When caught up in the constant hustle and bustle of city life, it is easy to crave a visit to a welcoming, laid back, and cozy place. The more busy and populated parts of the city tend to lack a personal or scenic touch that is commonly found in small town locations. Luckily, there are places in New York City where you can still find stores run by families instead of corporations and streets lined with uniquely built houses instead of large glass towers. Check out our list of ten places where you can find this kind of experience with just the swipe of a Metrocard!

1. Forest Hills

Early 1900s architecture and brick lined streets at the Long Island Railroad’s Forest Hills stop.

Located in central Queens, Forest Hills is home to many picturesque streets with beautiful residential homes and a very welcoming small town feel. The laid back nature of the area makes it a great spot for a walk with friends, or a jog through quiet scenery. If you’re looking for a casual spot to hang out, Austin Street provides a wonderful and varied selection of small restaurants and bars that serve all sorts of food from Greece, Thailand, Cuba, and more.


The Queensway, a 3.5-mile path stretching from Rego Park to Ozone Park, runs through Forest Hills. This path, which also cuts through the neighborhoods of Glendale, Woodhaven, Richmond Hill and Ozone Park, used to be part of the old Rockaway Beach Branch, but has been abandoned for over fifty years. Over the past decade, a community led group is working to turn stretch of abandoned railway into into a family-friendly park and cultural greenway.