An Off-The-Beaten-Path Guide to Queens, New York City

Flushing bound. The number 7 train arrives at a station in Queens, New York City
Flushing bound. The number 7 train arrives at a station in Queens, New York City | © Philip Scalia / Alamy Stock Photo
Julia Goicochea

Sure, you’ve rooted for the home team at Citi Field and partied with artists at MoMA PS1, but there’s more to Queens than dugouts and DJs. From unlikely foodie destinations to unique outdoor experiences, New York City’s biggest borough boasts plenty of under-the-radar attractions. Here’s our guide to the road less traveled in Queens, New York.

1. Ganesh Temple

Hindu Temple

A woman praying & meditating at the Hindu Temple Society in Flushing, Queens, New York City.
© Ira Berger / Alamy Stock Photo
For 40 years, Ganesh Temple has served the Queens community, regardless of religion. Brought to you by the non-profit Hindu Temple Society of North America, the temple offers daily poojas and special services to its religious visitors and awe-inspiring architecture and decor to all.

2. Flushing Meadows-Corona Park

Park, Zoo, Museum

New York, USA. 3rd Sep, 2018. People cool off at Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens, New York City, the United States, on Sept. 3, 2018. Credit: Li Muzi/Xinhua/Alamy Live News
© Xinhua / Alamy Stock Photo
Home to renowned venue Citi Field, Flushing Meadows-Corona Park may not strike you as being an under-the-radar attraction. However, off the field, not much is known about this Queens green space, which boasts more than just ball games. A U.S. Open-approved tennis stadium, several golf courses, a science museum and Queens Botanical Garden all call this park home.

3. Fort Totten Park

Building, Museum, Park, Ruins

The Bayside Historical Society, formerly the Officers Club in Fort Totten in the Bayside neighborhood of Queens in New York
© Richard Levine / Alamy Stock Photo
A Civil War-era fort-turned-public park, Fort Totten Park offers one of the city’s more unique outdoor experiences. Visitors are free to explore the former officers’ quarters, hospital and laboratories, which lie in ruins after being abandoned in the 1970s. To top off the already unforgettable destination, the park is also home to a gorgeous neo-Gothic building known as the Castle, a pool, and superior bird-watching.

5. Flushing


Flushing, Queens, New York, is now the second largest Chinatown in USA, behind SF
© Philip Scalia / Alamy Stock Photo
Nowhere is New York City’s celebrated diversity more apparent than in Flushing, Queens. Tour the world without ever leaving the city in this neighborhood, home to numerous ethnic groups, vibrant cultural celebrations and what many consider to be the city’s superior Chinatown.

6. Socrates Sculpture Park

Park, Museum, Cinema, Market

Couple viewing a contemporary art installation at Socrates Sculpture Park in Astoria, Queens, New York.
© Lee Snider / Alamy Stock Photo
Nearly five acres of landfill form the base of Queens’ Socrates Sculpture Park, lending an urban edge to the waterfront green space. Happily for local park-lovers, this attraction is all treasure and no trash. Offering free fitness classes, open-air film screenings, art installations and picturesque plant life, there’s plenty to absorb at Socrates Sculpture Park.

7. Smiling Hogshead Ranch

Botanical Garden

Urban farm in Long Island City in Queens in New York
© Richard Levine / Alamy Stock Photo
Think gardening’s got no edge? The down-and-dirty farmers at Smiling Hogshead Ranch invite you to think otherwise. Boasting some questionable beginnings, this volunteer-run urban farm started off as a ‘guerilla garden’ whose founders occupied its land without permission. Situated on an abandoned Long Island Rail Road rail spur, the garden – which is named after the old pig skeleton discovered on the site – brings an urban edge to a classic country pastime.

8. Harry Houdini's grave

Cemetery, Memorial

The final resting spot of the famed escape artist and magician Harry Houdini is seen in Machpelah Cemetery in Queens in New York
© Richard Levine / Alamy Stock Photo
Witness the final resting place of a 20th-century icon, who maintains a magical air of mystery even in death. Gone but certainly not forgotten, escape artist Harry Houdini has continued to inspire curiosity since his death on Halloween of 1926. Today, the illusionist’s grave is a popular spot for seances, secretive ceremonies by magician societies and visitors hoping to catch the greatest escape act in Houdini’s history.
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