How To Spend A Day In Forest Hills, NY

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If you’re looking for a break from the hustle and bustle of New York City, spend a day in Forest Hills. 

It is the perfect place to relax. Green spaces, good food, and an easy stop off from the Long Island Railroad or subway help create a quiet haven from Manhattan. 

This charming neighborhood is known for its tree-lined streets, beautiful parks, and diverse community.

Located in the borough of Queens, there are plenty of things to do in Forest Hills to keep you entertained for an entire day.

Whether you’re a NYC local looking to discover the neighborhood’s charms or a visitor eager to explore a new corner of New York City, spending a day in Forest Hills promises excellent memories.

Getting to Forest Hills

Forest Hills is so easy to get to from Manhattan. This is reason alone for locals to agree it’s a relaxing place to visit. 

The cheapest way to get there is to use public transportation.

Using the subway, take the E from downtown or the R from Penn Station.

Long Island Rail Road trains leave Penn Station to Forest Hills Station every hour. You’ll only spend 15 minutes on the train from Penn to Forest Hills.

Board one of the first six cars of the train when taking the LIRR to Forest Hills Station to exit at Forest Hills Station.

LIRR station at Forest Hills

Stepping off at the Forest Hills Train Station brings you right into the heart of Forest Hills and steps away from Austin Street.

Driving is also an option. Forest Hills is an easy jump off of Grand Central Parkway. Parking is sometimes a challenge, but not impossible. 

Green Space in Forest Hills

Forest Park

Serene, green sanctuaries such as Forest Park are treasures in New York City.

Forest Park consists of 500 wooded acres located in the heart of Queens. 

It offers a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, and horseback riding. 

The park has over 165 species of birds, making it a great spot for birdwatching. There are also several playgrounds and picnic areas, making it perfect for families.

One of the best things to do at Forest Park is to hike the trails. There are several trails to choose from, ranging from easy to difficult. 

The Oak Ridge Trail is a popular option, offering scenic views of the park. 

If you’re looking for a more challenging hike, the White Trail is a great option.

You can simply relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery if you want a more laid-back activity. 

forest park trail in New York

Forest Hills Gardens

The Gardens in Forest Hills is a beautiful tree-lined neighborhood of over 800 single-family homes. 

This charming area was constructed in the early 1900s and filled with Tudor and Georgian-style homes. 

Circular sidewalks and green spaces with benches invite wanderers to sit and appreciate the lovely architecture. 

The Forest Hills Gardens were master planned by the famous Federick Law Olmstead Jr. 

City planner and landscape architect noted for his life work in the National Parks, Olmstead was instrumental in planning many Washington DC landmarks.

Historical Landmarks

Forest Hills Stadium

A must-visit spot in Forest Hills is the historic Forest Hills Stadium. 

The Forest Hills Stadium is a historic tennis stadium that has existed since 1923. It was the original home of the US Open Tennis Tournament. 

Today, the Stadium has been transformed into an outdoor concert venue that hosts various events throughout the year.

In the past, it has hosted some of the biggest names in music. 

The Beatles held their first-ever stadium concert here in 1964. 

The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra, and Jimi Hendrix are among the performers that have played here. More recently, Mumford & Sons played Forest Hills.

If you are a local New Yorker, they offer a season ticket option with plenty of perks. For a unique party experience at Forest Hills Stadium, check out the cool Speakeasy Suites that provide food and drink service and private bathrooms. 

Check out their schedule to see if your favorite artists are performing while you’re in town. 

Refer to the Forest Hills Stadium website for upcoming events.

West Side Tennis Club

Located adjacent to the Stadium, the West Side Tennis Club is another must-see landmark for tennis enthusiasts. It was founded in 1892, moving to Forest Hills in 1912. 

The club hosted the US Open from 1915 to 1977, and many famous tennis players have competed on its courts, including Bill Tilden, Althea Gibson, and Arthur Ashe. 

The club has a rich social history and has hosted many events and parties. 

West Side Tennis is a members-only experience. If you are visiting from out of town for the day, you’ll be out of luck. If you live nearby and are interested in tennis, visit the West Side Tennis Club to inquire about their membership. 

In addition to the tennis, there is an Olympic-sized pool and a full-service restaurant and bar. Membership also provides VIP perks to the Forest Hills Stadium.

So, while the membership factor makes the West Side Tennis Club a bit exclusive for most, it is worth noting here due to its historical significance. 

Forest Hills Food

When you need a bite to eat, Forest Hills has plenty of options. 

After a morning hike in the park, it’s time to indulge in some delicious food. 

Eddie’s Sweet Shop

If you’re looking for a sweet treat near Forest Park, Eddie’s Sweet Shop is the place to go. 

This old-fashioned ice cream parlor has been a Forest Hills staple since 1925 and is famous for its homemade ice cream and classic sundaes. 

The interior is charming with its vintage decor and checkered floors, making it a great place to take a break and indulge.

front of martha's bakery

Martha’s Country Bakery

Right in the middle of Austin Street, you will find Martha’s Bakery with its famous cakes, pies, and tasty treats.

Marthas is a great late-night stop in Forest Hills. They are open until midnight five nights a week and 1 am on Fridays and Saturdays. 

Martha’s Country Bakery is a perfect stop if you are looking to bring home a food souvenir from your day trip.

pastries in Marthas country bakery window

Forest Cafe

For a more modern vibe, visit Forest Cafe on Burns Street.

Relax with a Forest Latte at this local coffee shop. The maple and cinnamon latte is pure morning comfort. 

The Bagel Spot

For a great bagel, head to The Bagel Spot on Queens Blvd. The bagels, cream cheese choices, and other fillings are solid. Expect quick, friendly service as well.

Bagels should be at the top of your list of food to try while in New York.

cream cheese from the bagel spot in forest hills

Knish Nosh

Be sure to try some local favorites, such as Knish Nosh on Queens Blvd, an authentic Kosher deli to get corned beef, matzoh ball soup, and knishes to go. 

pizza from Kosher Mezze Pizzeria & Sushi

Kosher Mezze Pizzeria & Sushi

For yummy pizza and sushi all in one spot, go to Mezze. It’s a great choice when the group can’t choose between sushi or pizza. 

Be aware that this establishment closes on Friday afternoons before Shabbos. Closing early is not unusual; the neighborhood boasts a sizeable Jewish community.

It’s always good to check business hours in advance when visiting Forest Hills on Fridays and Saturdays.

Prince Tea House

Prince Tea House

Nearby the Forest Hills LIRR train station is the Prince Tea House. 

The Prince Tea House is a great place to find healthy lunch choices in Forest Hills. 

The salads are lovely. There are plenty of green, black, and white teas to choose from.

Of course, desserts at Prince’s Tea House are not to be missed.

Choose from beautiful mille crepe cakes, tofu cheesecake, and molten lava cake. 

Dirty Pierres Pub in Forest hills

Dirty Pierres

For something more casual, head next door to Dirty Pierre’s, a local dive bar serving some of the best burgers in town. 

They also have a great selection of drinks and live music.

Seasonal outdoor seating makes it a great place to unwind with friends after a long day.

Make a point to look for the cool mural of The Ramones at the opposite corner on Burns St.

el coyote building

El Coyote

For some authentic Mexican food in Forest Hills, head to El Coyote. 

Happy hour is ridiculously long, from noon to 7 pm. 

Try the signature Lime Boat Margarita.

Enjoy an order of Mole Poblano on a Friday evening while listening to the live Mariachi band. 

Helado Frito? Fried ice cream. Yes, please.

forest hills station house

Forest Hills Station House

Are you looking for a gastropub serving delicious craft beer? Comfort food and fun cocktails are what you’ll find here. 

The Forest Hills Station House is conveniently located across the street from the LIRR station. 

If you’re in New York City and want to unwind, spend a day in Forest Hills and discover all the wonderful things this neighborhood has to offer.

Whether you’re a tourist or a local, a trip to Forest Hills is perfect for a peaceful break from the city’s chaos.

Forest Hills is in Queens which is a borough of New York City. Geographically its located on Long Island. If you like what you see, read this to consider what else to do on Long Island.


Forest Hills Gardens | TCLF. Accessed 29 Dec. 2023.

“Frederick Law Olmsted Jr.” Olmsted Network, Accessed 29 Dec. 2023.

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