If you want to refresh yourself during the summer in New York, take a quick trip to nearby beaches all the way to Long Island.
These selected beaches are the closest one to NYC and are ideal for an afternoon swim in July and August, even in June and September (from Memorial Day till Labor Day) depending on the weather and lifeguards permits. For 2021, beaches are open from May 31 to September 12.
Even though not so many people know about it, New Yorkers are very fond of their beaches. On weekends, many take the subway to take advantage of the sun and cool off by the Atlantic Ocean.
So here’s a great tip: in summer if you’re looking for some peace, try to go during the week, on the other hand, you want to be among New Yorkers then try going on the weekend, especially on Sundays.
Now, there are several beaches, but here are the main ones listed geographically:
Less than an hour from Manhattan, Brooklyn offers 3 beaches: Coney Island, Brighton Beach and Brooklyn Park Pier 4.
– Coney Island: Close to the Subway and very close to Manhattan, Coney Island is one of the most popular beaches in New York. Besides having the Amusement Park (Luna Park) nearby, the beach is 3 miles long (or 5 km) which is a long stretch. To get there, take the subway lines D, F, N, Q until you’ve reached Coney Island Stillwell Avenue.
– Brighton Beach: Located close to Coney Island, Brighton Beach is completely different from her neighbor mostly because of the strong Russian community living in the neighborhood also called “Little Odessa”. To visit Brighton Beach, take the subway B, Q to Brighton Beach.
– Brooklyn Bridge Park – Pier 4 Beach A blossoming neighborhood, from DUMBO to Brooklyn Bridge Park, is changing very rapidly. Walk along the river and find nice spots to take a break with a view on the skyline. Pier 4 is a small area where swimming and wading are not permitted… but you can still get sand between your toes! Bring a beach towel and enjoy the moment!
To get there take the subway A, C to High Street or the 2, 3 train to Clark Street or even better, cross the Brooklyn Bridge by foot or bike.
Even if the Bronx still had a bad reputation, the neighborhood has a number of really beautiful beaches.
– City Island: This small island is really wonderful and you can easily spend all day surrounded by a number of beaches you can discover while walking. To get there, take the subway 6 to Pelham Bay Park then transfer for the bus BX 29 toward City Island.
– Orchard Beach: A big and beautiful beach. To get there, take the 6 train to Pelham Bay Park then switch to bus BX 5 ou BX 12 toward Orchard Street.
For a long time, this part of Queens wasn’t quite popular but the beaches are amazing and stretches over 6 miles (or 11 km) long. The beach is nice and clean and is the favorite spot of surfers and fishermen.
– Rockaway Beach: The nicest spot is located west of Cross Bay Ridge. To get there, take the A, S train to Rockaway Park Beach. For those who live in Forest Hill or Rego Park, take the bus Q53 to the last stop located 2 min away from the beachfront.
If you are in Manhattan, you can use the NYC Ferry Rockaway. It only costs $2,75 and it takes 50 minutes to get there.
– Hunter Point Water Taxi Beach: This side of Queens is a place with basics you can expect from a beach hence, sand and water but I will not recommend it unless the weather is uncomfortably hot and you’re desperate to find a place to cool off. To get there, take the n° 7 train to Vernon Blvd, then catch the bus n°69 or 103. The other option is to take the Water Taxi or the NYC Ferry (which is fun) on E 34th Street, Midtown.
North of Long Island
In general, the beaches are rocky on the North coast especially at the border of “Long Island Sound”. The only trick is to bring water shoes to get in the water.
The beach is nicer on the part called “Sunken Meadow State Park” since it has a beautiful wood boardwalk. It’s easy to access by car but you’ll have to pay $8 to $10 (fees vary by location and season) to park your car.
South of Long Island
On this side of Long Island, the beaches are sandy. We can easily sunbathe, rest on a towel, play beach games and most importantly swim without hurting your feet.
Here’s some great beach tips located in the South of Long Island accessible by train from Penn Station and of course by car.
– Cupsoque Beach County Park: This is my special good tip beach because of its white sand and lifeguards are available on site. You can actually tan, rest, swim, go fish when the tide is low and watch the lifeguards in full action 😉 What more you can ask??? 😀
– Smith Point County Park: It’s Fire Island Beach, a real treat for people for sports lovers, surfers and people who simply enjoy beautiful beaches. With its white sand and Atlantic Ocean waves, this spot is very popular among tourists.
– Long Beach: The beach is two blocks away from the train station. There is a beautiful wood boardwalk along the beach with bars and restaurants. On the other hand, there’s a fee to enter the beach.
– Heckscher State Park: With 3 beaches and a pool, Heckscher State Park offers many activities in summertime. The beaches are located on the “Great South Bay” and are equipped with a big parking close to Field 7 where you’ll find a community of windsurfers. In addition, there are BBQ for picnics and even a small camping place for those who are planning to stay a little longer.
– Jones Beach State Park: To get there, you need to stop at “Freeport” station then take a bus to the beach. If you purchase the bus ticket, pool access, showers and changing rooms are included in the price. There are some restaurants but aren’t known to be very good.
– Robert Moses State Park: This beach is located on the West side of Fire Island and is 32 miles (or 53 km) long but the boardwalk that stretches all the way to the lighthouse is 4 miles (or 8 km) long. Parking is available for 8300 cars. From the lighthouse, we can walk to Kismet, a small touristic village where cars are forbidden. By the way, between the Field 5 and Kismet (not in front of the lighthouse) the beach is reserved for nudists. It’s a good tip for nudism amateurs and always good to know for those who don’t want to venture on this side of the beach 🙂
Other beaches can be found, like the Hamptons, you’ll find more details here: www.longisland.com/.
You can also plan a day-trip from New York to The Hamptons like this one here (depending on the season).
New Jersey Beaches
New Jersey is home to beautiful beaches and some are easily accessible.
– Sandy Hook: Very close to NYC, Sandy Hook is one of the best destination for New Yorkers because you can get there in less than 40 min directly by ferry and the seaside is absolutely gorgeous with views of the Manhattan skyline. Water Taxi is located on E 34th Street, Midtown. To get there, take the SeaStreak Ferry that leaves at Pier 11 (Wall Street) or East 35th Street.
– Cape May: Located at the tip of New Jersey, you can swim in both waters: the Atlantic Ocean and the Delaware Bay. The shore is diverse and a friendly environment awaits you especially with its architecture of Victorian houses. Besides, Cape May is also known to have some of the most beautiful beaches around.
If you want to have a nice day at the beach, you now know where to go around New York! I hope you did not forget your swimsuit 😉
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