Thinking of moving to Queens? New York City‘s largest borough offers plenty of entertainment, access to beaches, easy transportation options, and a booming job market. Check out these 21 things to know about living in Queens!
An Ideal Borough for Families
Not only is Queens one of the safest boroughs in NYC, but it’s also a great place for families to buy a home! Compared to boroughs like Manhattan and Brooklyn, Queens has a significantly lower cost of living and more affordable housing with options like single-family homes, rowhouses, and condos. If you want to live in a more suburban area and raise your family, Queens is an excellent place to settle down. Located on Long Island, Queens has an incredibly diverse population, and families can send their kids to highly-rated schools like Central Queens Academy Charter School, The Windsor School, Martin Luther School, and Maspeth High School.
The Most Ethnically Diverse Urban Area in the World
Queens is one of the most densely populated boroughs of NYC with over 2 million residents! It’s home to a wide range of ethnic groups and has become the most ethnically diverse urban area in the world. Check out the lively neighborhood of Little India and celebrate Diwali—the Hindu festival of lights—with locals every year. Little Guyana has a large Guyanese population and is home to one of the most colorful international business districts in the city, full of Chinese-Guyanese restaurants and Indian clothing stores. There’s also Jackson Heights, a culturally diverse neighborhood where over 167 languages are spoken by residents—and it hosts the annual Queens Pride Parade & Festival!
Plant Your Roots in Queens’ Neighborhoods
The borough of Queens is a patchwork of neighborhoods that each have their own unique personality! Located in northern Queens, Astoria offers stunning riverfront views of the city, eclectic architecture, and housing options ranging from luxury condos to waterfront homes. Ideal for families and young professionals, Jamaica is a quiet neighborhood with access to entertainment in Manhattan via the subway. Vibrant Flushing has plenty of things to offer like karaoke bars and a bustling nightlife—plus, it’s home to one of NYC’s largest parks! Jackson Heights is made up of rowhomes and Tudor-style homes and offers an array of international cuisines. And Corona is known for its multicultural heritage and incredible Cuban and Mexican restaurants.
Take a Trip to Chinatown
Many people know about Chinatown in Manhattan, but the Chinatown in the Flushing neighborhood of Queens is bigger and better! It draws in foodies and tourists alike because of its various Chinese and Southeast Asian restaurants, offering some of the best bao, dumplings, and noodle dishes you can find in NYC. When you visit Chinatown in Flushing, you’ll want to make your way to New World Mall, which features a giant Asian supermarket, 108 shopping destinations, and one of the largest Dim Sum restaurants in the tri-state area. Celebrate the Chinese New Year at the Flushing Lunar New Year Parade. Indulge on traditional Shanghai-style dishes like Pork Spicy Pot, Chinese Yam in Grapefruit Sauce, or Crispy Duck at Kung Fu Xiao Long Bao. Get the Peking Duck and a variety of Soup Dumplings at Shanghai You Garden. Or try the Matcha Lava Cake, Milky Puff Pastry, or Thai Milk Bubble Tea for a sweet treat at Spot Dessert Bar.
A Hub for Job Opportunities
Living in Queens means you have convenient access to job opportunities in the healthcare, manufacturing, entertainment, retail, and transportation industries, thanks to the city’s growing job market! JetBlue, the seventh-largest airline in America, has its main headquarters in Queens and offers careers in airport operations and ground operations, as well as jobs for aspiring pilots. If you’re looking to enter into the sports industry, Buzzer is a fully remote tech company where employees can connect fans to live short-formed moments in sports through an app. Or if you’re wanting to pursue a career in the healthcare field as a physician or nurse, you can find jobs at two of the main hospitals: Mount Sinai Queens and New York-Presbyterian Queens Hospital.
Let Your Career Take Flight
The airline industry brings in a big boost for the economy in Queens, and it’s a major employer in the neighborhoods surrounding the borough! Residents looking to travel in Queens have access to two large international airports: LaGuardia Airport (LGA) and John F Kennedy Airport (JFK). The LaGuardia Airport is located in northern Queens and departs to cities both in the United States, as well as some international destinations. LGA is the closest airport to Midtown Manhattan, and passengers are able to find New York taxis at Terminals A, B, C, and D. You can take a domestic or international flight at the JFK Airport, which is connected to the subway through the A and E lines and the AirTrain.
Experience World-Class Public Transit
Queens has plenty of public transportation options on land and in water! Residents can leave cars at home and hop on one of the MTA New York City Transit buses. There are also 81 subway stations throughout Queens. You can even get around on water by taking the NYC Ferry to reach destinations like Manhattan, Brooklyn, and The Bronx—for the same price as the subway! If you’re looking to reach Manhattan and Roosevelt Island, you can take the Roosevelt Island Tram located on the East River. And, of course, Queens offers good walkability along with bike-friendly paths for cyclists throughout the borough!
Get a Degree at Top Colleges
Looking to pursue higher education in Queens? This NYC borough has a variety of top-rated institutions! Attend Queens College, which is ranked as one of the best schools for veterans and has a variety of majors and over 100 clubs and organizations that students can get involved in. Enroll at York College and engage in real-world learning experiences as you work toward a degree in one of its premier liberal arts, healthcare, and academic sciences programs. Find faith-based education at St. John’s University-Queens Campus, which has over 180 student organizations and over 100 undergraduate programs to choose from ranging from computer science to the fine arts. If you’re seeking an associate degree or need to get your pre-requisites in for a four-year college program, Queensborough Community College is another great school to consider!
Spend Time Outdoors
Living in Queens means that you get to enjoy the city’s natural beauty at its many parks! Visit Queens Botanical Garden, where you can take a guided tour to learn more about plants and culture in the garden’s urban oasis. Check out Kissena Park, a lakeside park surrounded by the beautiful Kissena Lake, where you can go fishing, walking, or cycling. Escape city life at Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, which includes over 12,000 acres of ponds, marshes, and is a sanctuary for wild birds. Go for a hike or practice your golf game at Forest Park‘s 110-acre golf course. Stroll through Astoria Park, a 59-acre public park known for its swimming pool, bike paths, and stunning views of the East River and the Manhattan skyline. Or visit Alley Pond Park to go fishing or embark on one of the high-ropes courses offered by the Alley Pond Park Adventure program.
One of the Most Dog-Friendly Cities
The borough of Queens is in one of the most dog-friendly places in the U.S., offering bars, parks, and cafes that allow and encourage pets! Hang out at Chateau le Woof, where you can bring your four-legged friends inside with you while you enjoy a cup of coffee. Go for a walk or play a game of fetch with your dog at Rainey Park. Take a trip to Hunter’s Point South‘s dog run, where you can let your dogs play while enjoying waterfront views. Head over to Katch Astoria, which offers a monthly Pups ‘n Pints event where dogs and dog owners can socialize and choose from over 50 beers on tap. Or check out Fifth Hammer, a dog-friendly brewery that has a wide selection of draft and canned beer that’s constantly on rotation!
Head to Flushing Meadows Corona Park
As the biggest park in Queens and the fourth largest park in NYC, Flushing Meadows Corona Park offers tons of amenities that you’ll want to check out! The park has historical charm and hosted the 1939-40 World’s Fair, which featured the latest technological innovations at the time. Plus, it’s home to cultural institutions like the New York Hall of Science, a museum offering over 450 interactive displays and outdoor exhibits. Located nearby is the Queens Wildlife Conservation Center, where you can learn more about wildlife and nature. Or you can stop by the Queens Museum to find public art exhibitions and educational workshops.
Visit the Beautiful Beaches
Soak up the sun and dip your toes into the Atlantic Ocean at one of the many beaches in Queens! Head over to Jacob Riis Beach, also known as “the people’s beach” located in Jacob Riis Park to go swimming or sunbathe. Catch some waves while surfing or take a scenic walk along the bay shore at Rockaway Beach, which borders the Breezy Point neighborhood and is located on the isolated peninsula on Jamaica Bay. Enjoy waterfront activities like surfing or watch the sunset at Breezy Point Tip. Explore Fort Tilden Beach by taking a walking tour or a hike through its scenic shoreline. Or visit Hamilton Beach Park, which has a beautiful view of the ocean and shoreline access for fishing.
Attend Community Events
Queens has a variety of community events that are worth attending! Make your way to the Queens Night Market, which has over 100 independent vendors who sell merchandise, food, and art that celebrates the cultural diversity and heritage of Queens. Visit the annual Queens County Fair, where you can see livestock, go on carnival rides, or challenge yourself to a corn maze. Taste delicious sweet treats and purchase a variety of chocolate bars, cakes, and pies at the Queens Chocolate Festival. Take part in the Only in Queens Summer Festival, which has plenty of family-friendly activities, as well as food and craft vendors. Experience the thrill of dragon boat racing at the annual Hong Kong Dragon Boat Festival. Or catch live performances, play games, or do arts and crafts at the Myrtle Avenue Festival.
Kids Can Find Fun in Queens, Too
If you want to live in an NYC borough with plenty of kid-friendly activities, Queens is the place for you! Stroll through exhibits like the Sea Lion Pool or the Animal Trail at the Queens Zoo. Watch movies like Back to the Future at Movies on the Waterfront at Astoria Park. Bring the family down to Plaster & Bingo Night at A Sprinkle of Fun to play games, paint, and eat dessert. Take the little ones to the Let’s Make Slime Workshop or let them paint their own canvas at Bee’s Arts & Crafts Studio. Embark on a farm tour, or sign up the kids for a farm day camp at Queens County Farm Museum. Or go on a hayrack ride through the sunflower field and gaze at farm animals at the Sunflower Festival.
Discover the Local Arts & Culture
Queens has an incredible arts and culture scene showcased in the city’s many museums and theaters. Visit MoMA PS1 to see contemporary art or participate in workshops like Art Talks and The Work. Explore everything from 3D movies and exhibitions to the learning lab at the New York Hall of Science. Stroll through the Queens Museum to find collections of art and exhibitions like Kenneth Tam Silent Spikes. Head over to the Queens Theatre, which focuses on productions that reflect the diversity of the borough. Catch films like 9 to 5 or The Fabulous Baker Boys at the Museum of the Moving Image. Check out the beautiful art installations or watch a sunset on the river at Socrates Sculpture Park. View exhibitions like Noguchi: Useless Architecture or Noguchi’s Memorials to the Atomic Dead from renowned American artist Isamu Noguchi at Noguchi Museum. Or spend an afternoon at King Manor Museum, where you can learn more about Rufus King’s political legacy and antislavery history.
Get Down with Queens’ Jazz Scene
Known as the home of jazz in the early 1920s, thanks to the influx of jazz musicians arriving in NYC, Queens has a rich history with jazz music that can still be experienced today! Catch the Mediterranean Dialogues Jazz Jam and the Terraza Big Band perform classic jazz songs at Terraza 7. Enjoy live jazz music while dining outside at Tomi Jazz. Visit the Smalls Jazz Club to listen to performances from musicians like the Eric Alexander Trio and Evan Sherman Quartet. Stop by the Iridium to catch shows by the New York Ska-Jazz Ensemble and gypsy jazz artist Tchavolo Schmitt. Or head to the Jackson Room to check out live monthly jazz events featuring the Ed Jackson Quartet.
The Film Industry Is Huge Here
There’s a reason why Queens residents refer to the borough as a “mini Hollywood”—the film industry is a big asset for the local economy and culture! Visit the Queens World Film Festival, an annual six-day event that screens both local independent films and movies from around the world. In addition, the nonprofit organization behind the festival has created youth programs to develop young filmmakers and film lovers! The borough is also home to Kaufman Astoria Studios, a major New York film and television production complex that was opened by legendary film mogul Adolph Zukor. Other film production companies in Queens include Red Hawk Productions and New York Film Productions, which are known for capturing iconic documentaries, short films, and feature films.
Become a Queens Sports Fan
When it comes to sports, Queens has a lot of options for both hardcore and casual fans! Head to Citi Field to watch the New York Mets (MLB) play a baseball game. Not only does Citi Field host home games for the Mets, but it also has a big collection of team memorabilia and a Jackie Robinson “42” memorial. Snag basketball tickets at Nassau Coliseum to see the Long Island Nets (NBA G League). Cheer on the New York Cosmos (NISA) if you’re a soccer fan. And if you love watching tennis, Queens has close proximity to the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, which is home to the US Open tennis championships!
Check Out the Amazing Restaurants
Queens’ ethnic diversity means the city is home to some of the best restaurants in New York City! Go on a Queens Food Tour to find some of the most diverse food spots in the city. Start off your morning with French Toast or a Swiss & Ratatouille Omelette at Bistro Eloise. Fill up on Nigerian dishes like Okra or Ogbono at Tropical Grill. Head over to Yumpling to find Taiwanese food like Fried Pork Chop Bian Dang or Pork Yumplings. Try the Shrimp Tacos, Grilled Pescado, or Ruta Nachos at Ruta Oaxaca Mexican Cuisine. Chow down on a Falafel, Beef Kabab, or an Eggplant Salad at Nana Good Eats. Dig into Lentil Soup, Lobster Risotto, or a Filet Mignon at Park Side. Or check out Gan-Hoo BBQ for a tasty King Steak, Beef Ribs, or Fish Tofu.
Grab a New York Slice
It won’t be long until you find your go-to place for the best slice of New York-style pizza in Queens! Order a “Chico Verde” Pizza or “Queen” Pizza fresh out of the wood-fired oven at Milkflower. Choose from over 40 selections of pizza like a Parma Arugula Pizza or Sicilian Eggplant Pizza at Basil Brick Oven Pizza. Head over to Lucia Pizza to grab a delicious slice of Pepperoni Pizza or Pineapple Pizza. Chow down on classic brick-oven pizzas like a Margherita Pizza, Grilled Primavera Pizza, or Bruschetta Pizza at Pizza Classica. Visit family-owned Rizzo’s Fine Pizza for unique pizzas like an Americana Pizza, Spagnola Pizza, or Giardino Pizza. Select from a variety of specialty dishes like a Hawaiian Pizza, Vegetarian Pizza, or Buffalo Chicken Pizza at Gaby’s Pizza. Or check out Nonnaz Pizza to find tasty slices of Vodka Chicken Pizza, Sicilian Pizza, or Supreme Pizza.
Have a Night Out on the Town
There are plenty of excellent nightlife options to choose from in Queens! Throw back some drinks while enjoying live music and dancing at Jouvay Night Club. Spend happy hour at Dutch Kills, where you can sip on cocktails like a Moscow Mule or Whiskey Fix. Try a Queens Bay Cuomo or Pineapple Express while dining on the rooftop at Leaf Bar & Lounge. Grab a dancing partner and hit up SL Lounge. Get out with friends and order drinks like a Blood Orange Mojito, Lychee Martini, or a Strawberry Cooler at Tavern 157. Laugh the night away while attending a comedy show at Comedy Cellar. Or stop by the oldest beer hall in all of NYC Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden and sit outdoors to sample beers like a Winter Ale, Amstel Light, or Stella Artois.
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