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A New York Favourite - It’s Queens
The easternmost and largest of the five boroughs that make up New York City, Queens has long since been enjoying something of a revival. No longer living in the shadows of Manhattan, upmarket additions to the borough’s art scene, together with an increase in microbreweries and boutique hotels, has led to a surge in tourist momentum. Should you decide to join this growing movement - and you can do so with ease via both JFK and LaGuardia Airports - expect to be impressed by sprawling outdoor spaces, world-class sporting events, and a dining scene that is both diverse and memorable.
Arts & Culture
Queens boasts an adventurous arts and cultural landscape with something to suit every taste. The scene is so wonderfully varied that it’s perhaps difficult to pick out one attraction that could be considered the icing on the cake. Instead, you’ll just have to make time to visit them all. Kick off your cultural journey with a trip to the Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows, an ultramodern venue that plays host to the Panorama of New York, a model depicting the five boroughs. Continue your journey of discovery with a trip to the Museum of Modern Art and its contemporary wing, MoMA PS1, both found in the Long Island City neighbourhood. From there, you might enjoy a trip to Louis Armstrong House in Corona or explore the Museum of the Moving Image on 35th Avenue.
This beautiful borough provides plenty of opportunities for visitors to enjoy the outdoors. Flushing Meadows Corona Park is the largest park in Queens and with amenities such as a zoo, a botanical garden, and plenty of recreational space, it is a space with something for everyone. Other highlights include Astoria Park where the overhead Robert F. Kennedy and Hell Gate Bridges reward visitors with sweeping views of Manhattan. The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge is a popular spot for birdwatching while Juniper Valley Park plays host to the annual NYC Bocce Tournament. Additional highlights include Gantry Plaza State Park and the waterside Socrates Sculpture Park. You can, of course, also while away the day relaxing on the beaches found along the Rockaway Peninsula.
The New York Mets have been scoring home runs in front of a Queens crowd since 1964, moving from the now-demolished Shea Stadium to their current home at Citi Field in 2008. The baseball season run between April and September, so be sure to visit inside those months if you want to catch a game or explore the Mets Hall of Fame & Museum. Outside of the season, access to the stadium is only via special events or by pre-booking a guided walking tour. Within walking distance of Citi Field is the USTA Billie Jean National Tennis Centre, home to the US Open Grand Slam tournament since 1978. The open takes place in August and September each year, outside of which you can take advantage of the open court times to pull off a few grand slams of your own.
Shopping & Dining
As you might expect, the retail scene in Queens is as diverse as the borough itself. Large shopping centres such as Queens Place and the Jamaica Colosseum Mall offer a wide range of big-box stores together with speciality retailers although, for an authentic shopping experience, you should visit the Queens International Night Market in Corona. The dining scene here is equally enticing. The Flushing neighbourhood is home to one of the three largest Chinatowns in New York City; here you can enjoy traditional Taiwanese bubble tea or tuck into an authentic Korean BBQ. In Jackson Heights, you can sit down to a meal of delicious Indian cuisine and, in Astoria, or Little Athens as it is known, a smorgasbord of Greek dishes is on the menu.
More to Explore
Staying in a Queens hotel places you in the heart of the action but also means that you’ll be ideally situated to check out New York’s other four boroughs, and perhaps even further beyond. To the north of Queens, the Bronx features attractions such as Pregones Theatre and the Hall of Fame for Great Americans while, immediately west, Manhattan is home to Central Park and Times Square. You might also choose to visit Williamsburg and Coney Island in Brooklyn or take the ferry to Staten Island to take in sights such as Alice Austen House and Historic Richmond Town. Even visiting another state is not out of the question; it takes under an hour to drive to New Jersey where highlights include the Liberty Science Center and Ellis Island.