New York is more than just a place for the latest clothes, modern skyscrapers, and art. Many hidden treasures, including protected historic landmarks, can be found throughout its five boroughs.
Don’t miss out on seeing Queens, the largest and most culturally and linguistically diverse borough. The town was created in 1683 and is located on Long Island’s westernmost tip.
As a native, I’ve investigated several of Queens’ hidden jewels and will share them with you here. Lace up your walking shoes, grab your camera, and prepare to be transported to a different side of “the big apple.”
New York City is well-known for being a fast-paced, cosmopolitan metropolis in the eastern United States. And visiting “the city that never sleeps” is undoubtedly an unforgettable experience. Despite attracting visitors from all over the world, it is one of the safest large cities to visit. Grab a map from a nearby metro station or a kiosk with a phone charger to assist you navigate your way around.
Because walking or taking the subway is the most prevalent mode of transportation, you should dress comfortably and stylishly. You might also rent a bike, hail a cab, or drive in traffic. If you’re lost, don’t be hesitant to approach someone and ask for help. Most individuals are delighted to give you directions and recommend places to visit, shop, and eat along the way.
When you enter Queens, keep in mind that it is home to almost 2 million people. Astoria, Flushing, and Long Island City are three of the most intriguing neighborhoods to explore on foot.
These three Manhattan-area neighborhoods offer an intriguing combination of residences, mid-rise apartment complexes, modern hotels, restaurants, retail stores, and nightlife. Even within a borough of New York City, each neighborhood has its own particular character and attractions.
Although there are many methods to move around the city quickly, make sure to allow enough time to visit the attractions you want to see. Despite being in the same borough, I needed to take multiple trips to fully immerse myself in the beauty, food, and people of the largest borough in terms of area.
Fortunately, some sights are only a few steps apart, although others may require a 20 to 30 minute walk or a few of subway stops to see. Allow yourself ample time to comfortably explore, as well as time to rest your feet and people-watch from a bench or restaurant.
How Do I Get To Queens From Manhattan?
If you’re travelling from Midtown Manhattan, you can walk across the Ed Koch Bridge or take a metro train to the borough. You should avoid hailing a cab unless you want to waste a lot of money and time stuck in traffic.
It is preferable to travel inside a borough rather than from Manhattan to the outlying boroughs if using a ride service. Of course, there is a predetermined price dependent on your starting location if you need to go to one of NYC’s airports, La Guardia or JFK.
Take the 7 line to get to Long Island City and Flushing. The Greenways system in New York City is an excellent way to move around on foot or by bike, and there are links between Astoria and LIC.
Walking is a great way to see the sights that you wouldn’t be able to see if you took the subway, bus, or automobile. Renting a bike is another environmentally responsible and refreshing method to get around NYC, as the city has taken steps to become more environmentally friendly.
Before you leave, look at bike maps that show routes for each borough.
You can take the 19 bus between Astoria and Flushing. Depending on where you are, you may need to take more than one train and bus to get to your destination. You are welcome to examine the MTA website before beginning your journey. There may be service delays or reroutes on weekends.
Long Island City
Long Island City, or LIC for short, is located across from Manhattan and offers breathtaking views of the Manhattan skyline and the East River.
This restored district, which was previously and mostly an industrial region, now includes trendy restaurants, pubs, art galleries, and gleaming high-rises sprinkled along the riverbank. There are many creative workers and artists in this neighborhoods, and film shoots are prevalent.
Ed Koch Bridge
The only method to get into Queens from Midtown Manhattan is to cross the Ed Koch Bridge. It was completed in 1909 and was also known as the 59th Street Bridge. Take note that this is one of the main connections between Manhattan’s Upper East Side and Queens, entering LIC.
The Ed Koch Bridge is notable because it serves as an important station on the NYC Marathon and the Five Boro Bike Tour. You’ll travel over Roosevelt Island on your way across the river.
The Pepsi-Cola Sign
Fans of soda, rejoice! As part of a Pepsi bottling factory that closed in 1999, the Pepsi-Cola sign has been a prominent landmark of Queen’s riverfront. Because New York City is a big fan of landmarks and preserving history, the Pepsi-Cola sign was designated a landmark in August 2016. It is visible from Manhattan across the East River.
Gantry Plaza State Park
Stretch your legs or relax on a bench along this 12-acre riverside park in Long Island City. Take photos of the Empire State Building or the United Nations.
Look for the impressive restored gantries, which were once employed on this waterway to discharge barges and floats. Visitors and locals alike flock to this lovely riverfront refuge to enjoy concerts, playgrounds, and other recreational opportunities.
Astoria is well-known for its traditional Greek cuisine, Italian pizzerias and bakeries, as well as fashionable restaurants and nightlife spots.
Young professionals, families, and foodies from all around flock to the neighbourhood. There are, nevertheless, landmarks such as The Museum of the Moving Image, Noguchi Museum, and Astoria Park.
The Noguchi Museum was founded in 1985 to encourage appreciation for artist Isamu Noguchi’s work. The museum is still a popular destination today, as seen by the huge line of visitors waiting to enter.
A adjacent city park with aspects of modern art and sculpture is also worth investigating across the street.
Socrates Sculpture Park
Visitors should pay a visit to the Socrates Sculpture Park, which is only a few minutes’ walk from the Noguchi Museum. The park covers 5 acres and includes a rotating display of multi-media sculptures for public viewing and interaction.
Before I go, one thing I liked about Queens was the presence of free libraries, which encouraged individuals to take a book or leave one for others to read. Have fun trying to find as many as you can and maybe pick up a book or two to read!
The Bowne House was built in 1661 and, because to preservation efforts, it still survives today. Because of the former owner, John Bowne, and his call for religious tolerance, the right to assemble, free speech, and religious freedom were enshrined in the US Constitution.
Weeping Willow & Kingsland Homestead
Another historical relic near the Bowne House serves as a reminder of NYC’s past. The Weeping Beech, which is the mother tree of all European weeping beeches in the country, was introduced to America in 1846.
Lewis Latimer House
At first appearance, this Queen-Anne style house does not appear to have an interesting backstory. Lewis Latimer’s home was relocated from its original position under threat of demolition to a new location where it now functions as a museum. Lewis Latimer was a self-taught inventor who contributed significantly to the invention of the telephone and lighting.
Old Quaker Meeting House
The Old Quaker Meeting House is located on Northern Boulevard, not far from the Lewis Latimer House. The organization was founded in 1694, and its first meeting was conducted on November 24, that same year. Meetings continue to be held there to this day.
Queens Botanical Garden
The warmer months are ideal for visiting the Queens Botanical Garden, although flora and green places are beautiful all year. This botanical garden is smaller than others in NYC, but it has its own charm and a LEED-certified visitor center with a rooftop garden.
Corona Park in Flushing Meadows
Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens is one of the city’s most recognisable features. It is Queens’ largest park and the fourth-largest in New York City. It is home to the Queens Zoo, the New York Hall of Science, the US Open, and other notable attractions.
The Unisphere is no stranger to the camera or the spotlight, having appeared in numerous advertisements, television shows, and films. It was designed by Gilmore D. Clark and built by the American Bridge Company for the 1964 World’s Fair. The Unisphere was created to demonstrate global interdependence and to celebrate artificial satellites.
Column Of Jerash
Who would have guessed that NYC is home to a 2,000-year-old artefact? The Column of Jerash is located in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, just a few steps from from the Unisphere.
In 1964, King Hussein of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan presented the column to the New York World’s Fair Corporation and NYC. The column, which stands 30 feet tall, was erected by ancient Romans in 120 AD.
The Queens Museum, just a few steps away from the Unisphere, invites you to explore its galleries. This establishment houses a room-size replica of New York City. There are activities and exhibits at the Queens Museum that support education, the visual arts, history, and items from the 1964 World’s Fair.
Citi Field, located just outside Flushing Meadows Corona Park, welcomes baseball enthusiasts of all ages. The New York Mets’ stadium was completed in 2009 to replace Sheaf Stadium. There are enough seats to fit 41,922 people and both Major League and college games are conducted at this facility.