Move over, Manhattan — Queens is the must-see U.S. destination of the coming year, according to a leading travel guidebook company.
The borough has made it to the top of the list of Lonely Planet’s Best in the U.S. 2015. Selected by Lonely Planet’s authors and ranked by its U.S. editors, the list consists of 10 perennial favorites, places with timely reasons to visit and understated destinations that are ready for their time in the spotlight.
“I’ve seen how Queens has transformed from one of the forgotten boroughs to one of the exciting places to visit,” said Regis St. Louis, coordinating author of Lonely Planet’s USA and New York City guidebook.
This year was the first time that Queens made the annual online list, which was released on Wednesday. The rankings expand on Lonely Planet’s “Best in Travel 2015” guidebook, which came out in October, and chose Washington, D.C., and Rocky Mountain National Park as its top city and regional picks among world destinations.
St. Louis, a 14-year New York City resident, who currently lives in Brooklyn, was one of several authors to nominate Queens for the Best in the U.S. 2015 list.
It was clear from our passion and our feedback about Queens that it should be number one on this list,” he said.
Rounding out the top 10 are Western South Dakota, New Orleans, the Colorado River region, North Conway, N.H., Indianapolis, Greenville, S.C., Oakland, Calif., Duluth, Minn., and California’s Mount Shasta region.
To mark Queens topping the Best in the U.S. 2015, Lonely Planet is giving away the Queens chapter from its recently released New York City guide as a free e-book until Feb. 1, 2015. To get the free download, visit www.lonelyplanet.com/queens-ebook.
I suggest you download the chapter if you're up for a good laugh. The same handful of touristy Queens locations is listed that you will find in any NYC guidebook, and the hotels they suggest you stay at are mostly in Manhattan. Yet the Queens press and pols are acting like the borough won the Nobel prize. Well, except for the Chronicle, which had this to say:
Yes, Queens has plenty to offer and we’re glad to see it touted as a place to visit. But whether it’s “the best tourism destination in the United States” is, well, open to question. We doubt the decision-making process here was exactly scientific. Other major travel destinations we bested include North Conway, NH and Duluth, Minn. Awesome! Expect to see this designation milked for all its worth, and then some. And then go about your life as you did before you learned this bit of “news.”