I live in eastern Pennsylvania, so it takes at least 90 minutes to get to the Newport PATH station in Jersey City. Add time for parking, waiting for the PATH & getting into Manhattan, and it's at least 2 hours to get into the city. Getting to Queens can take another 30 minutes or more. Is it worth it? I've been told no, but I disagree. Astoria, Jackson Heights, Corona & Flushing are must see neighborhoods. Parking is much easier in these areas as well.
On my most recent trip to Queens, I took the 7 train from Grand Central Station to 103rd St-Corona Plaza and walked to The Lemon Ice King of Corona. They do not mix flavors, so I got 4 different small cups at $1.50 each.
From there, I wanted to check out Flushing. The Q58 bus stops almost right in front of The Lemon Ice King of Corona and gets you to the heart of Flushing in less than 20 minutes. I walked around for a bit and wanted to get a snack before heading back to Manhattan. I settled on Taipei Hong and then took the Long Island Railroad back to Penn Station. Although I'd been to dozens of Mets games before they got a new stadium, I'd only walked around Flushing once a few years ago. If you are not coming from Long Island, it may seem far out, but between the 7 train and the LIRR, it's very easy to get a train back to Manhattan. Unlike other trains, the 7 rarely gets crowded on weekends.