorama, which is a scale model of New York City that’s comprised of over 800,000 separate buildings. If you loved MoMA over in Manhattan, check out MoMa PS1 in Long Island City, Queens, which also exhibits contemporary, thought-provoking art. The Museum of the Moving Image is all about film, so that you can learn all about what goes on behind the scenes.
Think back to your high school days—did you read The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald? Now, think a little harder and try to remember the “valley of ashes” Fitzgerald described in his classic novel, which is known today as Corona Park in Flushing Meadows. This 1,000-plus acre park has museums, trails, a lake, and the Queens Theatre. Make sure to grab a picture in front of the famous Unisphere, an enormous statue of Earth that’s also in the park. Want to partake in America’s favorite pastime? Catch a New York Mets game at Citi Field, which is also in Flushing Meadows Corona Park. Another great way to spend time in the outdoors in Queens is Astoria Park. You can bike, jog, or walk on the trails in Astoria Park and take in a great view of Manhattan. Or, meander through gardens cherry trees, roses, and more at the Queens Botanical Gardens in Flushing
New York City is famous for its fabulous food, from intricate dishes at upscale restaurants to surprisingly delicious food from street vendors. Sometimes, the sheer number of restaurants in New York City can be overwhelming. If you’re grabbing a bite to eat in Queens, you might want to dine in Astoria. This Queens neighborhood has a diverse population and, as a result, an amazing array of cuisines—you’ll find many restaurants on popular streets like Broadway, Ditmars, and Steinway. Astoria is also home to Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden, a must-see if you’re into beer. There’s also Chinatown in downtown Flushing. Long Island City has several waterfront restaurants that provide stunning views of New York, including Water’s Edge and the Riverview. These waterfront restaurants can be a memorable way to have a special night out in Queens.
Queens offers several options for nightlife, from low-key bars to chic lounges and energetic nightclubs. Woodside, Queens has many Irish pubs, while Astoria can be a good destination for bars and lounges. Nightclubs in Queens include Maracas in Richmond Hill, La Boom in Woodside, and System in Long Island City. With apps like Around Me and websites like Yelp, you can easily find bars, lounges, and clubs and check out reviews before you head out for the night.