The city that never sleeps, New York, is a global hub of culture, business, and entertainment. Its borough, Queens, is particularly renowned for its diversity, offering a unique blend of urbanity and suburban tranquility. But before you settle in Queens, it’s crucial to identify the safest neighborhoods that this vibrant borough has to offer. This guide will help you explore some of the most secure areas in Queens, offering you a peaceful living experience without compromising the charm and amenities of this bustling borough.
A Glance at Queens
Queens, the easternmost of the five boroughs of New York City, is the largest in area and the second-largest in population. It’s a multicultural hub, home to over two million residents from around the world. Its diverse neighborhoods offer a unique experience, each with its own distinctive charm and character.
Fun Fact: Queens is noted as the most ethnically diverse urban area in the world, with more than 100 nations represented and 138 different languages spoken.
Safety in Queens: An Overview
When moving to a new place, safety is a paramount concern. Fortunately, Queens is generally considered safe, especially given its size as one of the largest parts of New York City. However, like any other urban area, some neighborhoods in Queens might not be as safe as others. So, it’s essential to do your research and choose the most secure areas to call home. The following are some of the safest neighborhoods in Queens as of [year
Top Safest Neighborhoods in Queens
Each of these neighborhoods boasts its unique characteristics, amenities, and charm. Let’s explore each of them in detail.
Astoria, famous for the beautiful Astoria Park shaded by the Hell Gate Bridge, is a popular choice among young professionals looking for affordable housing within a 20-minute subway ride from the city. The neighborhood offers a vibrant nightlife, upscale restaurants, and even two beer gardens. The median rental prices are over $2,400 a month, and street crime is a rare occurrence, making it a safe and desirable place to live in.
This neighborhood is the harmonious blend of modern-day hustle with a touch of old-world charm. When the dawn heralds a new day, the gentle whispers of the breeze blend with the murmurs of early risers, setting the tone for a neighborhood filled with life and promise.
Now, let’s talk brass tacks. The safety in Astoria is like having a good, old, reliable friend who’s always got your back. Strolling down the well-lit streets, even after enjoying a late-night gig at Bohemian Hall, feels as secure as sipping hot cocoa by the fire on a cold winter’s night. It’s the kind of place where the barista knows your coffee order by heart, and the local bodega owner asks about your grandma. The community here is tight-knit, making the streets safer and warmer with the familiarity of friendly faces.
Amidst the urban jungle, Astoria Park is a breath of fresh air, quite literally. It’s where the young and the young at heart find solace beside the serene East River, the trees standing tall as the guardians of this urban oasis. The Hell Gate Bridge in the backdrop is like the neighborhood’s own steel sentinel, silently watching over the land.
Now, who wouldn’t want to be part of this lively, hearty, and safe enclave? Astoria isn’t just a neighborhood; it’s an experience, a safe haven where dreams take flight amidst the comforting assurance of safety. The low crime rate here isn’t just a statistic; it’s a testimony to the camaraderie and vigilance of the locals.
Jamaica Estates is your go-to if you fancy a bit more elbow room and a quiet evening after a long day. This upscale neighborhood is a snug little nook of serenity amid the lively hustle of Queens. With Tudor-style homes dotting the landscape and spacious yards where kids can freely frolic, it’s a suburban dream come true.
Safety isn’t a trade-off here; it’s part of the package. The tranquil streets are as inviting for a leisurely stroll as they are secure. Families and professionals alike find solace in this peaceful enclave where the clamor of the city feels like a distant murmur.
Education is a big draw in Jamaica Estates. The neighborhood boasts a good number of private schools that are just as committed to nurturing young minds as the community is to maintaining a serene and safe ambiance.
Though tucked away, Jamaica Estates isn’t disconnected. A quick subway ride is all it takes to switch scenes from your quiet morning coffee in the backyard to the bustling energy of Manhattan. It’s this blend of seclusion and accessibility that makes Jamaica Estates not just a convenient choice, but a smart one. The assurance of safety, coupled with the ease of commute and the comforting suburban vibe, crafts a living experience that’s hard to pass up.
Long Island City
Long Island City (LIC) is an emerging hot spot in Queens that boasts everything great about New York City. You can spend your weekends exploring LIC’s art galleries, swanky restaurants, and hip nightclubs. Plus, if you fancy a trip to Manhattan, it’s only a 5-minute subway ride away.
Your weekends in LIC could start with a visit to the newly opened sculpture garden along the Long Island City waterfront, a joint venture between Culture Lab LIC and developer TF Cornerstone, adding a modern aesthetic touch to the serene East River backdrop. As you wander through this artistic haven, you’d be stepping into a space where creativity breathes through every nook and cranny.
The neighborhood is home to a plethora of art galleries, each with a unique narrative to share. Diego Salazar Art Gallery, known for its interesting artwork and fabulous antique frames, and Jeffrey Leder Gallery, with its lovely paintings of city scenes and landscapes, are just a couple of the art havens awaiting your exploration. RoGallery is another spot where the art lover in you can revel in a collection of over 5,000 artworks, a vast array that includes paintings, prints, photographs, and sculptures.
The culinary scene in LIC is nothing short of a gastronomic adventure. Between Dutch Kills, M. Wells, and Il Falco, your taste buds are in for a treat, whether you’re into hearty meats or exotic flavors. For the barbecue aficionados, John Brown Smokehouse is the place to be, where Kansas City-style barbecue reigns supreme.
As the night descends, LIC’s nightclubs beckon. Penthouse808 Rooftop is not just a nightclub; it’s an experience with its roomy floor space, talented DJs, and bottle service, all wrapped up with stunning views of the Manhattan skyline and Queensboro Bridge. Doha Bar Lounge offers a blend of a cocktail bar, Latin fusion restaurant, and nightclub, making it a spot where every night is a celebration.
But the charm of LIC doesn’t end with the setting sun. It’s a neighborhood that’s alive, with a pulse that beats in rhythm with the vibrant nightlife and the calm whispers of the East River. The artistic vibe, the culinary delights, the rhythmic beats from the nightclubs, and the proximity to Manhattan’s bustling heart, all make LIC a microcosm of what makes New York City the marvel that it is. And with Manhattan just a 5-minute subway ride away, the allure of LIC is hard to resist.
Sunnyside is one of those neighborhoods that has managed to retain a slice of yesteryear charm while nestling comfortably in the embrace of urbanization. Situated close to the heart of Manhattan, it’s a place where community isn’t just a word, but a way of life. The neighborhood is outlined by Hunters Point and Long Island City on the west, Astoria on the north, Woodside on the east, and Maspeth on the south. This strategic location makes it a desirable place for those who wish to stay near the city’s core. The Sunnyside community is just five subway stops away from Manhattan, making it a convenient residential choice for many city-goers.
One of the first things you’d notice about Sunnyside is its distinct housing style, a feature that lends it a unique character. Large prewar apartment buildings line the main avenues while smaller rowhouses occupy the side streets, exuding a blend of suburban and urban vibes. It’s a place where the hustle of city life finds harmony with quiet residential charm.
The heart of Sunnyside’s communal ethos beats in Sunnyside Gardens, one of the country’s pioneering planned communities. This historic neighborhood, established in the 1920s, encapsulates a significant part of Sunnyside and is adorned with garden spaces that bind the community together. The real gem here is Sunnyside Park, New York City’s largest private park, nestled within the 55 acres of Sunnyside Gardens. The park, only accessible to the members of the Gardens, is a green haven offering a slice of tranquility amid the urban sprawl.
The housing costs in Sunnyside are quite appealing, especially when compared to other NYC neighborhoods. As of November 2021, the median rental asking price stood at $2,050, and the sales median asking price was $388,000, figures that fall well below the city averages. This budget-friendly aspect of Sunnyside, coupled with its strong community feel, makes it a compelling choice for many.
Forest Hills is a breath of fresh suburban air amid the urban sprawl of New York City. It’s a place where families find solace in the safety of its streets and the quality of its educational institutions. The neighborhood is a beautiful blend of old and new, where century-old colonial houses share the skyline with modern apartment complexes.
The education landscape in Forest Hills is as diverse as its architectural one. Notable public schools such as Ps 196 Grand Central Parkway, Queens Metropolitan High School, and Ps 101 School In The Gardens are a testament to the quality of education available in this quaint neighborhood. Forest Hills High School, serving over 3,600 students in grades 9-12, is a cornerstone of the community, setting a high bar with its top 10% ranking.
Kew Gardens, located in the center of Queens, offers a more affordable version of Forest Hills. Despite being densely packed, its green spaces and tree-lined streets give it a suburban feel. Entertainment options may be limited in this area of Queens, but Forest Hills amenities are nearby.
The neighborhood cradles a population of over 16,000, showcasing a dense yet cozy environment, largely favored by renters. The median real estate price here clocks in at about $538,807, placing it above 51.2% of New York neighborhoods, yet it remains a more affordable counterpart to nearby Forest Hills.
The roads of Kew Gardens are often flanked by a lush canopy of trees, leading the way to ample green spaces such as the sprawling Forest Park, a locale cherished for its tranquil ambiance amidst the city buzz. While the neighborhood itself might have a quieter entertainment scene, it doesn’t shy away from offering cherished spots like the vintage Kew Gardens Cinemas or the delectable Dani’s Pizzeria. Moreover, a short jaunt will lead you to a broader spectrum of leisure options in Forest Hills.
The residential scene is a medley of single-family homes and apartment complexes, nestled along two vital subway lines and the Van Wyck Expressway. This blend crafts a sense of accessibility and tranquility, despite its dense character. The area retains a peaceful demeanor, a hallmark that stands tall amidst the urban rhythm that encircles it.
Kew Gardens, with its modest charm and serene streets, serves as a quaint nook in the expansive Queens, offering a respite to those who reside here, while keeping the vibrant allure of the city within arm’s reach.
Bayside, a northeastern Queens neighborhood, continues to attract families due to its affordable detached homes and low property taxes. In addition, it hosts some of the best public schools in the borough, making it an ideal place for family living.
The real estate scene in Bayside mainly comprises small to medium-sized single-family homes along with apartment complexes, a majority of which are owner-occupied, painting a picture of stability and long-term residence.
A hallmark of Bayside is its education landscape. The neighborhood is part of the New York City Department of Education’s District 26, revered as the highest performing school district for grades K-9 across New York City. With 20 elementary schools and 5 middle schools under its umbrella, the district holds a stellar reputation for quality education. The educational attainments extend beyond the younger grades as well; the majority of the adult population (52%) holds a college degree or higher, showcasing a community that values education.
Moreover, the academic prowess of Bayside and the adjacent Douglaston–Little Neck is reflected in the rising percentage of students excelling in math, which climbed from 70% in 2000 to 88% in 2011. Moreover, the neighborhood boasts an impressive on-time high school graduation rate of 95%, significantly higher than the citywide average of 75%.
The allure of Bayside isn’t just rooted in its educational accolades. The area boasts a picturesque waterfront, tree-lined streets, and a thriving community spirit, making it an idyllic blend of urban and suburban living. A diverse population of families, professionals, and students find solace in the neighborhood’s charm and the camaraderie among its residents.
Further enriching the familial appeal is Bayside’s relatively affordable detached homes and modest property taxes, alongside an ambiance that exudes a blend of urban vitality and suburban tranquility. This concoction of educational excellence, housing affordability, and a vibrant community spirit makes Bayside a coveted haven for families seeking a balanced urban-suburban living experience in Queens.
Bellerose, a neighborhood in eastern Queens, offers a quiet suburban life away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s perfect for families who want space and private backyards. Though housing prices can be steep, the neighborhood’s peaceful environment is worth the premium.
The area is characterized by a majority of detached houses, hosting a blend of Indian American and European American populations, embodying a welcoming community spirit for diverse inhabitants.
The housing landscape in Bellerose predominantly features medium-sized (three or four bedroom) to small (studio to two bedroom) single-family homes and small apartment buildings. The essence of ownership is strong here, with most of the residential real estate being owner-occupied, crafting a stable and nurturing environment for families. Though the housing prices can range quite widely, with homes for sale ranging from $175K to $1.4M, the peaceful ambiance of Bellerose often justifies the premium for many residents.
Lending to its suburban charm are the tree-lined streets that beckon a leisurely stroll, while the proximity to eateries, coffee shops, and parks ensure there’s always a spot for family outings or a serene solo coffee date. The neighborhood exudes a quiet residential atmosphere, offering a slice of tranquility amidst the urban sprawl, making it an enticing locale for families craving space, private backyards, and a close-knit community vibe.
Bellerose’s allure isn’t just skin deep; its close proximity to the city ensures residents aren’t severed from urban conveniences, all while enjoying a quieter residential haven. For families, the blend of suburban tranquility, community warmth, and the assurance of a peaceful backyard retreat make Bellerose a captivating choice for setting down roots in Queens.
The Rockaways, a scenic coastal neighborhood, is a tight-knit community that’s perfect for families. Once a summer getaway destination for New York’s glitterati, The Rockaways is now home to working-class families. It offers the only legal surfing beach in the city and plenty of sand for sunbathing.
This neighborhood flourished as a popular summer retreat as early as the 1830s, a haven for the city’s elite to escape the urban grind. Fast forward to present day, The Rockaways retains its charm, now embracing a medley of working-class families, mirroring a shift from its erstwhile glitzy summer sojourns to a tight-knit, family-centric community. The 2010s saw this coastal enclave among the city’s rapidly gentrifying areas, a testament to its evolving demographic tapestry.
With the Atlantic as its backyard, The Rockaways lays claim to the city’s only legal surfing beaches, a magnet for wave-chasers and sun-worshippers alike. Whether you’re carving waves or basking under the sun, the sandy shores at Beach 67-69 Streets & Beach 87-88th Streets are the go-to spots for oceanfront revelry. The beaches here aren’t merely a summer fling; they’re the neighborhood’s heart, throbbing with the rhythm of the tides year-round, a rendezvous for both locals and visitors seeking solace in the sea’s embrace.
The picturesque boardwalks, emblematic of the Rockaways’ landscape, meander alongside bustling beaches, offering a scenic pathway to explore the area’s nine smaller neighborhoods. Each of these pockets embodies the Rockaways’ distinct blend of urban and coastal living, a sanctuary where the sun, sand, and surf are just a hop, skip and jump away!.
The Rockaways isn’t merely about its beaches; it’s a commuter’s dream too. Its geographical stance offers a retreat from Manhattan’s rush, yet keeps the city’s vibrance within reach.
Glendale is a peaceful neighborhood characterized by tree-lined streets, large grocery stores, and detached houses with backyards. It offers effortless commuting by public transit, making it an attractive location for those moving from the suburbs.
The housing scene here is quite diverse, with real estate primarily consisting of small to medium-sized apartments and small apartment buildings, catering to a variety of familial setups.
Glendale’s genesis from a swampy area known as Fresh Pond to a more residential domain illustrates its evolution into a suburban sanctuary, now flourishing with several large parks, including a portion of the expansive Forest Park. This transformation heralds Glendale’s commitment to providing a serene, green, and spacious environment for its residents.
Apart from its bucolic allure, Glendale is also acclaimed for its substantial grocery stores, ensuring residents have easy access to daily necessities right within their neighborhood. The locale’s tight-knit community further enhances the suburban appeal, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for both long-term residents and those transitioning from other suburbs.
What Reddit Says About The Safest Neighborhoods In Queens
According to several Reddit users who live or have lived in Queens, neighborhoods like Astoria, Forest Hills, and Bayside are often recommended due to their relative safety, accessibility, and community environment.
Safest Neighborhoods In Queens: Conclusion
Queens, with its unique blend of urban and suburban lifestyles, is a great place to call home. The borough offers a variety of neighborhoods, each with its unique charm and character. Whether you prefer the vibrant life of Long Island City or the peaceful suburban environment of Bellerose, Queens has something for everyone. With its culturally diverse communities and low crime rate, it is no wonder why Queens remains a top choice for many New Yorkers.
Born and raised amidst the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple, I’ve witnessed the city’s many exciting phases. New York is not just a city to me; it’s a living, breathing entity. When I’m not exploring the city or penning down my thoughts, you can find me sipping on a cup of coffee at my favorite local café, playing chess or planning my next trip. For the last twelve years, I’ve been living in South Williamsburg with my partner Berenike.