You cannot compare Queens to Manhattan as a tourist destination in New York City. You cannot even compare Queens to Brooklyn as a tourist destination! Manhattan is a bustling urban borough and a lively part of the city, while Queens is mainly suburban and a community of neighborhoods. Unlike Manhattan, Queens lacks famous landmarks, soaring skyscrapers for panoramic views of the city, or other prominent attractions. Nevertheless, this suburban borough has its own gem of attractions, offering its history, multi ethnic culture, and colorful neighborhoods waiting to be explored.
Queens (back) as seen from Manhattan by Bartek Roszak
The neighborhood of Flushing in Queens offers several historical buildings and some are among the oldest in the city. Among them, are the wooden Quaker Meeting House built in the late 17th century and Bowne House built in the mid-17 century, during the Dutch rule. If you own the famous Steinway piano and ever wonder where it was made, then it is here in the Queens neighborhood of Astoria – the other factory is in Hamburg, Germany. A guided tour of the Astoria factory is available but only by advance reservations i.e. walk-ins not accepted.
Bowne House by official-ly cool
Within the Flushing neighborhood is Chinatown, one of the three Chinatowns in New York City and a colorful enclave in Queens with its typical East Asian flavor. Another ethnic enclave is Little India in the neighborhood of Jackson Height, the heart of the South Asian community in New York City. Queens Zoo is one of the several zoos in the city and home to more than 70 species of animals from the Americas. Rockaway Beach is a long stretch of beach along the Rockaway Peninsula and the only surfing beach in New York City.