The Real Deal New York

Queens is hot — and tourists are taking note

Tourism is up 12 percent in Queens

August 29, 2015 10:00AM
By Business Insider


The fact that tourists have been increasingly flocking to Brooklyn over Manhattan is well known. But Queens, one of the most diverse spots in the world, has silently ascended, even going so far as to be named the top travel destination in the US by Lonely Planet for 2015.

The number of people visiting Queens has, in fact, increased by 12 percent in the last few years. And of the 54 million people who visited New York City, over 12 percent of them made a stop in Queens.

With an exploding food scene, unrivaled diversity, and even beautiful beaches, Queens is poised to be the next hotspot in New York City.

The borough is booming with stylish new hotels like the Z NYC Hotel, The Boro, and Ravel. Five new hotels opened in Queens last year alone, and 47 are in the works.

the-borough-is-booming-with-stylish-new-hotels-like-the-z-nyc-hotel-the-boro-and-ravel-five-new-hotels-opened-in-queens-last-year-alone-and-47-are-in-the-works(credit: Shutterstock)

Some consider Sweetleaf the hipster pioneer of Queens. Launched in 2008 as a shabby chic café focused on single-origin espresso, Sweetleaf is now world-famous, and has opened two more locations: one in Williamsburg and another in Queens, which also serves cocktails.

some-consider-one-in-williamsburg-and-another-in-queens-which-also-serves-(credit: Facebook/Sweetleaf LIC)

MoMA PS1, a satellite museum in Long Island City inside of a former public school, draws Manhattanites in equal parts for its excellent contemporary art exhibitions as it does for its epic summer dance parties, known as Warm Up.

moma-ps1-a-satellite-public-school-draws-manhattanites-in-equal-parts-for-its-excellent-contemporary-art-exhibitions-as-it-does-for-its-epic-summer-dance-parties-known-as-warm-up(credit: Flickr/jm-photography)

Dutch Kills is one of the borough’s most famous bars — its signage is minimal, but its cocktails are exceptional.

dutch-kills-is-one-of-the-boroughs-most-famous-bars--its-signage-is-minimal-but-its-cocktails-are-exceptional(credit: Facebook/Dutch Kills Bar)

The LIC Flea & Food is Queens’ answer to Brooklyn’s now insanely packed Brooklyn Flea and Smorgasburg. In its third year, the waterfront flea market has a focus on local vendors — like, Queens local. It also features a new beer garden that serves exclusively Queens-brewed beers.

the-lic-flea-exclusiv(credit: Facebook/LIC Flea)

The borough is now also home to a whopping eight microbreweries and counting: SingleCut Beersmiths, Queens Brewery, LIC Beer Project, Transmitter Brewing, Finback, Rockaway Brewing, Bridge and Tunnel, and Big Alice.

the-borough-is-now-also-hcounting-singlecut-beersmiths-queens-brewery-lic-beer-project-transmitter-brewing-finback-rockaway-brewing-bridge-and-tunnel-and-big-alice(credit: Facebook/Big Alice Brewing)

It’s not just the hip and happening that attracts visitors to Queens though. The borough is one of the most diverse county’s on earth, with almost half of its population born outside of the US.

its-not-just-the-hip-and-happening-that-attracts-visitors-to-queens-though-the-borough-is-one-of-the-most-diverse-countys-on-earth-with-almost-half-of-its-population-born-outside-of-the-us(credit: Shutterstock)