5 Must-See Parks in Queens, NY
There’s nothing like living in New York City, but it gets so exhausting sometimes.
The complex network of streets teeming with interesting things, constant contact with people, wailing sirens at all hours of the day (and night), and the visceral, kinetic energy make up this city that is very much alive. There’s something both invigorating and depleting about it all.
But as any lifelong Queens resident will tell you, it’s a blessing to know your neighborhood operates with that energy dialed down a notch or two. And when you really need to unwind, there’s no better place than one of the wonderful parks in Queens.
So if you need to put the city on mute for a moment, stop by one of these 5 must-see Queens parks to feel like new again.
Flushing Meadow Park
You might know Flushing Meadow Park from the spaceship crash near the end of Men In Black. The saucer and giant globe from the movie, and other relics of the 1964 World’s Fair are still standing. They’re right in the center of the park today and make a nice navigational landmark for visitors.
Flushing Meadow is the largest park in Queens at just under 900 acres. It’s an amazing place for an escape from city life in a convenient location. Spend a day of relaxing alongside beautiful scenery throughout the tree-lined walking paths and lawns.
You can take in some culture while you’re there courtesy of the Queens Night Market (serving up food from all over the world) and the Hall of Science (a fun, interactive exhibition hall).
When you’re done, head over to Flushing’s Chinatown to spot swanky apartments in Queens like Shangri-la Tower (132-15 41st Ave, Flushing, NY 11355). Don’t forget to explore the neighborhood and try some of the best Asian eats in New York.
Astoria has been exploding in popularity in recent years. Check out the lovely, riverside haven of Astoria Park and you’ll see why. Like the neighborhood itself, this Queens park is far enough away from bustling city life to relax but close enough to enjoy all the conveniences of urban living.
When you finish enjoying the crisp breeze of the East River, take a few Instagram-worthy shots of the Hellgate and Triborough bridges. Or come by on a weekend to enjoy one of the park’s outdoor movie screenings, concerts, or special events.
Imagine retiring when the day is done to one of the nearby apartments like Pistilli Riverview East (19-19 24th Avenue). Astoria’s the perfect mix of small-town comforts and city convenience with an atmosphere that can’t be beat.
Gantry Plaza State Park
Just over 20 years old, Gantry Plaza State Park is the youngest on this list. It’s only 12-acres big but packs a ton of beautiful scenery and modern style in a tiny package.
Swing by at night with a date if you can. The boardwalk lights go dim and offer an amazing foreground for the midtown Manhattan view across the water.
The monolithic structures in the water are the gantries of the park’s name. They used to haul cargo onto ships and railway cars. Now, they show the stark contrast between the park’s history and how much Long Island City has developed into an upscale Queens neighborhood.
Take a look across the street for all the proof you need. Modern apartment complexes like Hunter’s Point South (1-50 50th Avenue) tower over the park, one such symbol of the area’s rapid progress.
Little Bay Park
This long park next to the Cross Island Parkway is a popular spot for a run with a view. Take in views of Little Bay while you get a decent sweat on. Make sure you don’t mind a tan with your visit – there are benches here and there to sit down, but not much protection from the sun anywhere.
At the end of your run is a parking lot located next to one of the most scenic spot in this Queens park: Little Bay Bridge Pier. Make your way onto this man-made walkway of stones for a spectacular view of the sunset. But be careful while you do!
Check out nearby Whitestone for a quaint, neighborhood vibe with big townhouses and co-ops alike (like The Cryder House at 16625 Powells Cove Blvd).
The quiet and secluded feeling of Bayside’s Crocheron Park makes it seem a lot bigger than its 55 acres. It’s easy to forget that it’s in Queen’s popular Bayside area when the sounds of city life seem so far away.
Crocheron is a great relief in the summertime too. The tall pines and maple trees everywhere give you a shady spot to hide from the heat. A pair of gazebos at the highest points of the park are nice resting points that overlook the bay.
Bayside is another comfy, townhouse neighborhood with attractive properties (like the Meadow Apartments at 40-04 Bell Blvd). So when you’re ready to return to city life, take a ride up Bell Boulevard to sample some of Bayside’s best bars and restaurants.
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No matter which park you end up at, you’re sure to feel the relaxing vibe of life in Queens. Many have visited, fallen in love with the area and what it has to offer, then moved to Queens.