No matter when you arrive in New York, if you are flying in, you have a strong chance of arriving at La Guardia or JFK International Airports. As both airports are only some short miles from the neighborhood of Jamaica, you will likely pass through there on your way to your very expensive accommodations in Manhattan.
One of the chief reasons that the average traveler 20 years ago didn't linger in Queens was that many of the streets were unsafe to walk on from the afternoon on. It wasn't that it was that dangerous, but the locals would nonetheless warn tourists to take a cab everywhere just in case.
Today, that stigma that was associated with the area has gone away. Gentrification and a recognition that maybe staying closer to the airport actually helps you when you are on your business trip have driven more tourists and business travelers into the heart of an area that is opening up to tourists as well as daytime business trade.
One factor in favor of the Queens area is that hotels in Jamaica NY tend to be much more reasonably priced than they are in Manhattan and some of the other areas that are popular word-of-mouth areas. After the recession several years ago, it was no longer a stigma for business people or tourists to openly look for good deals when it came to lodgings in order that they could enjoy more social and cultural activities while they were on vacation.
As a consequence, the Best Western chain in Jamaica and throughout Queens see a lot of traffic directly from the airports. Visitors can expect that these venues will also provide free shuttles to either airport and also possibly to Manhattan itself.
For those that chose to stay in Jamaica and look around, there are new retail stores over on Hillside Avenue that are interspersed with restaurants and provide a pretty good experience when it comes to offering balance.
Go international by staying at home:
Of course there are other visitors that have chosen to enjoy areas that specialize in ethnic foods and music without having to travel the entire distance to that country in order to appreciate it. For those people, the idea that Bangladeshis and many of the Latin American countries are well represented by restaurants and nightclubs that offer the type of cuisine and entertainment that is endemic to their countries of origin- is an attractive notion.
Dance the night away:
Although going out in Queens is probably best accomplished by asking around and using the internet to find the type of venue that you want, Jamaica has a long history of famous hip-hop groups that have come from there. So chances are, if you want to go out and enjoy a hip-hop concert there, you will find plenty of venues offering live entertainment. 50 cent, G-unit, and many other bands made Jamaica their home before they moved on to Hollywood and Manhattan.
Overall, Jamaica is on the upswing and makes a very nice bookend to Manhattan if you are planning on saving yourself some money and some time on your next visit to New York. By staying in Jamaica, you will be close to the airport and your last day can end much later than it would if you were just packing up for the long trek from Manhattan.