Best Things to Do in Queens, New York: 12 Queens Attractions

by Jen
Best Things to Do in Queens, New York

Are you thinking of visiting Queens? Here are some of the coolest sights and best things to do in Queens, New York. These attractions and destinations are sure to make for an unforgettable trip.

Are you planning a trip to the Big Apple and want to explore beyond the well-trodden paths of Manhattan? Welcome to Queens, New York’s largest borough. This place is a vibrant melting pot of cultures and experiences that’s just waiting to be discovered.

Queens is a treasure trove of unique attractions, from world-class museums to sprawling parks and rich historical sites. It’s a place where you can watch a baseball game at Citi Field, home of the New York Mets, in the afternoon, and by evening, find yourself immersed in a mesmerizing performance at the Kaufman Astoria Studios, the heart of New York City’s film and television production.

Known for its incredible ethnic diversity, Queens is a food lover’s paradise. Here, you can savor authentic flavors from around the globe. This includes spicy Indian curries in Jackson Heights, mouth-watering Greek souvlaki in Astoria, or the best Chinese dim sum in Flushing.

What truly sets Queens apart is its spirit of exploration. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature enthusiast, an art lover, or a foodie, there’s an array of unique activities in Queens that promise to leave you with unforgettable memories.

So, if you’re ready to venture off the beaten path and explore the hidden gems of New York City, let’s dive into the best places to visit in Queens. Here’s everything you need to know about these fun things to do in Queens, NY.

The top places to visit in Queens, New York right now
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Best Places to Visit in Queens: Your Ultimate Guide to Queens, NY

Are you ready to discover all the best activities in Queens? As noted above, there are things to do for everyone in Queens, NY. Keep reading to find out what to do in Queens, New York.

Are you looking to immerse yourself in the diverse and vibrant cultural scene of Queens? Or would you prefer to explore Queens’ iconic landmarks and museums? Whatever you’re planning, Queens can accommodate your needs. Here are all the coolest places in Queens, New York that you should know about:

1. Flushing Meadows Corona Park

One of the most relaxing Queens things to do is visit the Flushing Meadows Corona Park. It is the largest park in Queens and a true oasis in the urban jungle of New York City. Also, this expansive green space, once the site of the 1939 and 1964 World’s Fairs, is now home to some of Queens’ most iconic landmarks and attractions.

Additionally, as you stroll through the park, you’ll come across the Unisphere. It is a towering stainless-steel globe that has become a symbol of Queens. This 140-foot-tall structure, commissioned for the 1964 World’s Fair, is a testament to the borough’s multicultural spirit and global reach.

Moreover, the park is a bustling hub of activity, with facilities for soccer, baseball, cricket, and even a regatta on Meadow Lake, the city’s largest freshwater lake. For those who prefer a slower pace, the park’s lush gardens. This includes the beautiful Queens Botanical Garden, offer a tranquil retreat from the city’s hustle and bustle.

Furthermore, Flushing Meadows Corona Park is a cultural hotspot. It houses the Queens Museum, known for its impressive collection of Tiffany glass and a detailed scale model of New York City, and the New York Hall of Science, a hands-on science and technology center that’s a hit with kids.

With its wide array of attractions, Flushing Meadows Corona Park has activities for everyone to enjoy.

Explore Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens' largest urban oasis with iconic landmarks.
Explore Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens’ largest urban oasis with iconic landmarks.

2. Queens Museum

In the heart of the Flushing Meadows Corona Park, you’ll find one of the most unique activities in Queens, NY. Step into the world of art and history at the Queens Museum. It is located in a building originally constructed for the 1939 World’s Fair. The museum is a testament to the Queens’ rich cultural heritage and vibrant arts scene.

The museum’s crown jewel is the Panorama of the City of New York, a scale model of the five boroughs that was created for the 1964 World’s Fair. Covering 9,335 square feet and featuring nearly 900,000 individual structures, the Panorama offers a bird’s-eye view of the city that’s simply breathtaking.

However, there’s more to the Queens Museum than just the Panorama. Its diverse collection includes works by local artists, historical artifacts, and exhibits that explore the social and cultural history of Queens. The museum also hosts a variety of educational programs and community events. This makes it a dynamic cultural hub.

Also, don’t miss the Tiffany glass collection, one of the most comprehensive in the world. It showcases the exquisite craftsmanship of Louis Comfort Tiffany and his studios.

In addition, for art aficionados and history buffs looking for what to do in Queens, NY, the Queens Museum promises a fascinating journey through the borough’s past and present. It is an attraction that you should not miss on your next visit to Queens.

Queens Museum: Art & History in a 1939 World's Fair building, celebrating cultural heritage.
Queens Museum: Art & History in a 1939 World’s Fair building, celebrating cultural heritage.

3. Museum of the Moving Image

For film and television enthusiasts, a visit to the Museum of the Moving Image is a must. It is located in Astoria, the historic heart of New York City’s film and television production. This unique museum is dedicated to the art, history, and technology of the moving image.

As you explore the museum, you’ll discover a treasure trove of artifacts, from vintage movie cameras and projectors to costumes and props from famous films. The museum’s core exhibition, “Behind the Screen,” offers an immersive look at the filmmaking process. It has interactive displays that let you try your hand at sound editing, stop-motion animation, and more.

In addition, one of the highlights of the museum is its collection of vintage arcade and video games, which visitors can actually play. From classic arcade games like Pac-Man and Space Invaders to early home video game consoles, it’s a nostalgic trip down memory lane.

Furthermore, the museum hosts a variety of film screenings, discussions, and workshops. This makes it a vibrant hub of film culture and one of the coolest places to visit in Queens. It’s a truly fascinating glimpse into the world of cinema and television.

Museum of the Moving Image, Astoria, NYC - celebrating art, history, and technology of moving images.
Museum of the Moving Image, Astoria, NYC – celebrating art, history, and technology of moving images.

4. Queens Night Market

When the sun sets, and the city lights start to twinkle, one of the most exciting activities in Queens begins at the Queens Night Market. Located in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, this open-air food market is a celebration of the borough’s incredible culinary diversity.

As you wander through the market, you’ll be greeted by the enticing aromas of dishes from around the world. From Filipino balut to Trinidadian doubles, Tibetan momos to Mexican tamales, the Queens Night Market is a food lover’s paradise. Each vendor’s stall tells a story of a different culture. As a result, this makes this not just a dining experience but a journey around the world.

Moreover, the Queens Night Market offers more than just food. It’s a vibrant community gathering, complete with live music, art, and performances. It’s a place where locals and visitors alike come together to enjoy the multicultural spirit of Queens.

The Queens Night Market is a testament to Queens’ status as one of the most diverse places on the planet. In addition, it is a vibrant showcase of the borough’s multicultural fabric. With some of the most delicious food in New York City, the Queens Night Market is absolutely one of the best things to do in Queens, NY.

Queens Night Market is a vibrant community gathering with food, live music, art, and performances.
Queens Night Market is a vibrant community gathering with food, live music, art, and performances.

5. Citi Field

If you’re wondering what to do in Queens that combines excitement, tradition, and the great American pastime, look no further than Citi Field. Home to the New York Mets, this state-of-the-art stadium is a must-visit for any sports fan.

Located in Flushing, Citi Field offers an unforgettable baseball experience. From the roar of the crowd to the crack of the bat, the energy in the stadium is palpable. Regardless you’re a die-hard Mets fan or just enjoy the thrill of a live game, there’s nothing quite like the atmosphere on game day.

Additionally, Citi Field is home to an impressive array of food and drink options. This reflects the incredible culinary diversity of Queens. From classic hot dogs and beer to gourmet burgers and international cuisines, there’s something to satisfy every palate.

Even if you’re not a baseball fan, a tour of Citi Field is worth considering. The stadium’s rich history and modern amenities make it a fascinating place to explore. From the Jackie Robinson Rotunda, honoring the legendary player and his role in breaking baseball’s color barrier, to the Mets Hall of Fame and Museum, there’s plenty to see and do at Citi Field.

Citi Field in Flushing: Unforgettable baseball experience with an electrifying atmosphere.
Citi Field in Flushing: Unforgettable baseball experience with an electrifying atmosphere.

6. Rockaway Beach

If you’re searching for the coolest places to visit in Queens, NY, make sure to put Rockaway Beach on your list. It is New York City’s only legal surfing beach. It is located on the Rockaway Peninsula. This place is a favorite summer destination for both locals and visitors.

Additionally, Rockaway Beach offers more than just sun and sand. It’s a haven for surfers, with swells that rival those of more famous surfing destinations. If you’re a seasoned surfer or a beginner eager to catch your first wave, Rockaway Beach is the place to be!

After catching some waves, be sure to explore the Rockaway Beach boardwalk. Rebuilt after Hurricane Sandy, the boardwalk is perfect for a leisurely stroll or a bike ride. Along the way, you’ll find a variety of food stalls serving everything from classic beach snacks to gourmet fare.

For nature lovers, the nearby Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge offers hiking trails and bird-watching opportunities. And for history buffs, the Rockaway Naval Air Station, which played a crucial role in both World Wars, is a must-visit.

Moreover, with its mix of outdoor activities, historical sites, and vibrant food scene, Rockaway Beach offers a unique seaside getaway in the heart of Queens, New York.

Rockaway Beach is the city's only legal surfing beach on the Rockaway Peninsula, beloved by locals and visitors for its summer vibes.
Rockaway Beach is the city’s only legal surfing beach on the Rockaway Peninsula, beloved by locals and visitors for its summer vibes.

7. Gantry Plaza State Park

For a tranquil escape from the city’s hustle and bustle, head to Gantry Plaza State Park. Located in Long Island City, this 12-acre riverside oasis offers stunning views of the Manhattan skyline. This makes it one of the most picturesque places in Queens, NY.

The park’s most distinctive features are the giant gantries. These were once used to load and unload rail car floats as well as barges. These have been preserved as a reminder of the area’s industrial past. Today, they stand as iconic landmarks against the backdrop of the modern cityscape.

Also, Gantry Plaza State Park is designed with several unique areas, each offering a different perspective of the city. Stroll along the riverfront promenade, and relax on the grassy lawns. In addition, you can enjoy a picnic in one of the park’s designated areas. For children, there’s a state-of-the-art playground, and for dog owners, a dog run.

Furthermore, as the sun sets, the park transforms into a magical place, with the city lights reflecting off the water. It’s the perfect spot for a romantic evening or a quiet moment of reflection.

From its industrial heritage to its modern amenities, Gantry Plaza State Park is a testament to Queens’ transformation and resilience. It’s one of those fun Queens things to do that offers a unique blend of history, nature, and stunning city views.

Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City offers stunning Manhattan skyline views - one of Queens' most picturesque spots.
Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City offers stunning Manhattan skyline views – one of Queens’ most picturesque spots.

8. Noguchi Museum

For art lovers looking for unique places in Queens to visit, the Noguchi Museum is a must. Dedicated to the work of Japanese-American artist Isamu Noguchi, this museum, located in Long Island City, offers a serene and contemplative experience.

In addition, the museum, designed by Noguchi himself, is a harmonious blend of art, architecture, and landscape. It houses a comprehensive collection of the artist’s works. This includes sculptures, drawings, models, and designs, displayed in a series of indoor and outdoor spaces.

As you explore the museum, you’ll discover Noguchi’s diverse body of work. This ranges from abstract sculptures to landscape designs and architectural models. His art reflects his belief in the social significance of sculpture and its potential to influence the built environment.

Moreover, the museum’s tranquil sculpture garden, filled with Noguchi’s stone works, is a highlight. Here, amidst the rustling bamboo and flowing water, you can experience the artist’s vision of creating a space for peace and contemplation.

Visiting the Noguchi Museum is not just about viewing art; it’s about experiencing the transformative power of art and design. It’s a place where you can pause, reflect, and find inspiration in the beauty of Noguchi’s creations.

Discover Noguchi Museum: A diverse collection reflecting the social significance of sculpture and architectural influence.
Discover Noguchi Museum: A diverse collection reflecting the social significance of sculpture and architectural influence.

9. Astoria Park

Nestled between the East River and the vibrant neighborhood of Astoria, Astoria Park is a local favorite and a hidden gem in Queens, New York. With its sprawling lawns, tree-lined paths, and some of the best views of the Manhattan skyline, it’s a perfect place for a leisurely stroll, a picnic, or a game of soccer.

Furthermore, the park is home to the city’s oldest and largest pool, the Astoria Park Pool. This transforms into a performance venue during the summer. It features tennis courts, a track, a skate park, as well as multiple playgrounds. This makes it a hub of outdoor activity.

Also, one of the highlights of Astoria Park is the shoreline walk. It is a scenic path that offers panoramic views of the East River, the Triborough Bridge, and the Manhattan skyline. It’s one of the best places in Queens for joggers, cyclists, and anyone looking to enjoy the beauty of the riverfront.

Throughout the year, the park hosts a variety of community events, from outdoor concerts and movie nights in the summer to a tree-lighting ceremony in the winter.

With its mix of natural beauty, recreational facilities, and community events, Astoria Park is a vibrant community space that brings people together. Hence, it’s undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Queens.

Astoria Park's scenic shoreline walk: Panoramic views of East River, Triborough Bridge, and Manhattan skyline.
Astoria Park’s scenic shoreline walk: Panoramic views of East River, Triborough Bridge, and Manhattan skyline.

10. Socrates Sculpture Park

If you’re looking for exciting activities in Queens that combine art, nature, and community, Socrates Sculpture Park is the perfect destination. Located in Long Island City, this outdoor museum and public park is a testament to the transformative power of creativity.

The park was founded in 1986 by sculptor Mark di Suvero as a place for artists to create and exhibit large-scale sculptures. Today, it’s a vibrant arts space that hosts a rotating series of contemporary sculptures and multimedia installations.

Within the park, you’ll encounter a diverse range of artworks that challenge and inspire. From abstract sculptures to interactive installations, each piece invites you to see the world from a different perspective.

Moreover, Socrates Sculpture Park hosts a variety of events and programs, from outdoor yoga classes and film screenings to workshops and festivals. For those seeking fun things to do in Queens for families, then look no further than an outdoor movie screening!

Furthermore, Socrates Sculpture Park offers a unique blend of cultural and recreational activities that make it a must-visit destination in Queens, NY. Don’t miss it on your next visit!

Socrates Sculpture Park is an exciting fusion of art, nature, and community in Long Island City.
Socrates Sculpture Park is an exciting fusion of art, nature, and community in Long Island City.

11. Louis Armstrong House Museum

Step into the world of one of jazz’s most iconic figures at the Louis Armstrong House Museum. Located in Corona, this national historic landmark offers a glimpse into the life and legacy of Louis Armstrong, affectionately known as Satchmo.

Furthermore, the house, where Armstrong lived for nearly 30 years, has been preserved as it was during his lifetime. As a result, it offers an intimate look at his personal life. As you tour the house, you’ll see Armstrong’s gold-plated trumpet, his vast collection of collages, and personal artifacts that tell the story of his remarkable career.

One of the highlights of the museum is the archival collection, which includes Armstrong’s personal recordings, photographs, and manuscripts. These materials offer a unique insight into his creative process, his influences, and his contributions to jazz.

Also, the museum also hosts a variety of events. This includes jazz concerts, lectures, and educational programs, continuing Armstrong’s legacy of promoting music and culture.

Visiting the Louis Armstrong House Museum is one of the best places to experience the power of music and its ability to inspire and bring people together. It’s undoubtedly a unique addition to the list of what to do in Queens.

Louis Armstrong House Museum: A jazz icon's legacy in Corona's historic landmark.
Louis Armstrong House Museum: A jazz icon’s legacy in Corona’s historic landmark.

12. MoMA PS1

As an art lover, MoMA PS1 is one of my personal favorite Queens places to visit. This renowned art institution, an affiliate of the Museum of Modern Art, is one of the oldest and largest nonprofit contemporary art institutions in the United States.

Located in Long Island City, MoMA PS1 is dedicated to displaying the most experimental art in the world. The museum is housed in a former public school building, which adds to its unique charm and character.

Throughout the museum, you’ll encounter a diverse range of artworks, from cutting-edge installations to thought-provoking exhibitions. The museum’s dynamic selection of offerings aims to challenge, inspire, and open your mind to new ideas and perspectives.

Additionally, one of the highlights of MoMA PS1 is its annual Warm Up outdoor music series. This showcases a wide range of experimental music and live performances. It’s a testament to the museum’s commitment to promoting not just visual art, but music and performance as well.

If you’re an art enthusiast or just curious about contemporary art, then a visit to MoMA PS1 promises an enriching and stimulating experience. It’s an attraction I recommend everyone to visit in Queens, NY.

MoMA PS1: Art lover's favorite in Queens - renowned contemporary art institution, an affiliate of MoMA.
MoMA PS1: Art lover’s favorite in Queens – renowned contemporary art institution, an affiliate of MoMA.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the Best Things to Do in Queens, New York

Looking for more information on what to do in Queens? Here are some popular questions (and answers) I get that will help you plan your trip to Queens, NY:

Is Queens, NY worth visiting?

Absolutely! Queens is a vibrant and diverse borough that offers a unique blend of cultural, historical, and recreational attractions. From its world-class museums and sprawling parks to its diverse food scene and exciting events, Queens offers a rich and varied experience that caters to all types of travelers. It’s a place where you can explore the world without leaving the borough. This makes it one of the coolest places to visit in New York City.

What is Queens, NY famous for?

Queens is famous for its incredible cultural and ethnic diversity, which is reflected in its food, festivals, and neighborhoods. It’s home to Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the largest park in Queens, and Citi Field, home of the New York Mets. Furthermore, Queens is known for its art scene. This includes institutions like the Queens Museum, the Museum of the Moving Image, and MoMA PS1. Additionally, Queens has a rich history, with landmarks like the Louis Armstrong House Museum showcasing the borough’s past.

Long Island comes alive with captivating lights at night.
Long Island comes alive with captivating lights at night.

What are some of the best places to visit in Queens, New York?

Some of the best places to visit in Queens, NY include Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the Queens Museum, the Museum of the Moving Image, the Queens Night Market, Citi Field, Rockaway Beach, Gantry Plaza State Park, the Noguchi Museum, Astoria Park, Socrates Sculpture Park, the Louis Armstrong House Museum, and MoMA PS1.

What are some of the best restaurants in Queens, NY?

Queens is known for its culinary diversity. You can find a wide range of cuisines, from Indian and Greek to Chinese and Mexican. Some popular dining spots include Adda Indian Canteen in Long Island City, Taverna Kyclades in Astoria for Greek cuisine, and Dumpling Galaxy in Flushing for Chinese dumplings.

What are some of the best hotels in Queens, New York?

Some of the best hotels in Queens, NY include the Boro Hotel in Long Island City, the Paper Factory Hotel in Astoria, and the Hilton Garden Inn in Long Island City.

What are some fun activities to do in Queens, NY?

Queens offers a wide range of activities, from exploring world-class museums and parks to attending events at the Queens Night Market or Citi Field. In addition, you can enjoy surfing at Rockaway Beach. You can take a stroll in Gantry Plaza State Park, or explore the art installations at Socrates Sculpture Park.

What is the best part of Queens New York?

The best part of Queens, New York, truly depends on what you’re seeking, as Queens is a vast and diverse borough with a plethora of attractions, neighborhoods, and cultural offerings. Here are a few standout areas:

  1. Astoria: Known for its thriving arts scene, Astoria is home to the Museum of the Moving Image and boasts a diverse culinary scene, with some of the city’s best Greek restaurants. It’s also a popular spot for nightlife and craft beer enthusiasts.
  2. Flushing: A bustling hub that feels like a slice of Asia in New York, Flushing is famous for its authentic Chinese and Korean restaurants, bakeries, and specialty shops. The Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, former site of the World’s Fair, features the iconic Unisphere and various recreational activities.
  3. Long Island City (LIC): This rapidly developing neighborhood offers stunning Manhattan skyline views, especially from Gantry Plaza State Park. LIC is also home to cultural venues like MoMA PS1 and a burgeoning dining and nightlife scene.
  4. Jackson Heights: As one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the city, Jackson Heights offers a vast array of international cuisines, especially Indian, Nepali, Tibetan, and Latin American.
  5. Rockaway Beach: A go-to spot in the summer, this beach offers a laid-back vibe, surfing opportunities, and delicious boardwalk eateries.

Each part of Queens brings its unique flavor, and the “best” part often hinges on individual preferences for culture, cuisine, and ambiance.

Queens, NY: A Destination Full of Surprises and Unforgettable Experiences

Queens, the largest borough in New York City, is a world of its own, offering a rich tapestry of experiences that reflect its cultural diversity and vibrant spirit. From its iconic landmarks and world-class museums to its sprawling parks and diverse culinary scene, Queens promises a unique and unforgettable journey for every traveler.

Moreover, if you’re exploring the global cuisines at the Queens Night Market, catching a game at Citi Field, immersing yourself in art at MoMA PS1, or simply enjoying the stunning city views from Gantry Plaza State Park, there are a myriad of things to do in Queens, NY that captivate and inspire.

Therefore, if you’re planning a trip to New York City, make sure to venture beyond the well-trodden paths of Manhattan as well as explore the hidden gems of Queens. It’s a journey that promises to be as diverse, vibrant, and exciting as Queens itself.

The top things to do in Queens, New York for all types of travelers
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