7 Quintessential Experiences in Queens New York City

When most people think of New York, they think of the flashing lights of Broadway, the Empire State Building, and other Manhattan landmarks. Those same people, NYC residents included, tend to overlook Queens when it comes to exploring the city. However, this borough is a destination in its own right, with a great selection of parks, museums, and lively events. Known as the world’s most diverse urban area, Queens is bursting with culture and an array of excellent food options. If you’re planning an outing to Queens, here are 7 essential spots for the complete Queens experience:

1. Flushing Meadows Park

Flushing Meadows Corona Park is New York City’s second largest park (after Central Park) and is arguably the single most important stop for a proper visit to Queens. This beautiful space hosted two World’s Fairs in the 1900s, and it continues to be a hub for life and culture in Queens. From here, you can visit the Queens Zoo, see Citi Field, or check out the multicultural food options at the Queens Night Market on Saturday evenings.

2. Citi Field

Since 2009, Citi Field has been home to the New York Mets baseball team. Catching a ballgame here is a must-do! In addition to great baseball, the stadium also boasts an unusually good selection of food options, including Shake Shack and El Verano Taqueria. Even if you aren’t a baseball fan, you can see some of the world’s biggest musical acts perform live here. Over the years, Citi Field has hosted the likes of Paul McCartney and the Wu-Tang Clan.

3. Museum of the Moving Image

This museum is one of New York’s best. It has a large selection of exhibits that tell the story of America’s massive film and television industry, with a focus on the techniques and equipment used in production. If you have an interest in filmmaking, this museum is a must-see. Exhibits include classic arcade games like Asteroids, explorations of the viral internet video phenomenon, and a theater with a wide range of film screenings.

4. Jacob Riis Park Beach

There are few beaches in the world that match the energy of Jacob Riis National Park. If you are visiting in the summer, the beach is a nonstop party. The Riis Park Beach Bazaar is an annual summer-long series with live music, food, and drinks which spans from Memorial Day weekend until Labor Day. Food options include Bay 9 East, Fletcher’s BBQ, and an ever-changing fleet of food trucks. Just be sure to pack the sunscreen!

5. Queens Night Market

When it comes to food in Queens, it’s hard to beat the Queens Night Market. It began as a weekly event on Saturday evenings at the New York Hall of Science at Flushing Meadows Park in 2015 and has proved to be a huge success. Queens has a large immigrant population with people from just about every part of the world, so if you’re looking for the best ethnic cuisine, this is the place to be.

6. Socrates Sculpture Park

If you love art but find yourself feeling stifled by the seriousness of most art galleries, you’ll love the Socrates Sculpture Park. A group of artists established the park, which hosts massive sculptures outdoors, in 1986. The park has a gorgeous view of Manhattan, and you’ll often see artists at work and yoga classes taking advantage of the serene setting. Best of all, this park doesn’t charge admission.

7. Louis Armstrong House

Jazz great Louis Armstrong and his wife lived in their house in a relatively quiet neighborhood in Queens for three decades. After his death, the house became a museum about his music and a look at their surprisingly normal lives. You can take a quick 45-minute guided tour to learn about the great Satchmo and hear recordings of his trumpet-playing. His wife’s choice of wildly colorful wallpaper is reason enough for a visit.