Jan 11 2018 11:01 | Updated Jan 02 2021 04:01
Diverse, exciting, historic, trendy, a great place for families…all of it's in Queens! We hail from more than 120 countries and speak more than 135 languages. This global reach is on full display in our neighborhoods, cultural institutions, restaurants, and sporting and entertainment venues. From world class museums, tranquil parks, and historic homes to surfing, tennis, gaming, and shopping, Queens is truly one of today’s most fun-filled tourism destinations.
As a borough of unique neighborhoods, visitors can explore Long Island City, our fastest-growing urban center, bustling with energy that includes new parks, shops, luxury apartment buildings, comedy clubs, and restaurants. Flushing, one the country’s most historical districts, has opened its arms to immigrants since the 1600s and still does today as the Eastern Seaboard’s largest Asian business and residential community. Jamaica is a multi-cultural crossroads, where recreational, entertainment, and shopping opportunities mix happily.
But don’t listen to us. Lonely Planet, an internationally renowned travel media company, selected Queens as the best tourism destination in the United States in 2015. Click here to read about it.
Tours, Attractions, Cultural Institutions, Performing Arts
Enjoy Major League Baseball at Citi Field or watch the world’s racquet greats every summer at the U.S. Open Grand Slam Tournament at the USTA Billie Jean King Tennis Center. Flushing Meadows Corona Park is home to the New York Hall of Science, Queens Botanical Garden, Queens Museum, Queens Theatre, and Queens Zoo — all legacies of the 1939 and 1964 World Fairs. (Another vestige, the New York State Pavilion, was named a National Treasure by the National Trust in 2014. It is currently undergoing a total restoration under the auspices of Borough President Melinda Katz and will soon be a standalone tourism destination.)
Our world class cultural institutions include the Museum of Moving Image in the Kaufman Arts District, MoMA PS1 in Long Island City, and Flushing Town Hall. In Western Queens, the Noguchi Museum, SculptureCenter, and Socrates Sculpture Park are awash in gorgeous artwork. The Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning organizes mind-expanding exhibitions and events, while Corona’s Louis Armstrong House Museum is a Mecca for those who want to pay homage to jazz’s greatest musician. Bowne House, Lewis H. Latimer House, King Manor, and Kingsland Homestead are about historic landmarks that also serve as museums.
In other spots, Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City offers cinematic views, including the East River, Empire State Building, and United Nations, while Rockaway Beach has miles of beautiful sand and surf.
Information on all these venues and more is available on It's in Queen's.
Press and News
The New York Times published an article on Queens and its growing popularity as a tourism destination on Aug. 25, 2015.
The New York Post published an article on Queens tourism on Dec. 10, 2014.
Daily Mail UK published an article on Dec. 12, 2014.
Conde Nast Traveler wrote about the borough on Dec. 13, 2014.
Probably the most widely read article was posted by the extremely popular Chinese-language blog We Chat on Dec. 18, 2014.
Unique or Little-Known Facts
Queens is where you can observe great sports…and play them as well. Flushing Meadows Corona Park is home to the New York Mets, who play professional baseball at Citi Field from April until September (October if they make the World Series), and the U.S. Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Stadium during the last week in August and the first week in September.
Belmont Stakes, one of the Triple Crown horse races, takes place every June at the Belmont Park Race Track, which spans from Queens Village to Elmont in Nassau County (aka Long Island).
The St. John’s University men’s basketball team plays in the top-notch Big East conference. The team has home games, scrimmages, and open practices from October to March at the Lou Carnesecca Arena on the college campus in Jamaica.
But you can also swim or skate in the state-of-the art aquatic center only a few yards from the tennis courts. Plus, Forest and Kissena parks are wonderful places to play golf, and some of the best surfing on the East Coast is at Rockaway Beach. Finally, bird lovers flock to Jamaica Bay Wildlife Center and Alley Pond Environmental Center during migration times.
Do you like to try new cuisines? Yearning for the flavors of home…wherever that might be? Or are you simply hungry after a day of exploring? As the world’s most diverse county, you will find tasty treats from every corner of the globe that define the three As: Authentic, Affordable, Amazing.
A few hundred restaurants are listed at It's in Queen's, and the borough’s premier dining blog is www.chopsticksandmarrow.com.
Queens Center is the busiest mall in the world, per capita. The borough also has almost 40,000 small shops spread across many neighborhoods.
Queens has experienced an unprecedented hotel boom (and various related echoes) over the last few years and currently has more than 100 lodges. Major chains and boutique hotel operators have realized that due to our great regional location — with two major airports, great transportation systems, and proximity to the entire Metropolitan Area — the borough is a destination for business and recreational travelers. Many new hotels have excellent amenities and restaurants as well as easy access to the subway.
A thorough listing is on It's in Queen's.
Queens has dozens of ethnic night clubs catering to Caribbean, Chinese, Greek, Korean, Russian, and West Indian populations. It also has a few neighborhood strips with popular bars and comedy clubs. Hot spots include Vernon Boulevard in Long Island City, Bell Boulevard in Bayside, Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights, Broadway in Astoria, and Main Street in Flushing.
No matter the time of year, there’s always something to do in Queens. During the warm weather months, the borough has beaches with waves, athletic fields, parks, sports arenas, a botanical garden, the city’s only bicycle vellodrome and even a zoo. When it is cold outside, there are plenty of museums, performing arts centers, theaters, historic houses, a casino, and an indoor ice-skating rink.
Queens has countless, unique event venues. Rooftops, gardens, patios, museums, catering halls, golf courses, colleges, theaters, sports arenas, and restaurants have spaces of varying sizes to host gatherings. A full list is at www.itsinqueens.com.
Famous People from Queens
Is there something in the water? Queens is a breeding ground for outstanding individuals who became famous for their contributions to society. Here is a list of famous native sons and daughters. It’s listed alphabetically by first name.
Two of the three major airports serving New York City are located in Queens: JFK International, which is about 45 minutes from Manhattan by train and car; and LaGuardia, which is closer to Manhattan by car, but not accessible via subway.
From JFK, the AirTrain connects to Howard Beach (A train) and Jamaica (E, J, Z trains and the Long Island Rail Road) in 10-15 minutes. Many hotels near the airport have free shuttle service to and from JFK.
From LGA, buses offer quick links to many hotels and attractions. The M60 connects to Astoria in 15 minutes; the Q70 connects to Jackson Heights (when one can transfer for 7, E, F, M, R subways) in 10 minutes; the Q48 connects to Flushing in 25 minutes. Many hotels in Flushing offer free shuttle service to and from LGA.
By car the borough is connected to Manhattan via the Queensboro Ed Koch (formerly the 59th Street) and RFK Triboro bridges. It is connected to the Bronx via the RFK Triboro, Whitestone, and Throgs Neck bridges. It is connected to Brooklyn via the Pulaski, Kosciuszko, Grand Avenue, Greenpoint Avenue, Marine Parkway bridges.
By subway: Lines connect to Manhattan, Brooklyn, and internal Queens destinations.
The rule in New York City is that motor coaches can legally travel on expressways, but not on parkways. So motor coaches are invited to ride on the Long Island, Van Wyck, Brooklyn-Queens and Whitestone expressway, but are banned from the Grand Central, Cross Island, Belt, and Jackie Robinson parkways.
Motor coaches can legally park at various spots, including the New York Hall of Science, Flushing Town Hall, Jamaica (at 89th Avenue and 150th Street), Citi Field, and three Mutual Parking venues in Long Island City.
We suggest two websites for the most up-to-date parking and traffic information: www.parkitnyc.com and www.nyc.gov/dot.
Official Queens Historian Jack Eichenbaum leads walking tours of the borough on an ongoing basis. He focuses on history, demographics, ethnicity, and change. He holds a Ph.D. in urban geography from University of Michigan, 1972, and his dissertation was titled Magic, Mobility and Minorities in the Urban Drama. Plus, the Bayside native worked in the Property Division of the NYC Department of Finance, collecting data and modeling valuation of tax parcels. In June 2010, he was named the official historian of Queens.
Richard Mumith runs Queens Food Tours, a culinary and cultural walking tour company that focuses on Long Island City. Suitable for all age groups and fitness levels, customers experience an exclusive taste from some of the best eateries and hidden gems in Queens. In between the food tastings, they receive an insider’s view of the culture, history, and architecture that defines the area.
Claudia Toback and her company, Cititrek Tour & Guide Services, offers three scheduled Queens walking tours: art-focused Long Island City/Astoria; Jackson Heights food (or not); Flushing’s Little Asia. Cititrek can assist with private tours or customized packages.
Corey Taylor from Food on Foot Tours takes clients on eating and walking adventures around New York City by subway, foot, or private bus. With a relaxed manner, he likes to work in non-touristy neighborhoods. Guided private group, public tours, and self-guided tours are available.
The Guides’ Association of New York City consists of independent, professional tour guides based in New York City. Each member is licensed by the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs, and they provide a number of services for the visiting public, including tour guide education, familiarization tours, professional advice and workshops.
Main Contact Info
Check out the New York State Tourism Directory