The largest of the five New York City boroughs, Queens is also one of the most diverse places on Earth, combining people from all walks of life with history, entertainment, beautiful scenery, and more. Despite all it has to offer, the borough often plays second fiddle to more popular spots such as Manhattan and Brooklyn. However, this gives Queens an interesting dynamic as a comparatively unexplored gem in the midst of one of the world’s greatest cities. If you’re looking for something off the beaten path, here are some reasons to visit Queens on your next New York City trip.
Unique Photo Ops
Everyone has a picture of the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, and the Brooklyn Bridge, but if you’re an aspiring photographer searching for something new, Queens is the spot. Far from the glitz and glamour of Wall Street or Times Square, Queens offers spectacular urban scenery that few others choose to see.
One of the more breathtaking photo ops is the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge, which connects Queens to the Bronx over the East River. At both sunrise and sunset, you can get awe-inspiring shots of the bridge from Francis Lewis Park. Another option is Fort Tilden, located so far south that you’d think you’re in Brooklyn. This former military installation opened during World War I but now sits in seclusion and decay, providing a beautiful yet solemn backdrop for photo shoots or artsy pictures.
Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Once the centerpiece of the 1964 World’s Fair, Flushing Meadows Corona Park is now one of the best places to visit in the city. Not only can you get away from the crowds, but you can visit all of Queens’ most famous attractions in one spot. If you book a hotel close to the park, you can visit Citi Field, Arthur Ashe Stadium, the Unisphere, the Queens Zoo, the Queens Theatre in the Park, the New York Hall of Science, and much more.
Diverse Restaurants for a Feast
If the glutton inside you begs to be let out when you’re on a trip, let it go wild within the ethnic diversity of Queens, where no demographic group makes up a majority of the population. According to the Endangered Language Alliance, Queens is the most linguistically diverse urban area on the planet, with over 800 languages spoken. Not only does this translate into an unforgettable experience, but it also gives you the chance to sample cuisines from around the world, all in a single trip.
For example, you could easily start with breakfast at an American-style diner, and then grab a delicious snack of banh mi or pho from a Vietnamese restaurant. Continuing your journey, find a Greek restaurant nearby for spanakopita, followed by some sushi from actual Japanese sushi chefs. Finish the day’s feast off with an Italian meal of chicken carbonara or a traditional pizza for a food tour of three continents in one day. With any luck, the walks in between restaurants should be enough to offset some of your massive undertaking of calories.
For an affordable yet exciting and somehow relaxing vacation right in the middle of the world’s most hectic city, Queens is your perfect destination. Just make sure to get there before the secret gets out.