Ugly Betty sitting on the subway oozing awkwardness on her way into perfectly polished Manhattan pretty much sums up what you know about Queens, right? Well, you don’t know Queens. Until exactly one year ago this week, my entire experience in Queens was limited to a yearly jaunt to Astoria for Friendsgiving. But, after my boyfriend moved into my Manhattan bachelorette pad and our rent went up again, we landed in Long Island City, Queens. And it’s amazing.
The sweeping views of Manhattan from Long Island City’s Gantry Park, where you can grab coffee or a glass of wine at Coffeed and take a ferry into Manhattan, Williamsburg and DUMBO. There’s PS1, an extension of the Museum of Modern Art in a converted public school building that hosts Warm-Up Saturdays, an outdoor music series where you can get your dance on (Solange has DJed the event!). Socrates Sculpture Park, a constantly changing multimedia park with stunning city views, and the Noguchi Museum are within a block of each other on the border of Astoria and LIC, making for a perfect day trip on your rented bike.
The 7 train can take you on a culinary world tour, from dim sum in Flushing to Greek in Astoria (I like Taverna Kyclades) to SriPraPhai (the best Thai in New York City) in Woodside to Long Island City gastropubs like Alobar (three words: maple-bacon popcorn) and the Michelin-starred Mexican at Casa Enrique (you’ll dream of their molé).
Then there's stunning North Conway, New Hampshire, where you can hike, eat apple-cider donuts, and take a scenic ride (with drinks and dinner!) on a restored train.
And the so-called Brooklyn of San Francisco, diverse Oakland has a vibrant art scene — don’t miss the Great Wall of Oakland, a giant 10,000-square-foot video projection — and eclectic vintage and "locally made" shops on Temescal Alley. Click over to check out the rest of the travel bible's list. (Lonely Planet)