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The best Queens attractions

Experience the best of NYC’s most diverse borough with our list of the best Queens attractions, from parks to museums

Photograph: Marc S. Levine/New York Mets

Touted as the most diverse urban area in the entire world, Queens is home to loads of destination-worthy restaurants serving fare ranging from Tibetan to Colombian. Beyond eating, though, there are plenty of things to do in Queens, including museums, antique shops and the annual MoMA PS1 Warm Up summer concert series. Need more ideas? From Long Island City to Flushing, here are the best Queens attractions to visit today.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best New York attractions

The best Queens attractions

1

Flushing Meadows–Corona Park

Give the city’s second-biggest park a day and it’ll show you the world: Its most enduring icon is the Unisphere, the mammoth steel globe created for the 1964 World’s Fair. But there’s also first-rate culture and sports at the New York Hall of Science, Arthur Ashe Stadium and Citi Field (depending on how the Mets are doing). The rolling green fields also encompass a zoo, a boating lake, a skate park, a barbecue area, playfields, and a $66 million aquatic and hockey center.

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By: David Goldberg
2

Queens Museum

Located on the grounds of two World’s Fairs, the QMA holds one of Gotham’s most amazing sights: The Panorama of the City of New York, a 9,335-square-foot scale model of the five boroughs, created for the 1964 exposition and featuring Lilliputian models of landmarks. With an ambitious expansion project in 2009, the museum doubled in size when it reopened in 2013, featuring public events spaces, eight new artists studios and a glass façade featuring Grand Central Parkway.

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Queens
3

Citi Field

While they haven’t been as successful as their Bronx rivals in recent years, the Mets can certainly be happy about their newish stadium, which opened in 2009. With great sight lines, fun activities for kids and a prodigious selection of food and booze (including Shake Shack and Blue Smoke outposts), even those with the barest interest in the game will enjoy themselves here. During the 2012 season, the Amazin’s brought in the outfield walls by a few feet to eke a few more long balls out of the notoriously pitcher-friendly park. The result? An additional 45 dingers sent to souvenir city.

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Queens
4

MoMA PS1

Fans of the Manhattan predecessor won't mind crossing the river to find this Long Island City offshoot, which is unique for its constantly evolving lineup of avant-garde artwork and new programs. And while there's no shortage of world-renowned artists supplying work here (Janet Cardiff, Olafur Eliasson), the venue also curates one of the city’s most popular music events, Warm Up, which pairs innovative installations with live music from up-and-coming acts to challenge visitors’ expectations of what art can be.

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Long Island City
5

Jacob Riis Park Beach

Out of all the fun summer parties in NYC, nothing beats raging on one of the best New York beaches—Jacob Riis National Park. Thanks to the Riis Park Beach Bazaar, there’s always something fun to do by the shore, whether it’s a live concert, riveting game of table tennis or a bumping DJ blowout. After all the dancing and jamming, hit the boardwalk and refuel at the grade-A food court. Make sure to peruse the boardwalk’s vendors hawking everything from bathing suits to rad throwbacks from vintage clothes shops and custom sunglasses while you wait for your food to settle.

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By: Jennifer Picht
6

Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

This refuge covers more than 9,000 acres, and is the home to some 300 species of birds, making it one of the best bird-watching areas in the city. There are many trails, and the park offers kayaking and walking tours.

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Queens
7

Flushing, Queens

Flushing is a bustling urban center that’s home to beautiful parks, plenty of cultural attractions and one of the city’s three major Chinatowns (arguably, the best of the lot). Stroll through planted environments like the coniferous Pinetum and the Korean-themed Circle Garden, or find yourself a peaceful patch of grass in the Meadow. Post-stroll, grab a bite at soup-dumpling favorite Joe's Shanghai.

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8

Queens Botanical Garden

The serene space consists of 25 gardens where yoga is allowed but biking and blading are strictly forbidden. This month you'll spot brightly colored Mexican sunflowers and bushes of purple Russian sage. Let your kids use their olfactory sense on the Fragrance Walk; the essential oils of the shrubs and flowers there are particularly strong. Make a stop at the Bee Garden, whose plants attract those hardworking, colonizing insects.

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Queens
9

Museum of the Moving Image

Only 15 minutes from midtown, the Museum of the Moving Image is one of the city’s most dynamic institutions. Rubbing elbows with Kaufman Astoria Studios, it includes a three-story extension that features a state-of-the-art 264-seat cinema and expanded gallery spaces. Meanwhile, the museum’s “Behind the Screen” exhibit examines every step of the filmmaking process, with artifacts from more than 1,000 different productions, and 14 classic (playable!) video games, including Asteroids, Ms. Pac-Man and Space Invaders.

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Astoria
10

Gantry Plaza State Park

Besides the spectacular views of Manhattan and the East River, this 12-acre Long Island City spot boasts an interesting piece of history. The manicured waterfront stretch is built around restored gantries, which were formerly used for loading and unloading barges. Families can also check out basketball courts and fishing pier.

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Long Island City

Looking for more awesome stuff in Queens?

The 10 best Queens restaurants

Hungry for some of the tastiest food in NYC? Feast your eyes on our menu of Queens' top eateries.

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By: Sophie Harris

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