Queens, N.Y. Named America’s No. 1 Travel Destination For 2015

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Every year, Lonely Planet releases a “Best in the U.S.” list of 10 up-and-coming destinations in America that travelers should be sure to visit. The 2015 list, which by no means makes it appear that Lonely Planet is running out of locations to write about, includes bold choices like New Orleans, western South Dakota and Indianapolis, Ind. Its number one spot, however, goes to Queens.

Queens, New York’s largest borough, is also quickly becoming its hippest, but most travelers haven’t clued in… yet,” says Lonely Planet. Citing Flushing’s Chinatown — the largest in New York City — as well as the trendy melting pot of Jackson Heights and the “reinvented seaside” at Rockaway, the travel guide lists the surprising variety of attractions that can be found in Queens. Its microbreweries, boutique hotels, art scene and museums also get a mention.

The area is being promoted as a foodie destination, too. Lonely Planet mentions the boardwalk as a prime spot for seafood and wine bars, and gushes over the borough’s “truly global food culture.”

Queens is hot and on the move, and we’re thrilled by the growing attention and interest,” Queens Borough President Melinda Katz told the New York Post. “You haven’t really seen New York City unless you have experienced Queens.”

There’s always been a psychological barrier to getting people out here [from Manhattan],” said Rob MacKay, director of the Queens Tourism Council, in an interview with the Post. “When they come here, they have a good time. It’s just a question of getting them out here.”

With an endorsement from Lonely Planet, which reaches an audience of 11 million people a month, it may be a little easier to encourage people to venture into Queens.

To celebrate its new number one destination, the site is offering the Queens chapter from its New York City guide as a free download until February 1. “2015 is the year to try Queens,” says Lonely Planet.