The borough of Queens has many large malls and strip mall areas. There is also plenty of shopping along the main commercial thoroughfares. Here are a few of the biggest and best places to shop in Queens, New York.
The Queens Center in Elmhurst is the biggest mall in Queens, New York, and is one of the most successful malls in the nation. In 2004, remodeling more than doubled the number of stores at Queens Center. Main stores include Bath & Body Works, Foot Locker, Gap, Gap Kids, JCPenney, Macy's, Modell's Sporting Goods, Victoria's Secret, Aeropostale, and more. The mall has two sizable indoor parking lots ($3 for the first hour) as well as outdoor lots adjacent to the mall. You may get lucky and find street parking, but don't count on it.
The Shops at Atlas Park
The Shops at Atlas Park is the latest addition to shopping centers in Queens, and one of the best. The Shops at Atlas Park in Glendale has an outdoor "village square" layout.
Bay Terrace at Bayside
In Bayside, the Bay Terrace is an outdoor strip mall, and small compared to the Queens Center Mall. It is convenient to the Cross Island Expressway. Though the parking lot can get congested, overall the shopping is above average.
It has a vast assortment of stores, including Bath & Body Works, Victoria's Secret, Foot Locker, Claire's, Chico's, Lane Bryant and Men's Warehouse. There's also a movie theater. There is a large, free parking lot at the Mall's lower level and a smaller lot above on 26th Avenue. You will need to walk down a staircase to reach the main shopping area from the small lot.
College Point Shopping Area
Just north of Flushing, on 20th Avenue in College Point, there are several strip malls next to one another. Although there is plenty of parking, traffic on 20th backups from exit 15 off the Whitestone Expressway (and even back to the Van Wyck) almost every weekend.
If at all possible, drive the side streets (up from Flushing) to 20th Avenue, get there early, or go on a weekday. It is not too difficult to walk from one strip mall to the next, but most drive from lot to lot. Main stores include TJ Maxx, Target, Old Navy, Modell's Sporting Goods and BJ's Wholesale Club. Parking is readily available in free lots.
Over in Middle Village, the Metro Mall can sometimes feel like the cemetery it faces, but it gets busy with easy subway access from the M line and bargain hunters stocking up at BJ's Wholesale Club. An odd layout contributes to an awkward shopping experience. There are no food and drinks offerings or movies at this mall.
Douglaston Plaza Shopping Center
On a hillside overlooking the Cross Island Parkway, the Douglaston Mall is a small, outdoor mall, anchored by Macy's. This place was built for the car, and it's awkward to walk between stores. The best thing is the very easy access to the Long Island Expressway.