Just Beachy: The Ultimate Guide to New York Beaches

Fri, Jul 14, 2017


New York has lots to offer in the summer – parties, concerts, rooftop bars, food festivals – but don’t forget the beach! Though it may not seem like it, you don’t have to travel much outside the city for a sunny beach getaway. The awesome nearby beaches below are the reasons why Manhattan is so empty during summer weekends.

Coney Island

Perhaps the most famous NYC beach, Coney Island is also one of the most exciting. After spending some time in the sand or sea, head over to the amusement park and ride the nostalgic Wonder Wheel and Cyclone rides. Or you can take a stroll on the boardwalk while snacking on a classic Nathan’s hot dog (yes, the original!). Anything is possible on Coney Island!

  • Admission: Free for the beach
  • Best way to get there: Subway

Jacob Riis Park Beach

Jacob Riis in Queens is called “the People’s Beach” for a reason – it’s popular, busy but fun. The best part about this beach is probably the Riis Park Beach Bazaar, which houses trendy food vendors like Ample Hills Creamery and Fletcher’s Barbecue. There are also concerts and other cool events throughout the summer.

  • Admission fee: Free
  • Best way to get there: Bus or ferry

Rockaway Beach

If you’re a surfer, you already know all about Rockaway Beach – it’s the only beach in the city that allows surfing! Rockaway Beach’s boardwalk features favorites like Rippers, which serves amazing hot dogs and beer, and Caracas, which boasts the “best frozen sangria ever.” This seashore is also great for families, with playgrounds galore.

  • Admission: Free
  • Best way to get there: Subway

Fort Tilden

Fort Tilden Beach is a hidden gem that is excellent for adventurers. Located in the Rockaways, Fort Tilden is almost impossible to get to by car or train, so it can be pretty quiet. Enjoy nature trails, bird watching, and plain old relaxing by the shore here.

  • Admission: Free
  • Best way to get there: Bike

Orchard Beach

The only public beach in all of the Bronx, Orchard Beach is known for its pretty promenade and calm waves. Orchard beach also features a bunch of awesome trails, like those leading to Two Trees Island, Hunter Island, and Twin Island, all part of Pelham Park Bay’s nature offerings. This beach is perfect for people looking to enjoy a little bit of nature and a little bit of quiet.

  • Admission: Free, $10 for parking
  • Best way to get there: Biking

Gunnison Beach

This New Jersey beach isn’t for everyone. Yup, it’s a nude beach! For those who are into that kind of thing, Gunnison Beach is one of the only ones in the NYC area. It’s mostly known for the friendly, welcoming, and, yes, naked crowd, but it also boasts breathtaking Manhattan views and lax drinking rules. In other words, there’s more than just that reason to visit Gunnison Beach! (But those who aren’t comfortable visiting a nude beach should try the nearby Sandy Hook Beach, accessible by the same ferry!)

  • Admission: Free, $10 for parking
  • Best way to get there: Ferry

Jones Beach

Make the short trek to Long Island and visit another famous spot: Jones Beach State Park. The 6.5-mile long beach is home to the Theodore Roosevelt Nature Center, which hosts nature programs for kids and adults alike, swimming pools, baseball fields, and much more. Pro-tip: check the schedule for the Jones Beach Amphitheatre and coordinate your beach day with an epic concert at one of the most beautiful venues in the world!

  • Admission: $10 per car
  • Best way to get there: Train (LIRR) or car

Long Beach

This popular beach town was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy but has bounced back better than ever. Along with its gorgeous beach and infamous boardwalk, Long Beach is also recognized for it’s crazy-good restaurant and bar scene. There are so many ways to spend your day, but one thing’s for sure – you’ve got to end it with a cone from everyone’s favorite ice cream spot, Marvel!

  • Admission: $15 per person
  • Best way to get there: Train (LIRR) or car

Point Lookout

Point Lookout shouldn’t only be on your radar when other beaches get too crowded. It’s a smaller, more relaxed Long Island beach – but that doesn’t mean it isn’t fun! Enjoy swimming and surfing in the ocean, reading in your beach chair or host a cookout with friends in the barbecue area. Just make sure you stay to watch that sunset!

  • Admission: $10 per car, $25 for non-residents
  • Best way to get there: Car

And if you’re willing to take a little adventure….

Fire Island

From NYC, Fire Island may be a bit of a hike, but it’s 100% worth it. After getting to Long Island, hop on the Fire Island Ferry (unless you have your own boat!) and get ready for one of the best days of the summer.

Fire Island is known for its car-less streets, charming beaches, gay communities, renowned dining, biking, shopping, and sightseeing…Basically, the list never ends. Overall, it’s like spending a day on a tropical island hundreds of miles from home…except you can sleep in your own bed when the day is over.

  • Admission: $10 each way for the ferry
  • Best way to get there: Train or car, then ferry

The Hamptons

Live like a star for a day in the Hamptons this summer by hopping on the Jitney. Though many areas of the Hamptons are private, there are a few public beaches to enjoy throughout the east end, such as Coopers Beach or Ditch Plains Beach. Though if you’re trying to spot a celebrity, you’ll have to find an “in” at a more exclusive area, or try one of the area’s many designer boutiques.

  • Admission: Varies
  • Best way to get there: Bus


Tags: Things To Do In NYC