Manhattan isn’t the only borough in NYC worth spending time in. And while visitors have started making their way into Brooklyn, there’s reason to also set your sights on Queens.
In fact, below you can find five experiences worth making the (short) trek for, whether you’re into art, outdoors, food and more.
If you’re a fan of movies and television, you’ll love the Museum of the Moving Image with exhibits focused on everything from Jim Henson to Star Wars and beyond.
You’ll take a tour behind the scenes, learning about what goes into the props, costumes, storyboards and all the moving parts that bring a creation to life. The museum isn’t just about looking, though; it’s also about creating. Actually, you can edit your own video clips, play games or be an animator for the day!
Keep an eye out for their film screenings and digital arts-focused events.
There are many cultural enclaves worth exploring in NYC. And if you’re heading to Queens, you won’t want to miss immersing yourself in Greek culture in Astoria, especially through food.
Start your delicious exploration at Astoria’s most acclaimed Greek eatery, Taverna Kyclades. Sure, you may have to wait for a table at this popular spot; but you’ll get free wine in the meantime. Plus, the seafood — mainly the Mediterranean Sea bass — is absolutely worth it.
Afterwards, satiate your sweet tooth at Yaya’s Bakery where fresh baklava beckons you in (though, to be honest, so do the savory spinach pies). If you’d rather have a guide than navigate solo, Athens Next Door is a fun food tour led by native Greek Angelis Nannos, in which you’ll savor octopus, ouzo, gyros, Greek coffee and more!
Long Island City has an industrial feel; full of old warehouses that make the perfect spaces for craft breweries. Today, it’s possible to brewery hop without a plan around the Court Square (E, M, G, 7 Trains) and 21st St - Queensbridge (F Train) stations.
If you want to introduce your palette to some quirky brews, Big aLICe Brewing Co.— a farmhouse brewery that does all kinds of fun local collaborations — pours everything from a farmhouse ale crafted with carrot and ginger to a crisp lemongrass Kölsch.
And if you want to pair your beer with fun activities like board games, a chalkboard and a projector playing movies, Fifth Hammer Brewing is your spot. Oh, and attention IPA haters: you’ll actually enjoy their “I’m Friendly IPA,” meant just for you!
When it’s time to soak up the suds with some food, head to sLICe (get it?) for a slice of Queens’ best Sicilian pizza.
In Flushing, you’ll find one of the USA’s oldest — and largest — Hindu temples; the Hindu Temple Society of North America’s Šri Mahã Vallabha Ganapati Devasthãnam. Open since 1970, the building is beautiful with an intricately sculpted facade that looks like it was plucked straight out of southern India.
As a visitor, you’ll be able to take parts in numerous events and classes, like Kathak dance, yoga and meditation classes. Another reason to visit: the downstairs cantina. Here, you’ll be served generous portions of vegetarian southern Indian fare —think dosas (a sort of pancake made from fermented batter) and vadas (fitters) over naan and vindaloo, which is Northern Indian.
At this park — Queens’ largest — green space meets nostalgia as 897 acres showcase remnants of a past that hosted two World’s Fairs. Play a sports game on one of the fields, spend time in the onsite art or science museums, see the animals in the zoo, watch a Mets game at Citi Field and wander the trails within the Queens Botanical Gardens.
Pro tip: Pack a picnic to enjoy on the beautiful lake within!
Don’t miss the chance to snap a photo of the Unisphere, the giant 140-foot high steel globe that’s been sitting there since the 1964 World’s Fair. At the time, it paid homage to our first foray into space exploration.
Note: Available plans and coverages may have changed since this blog was published.
Jessica Festa is a full-time travel writer who is always up for an adventure. She enjoys getting lost in new cities and having experiences you don’t read about in guidebooks. Some of her favorite travel experiences have been teaching English in Thailand, trekking her way through South America, backpacking Europe solo, road tripping through Australia and doing orphanage work in Ghana. You can follow her adventures on her travel websites, Epicure & Culture and Jessie On A Journey. You can also connect with Jessica directly on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus, or follow her epicurean adventures on Facebook and Twitter.
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