Just for the museums and restaurants alone, it's truly worth it to take a short 15-minute trip from Midtown on the 7, E, or M train to Long Island City or a slightly longer ride on the N, W, M, or R train to Astoria. In Long Island City, major art must-sees are MoMA PS1 and the Noguchi Museum. No trip to Astoria—once nicknamed "Little Athens"—is complete without sampling some of the city's finest Greek and Mediterranean fare and a stop at the Museum of the Moving Image.
Jackson Heights boasts a diverse cornucopia of culture and cuisine and is home to one of the city's busiest Indian shopping districts. It's a wonderful place to spend an afternoon browsing shops and dining in one of the many authentic ethnic restaurants.
Top reasons to trek out to Flushing and Corona include seeing a ball game at the New York Mets’ stadium, Citi Field, spending time at the expansive Flushing Meadows Corona Park, especially if you're traveling with kids, and devouring Asian dim sum in Flushing’s Chinatown. You may want to venture out to the Rockaways for the beach scene.