The Excelsior Hotel’s One-Day Tour of Queens
Queens’ rich history and culture date back hundreds of years, but until recently, the borough flew under many New Yorkers’ radars. These days, however, Queens is finally getting the recognition it deserves. Catch the top sights before it becomes “the new Brooklyn.”
8-9am: Queens Comfort
Begin your day at Queens Comfort. This nostalgic restaurant is arguably Queens’ reigning breakfast spot, with nostalgic décor and indulgent dishes that include deep-fried French Toast balls and the Béchamel sauce-topped Egg McRuffins.
9-10am: Museum of the Moving Image
Swing by New York City’s only museum that focuses on the history of film. You’ll learn about “behind-the-screen” aspects of film production, behold iconic movie costumes and set pieces, and even create your own 30-second stop-motion film.
10am-12pm: Sculptures of Astoria
Pay homage to Isamu Noguchi at the museum that this Japanese-American sculptor established in the printmaking studio and gas station across the street from his former apartment. Then, stroll through steps-away Socrates Sculpture Park, New York’s largest sculpture garden.
12pm-1pm: Taverna Kyclades
Check out the Greek-food scene that made Astoria famous. Although it’s hard to choose between the neighborhood’s numerous highly rated Greek establishments, we recommend Taverna Kyclades, a New York magazine, Michelin guide, and Time Out New York favorite.
1-2pm: Louis Armstrong House Museum
Following a quick 20-minute cab or Uber ride, take a 40-minute tour of the home Louis Armstrong occupied for three decades with wife Lucille. You’ll learn all about Armstrong’s prolific music career and the vital role he played in the Civil Rights Movement.
2-5pm: Flushing Meadows-Corona Park
Discover the tennis center that hosts the US Open, the baseball field that hosts Mets games, and the 1964 World’s Fair pavilion — all packed into a single dazzling public park. Also spend the afternoon admiring the works at the Queens Art Museum, including the World’s Fair panorama.
5-6pm: Eddie’s Sweet Shop
OK, so we know desert usually comes after dinner, but you can’t leave this part of Queens without visiting New York’s oldest ice cream parlor, Eddie’s. (Plus, you can’t leave Queens itself without visiting the ice-cream parlor’s Forest Hills neighborhood, birthplace of a very famous NYC resident: Spider-Man.)
6pm-7pm: Jackson Heights dinner
Jackson Heights is considered America’s most diverse neighborhood and houses thriving Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Colombian, and Ecuadorian communities. As you begin migrating back towards Manhattan, take the 7 to 74th Street for crispy arepas, Himalayan momos, and heaping plates of curry.
7pm-8pm: Gantry Plaza
Before taking the subway all the way back to Excelsior, stop in Long Island City’s Gantry Plaza, whose 12 riverside acres afford incredible Midtown vistas at all times of day — not least, sunset.
Queens has plenty to enjoy, but if you find yourself in Manhattan during your New York City stay, check out the tempting offers at The Excelsior Hotel, in the charming Upper West Side.