I just got back from an amazing trip to Rehoboth -- perfect weather, great food and even better company. Unfortunately, I can't always make the 5+ hour drive to the house, as you know from my previous post. Luckily, there are several fantastic beaches near NYC easily accessible by bus and train!
Here are my picks (solely based on beaches that I've actually been to)...
- The Rockaways: Just a $2.50 subway ride will get you to this stretch of beach in Queens, making it a popular destination for many New Yorkers. Hurricane Sandy may have washed away parts of the boardwalk and beach, but a lot of the Rockaway Peninsula has been rebuilt. Because the beach is off the subway, it can get very crowded, especially on weekends. For that reason, I like to take the train a bit further out and away from the crowds. After spending the day in the sun, be sure to hit Rippers (from the guys who brought you Roberta's!) for burgers, fries, and frozen margaritas.
How to get there: Take the A train toward Far Rockaway and get off at Beach 60th St. Walk two blocks to the beach!
Fort Tilden: This beach is actually a decommissioned military base surrounded by nature trails. It's remote, so it's generally empty of crowds and very clean. On the downside, there are no lifeguards, limited bathroom facilities, and no vendors, so bring your own food & drink.
How to get there: If you're not up to the two-hour bike ride from Manhattan (I know some people who've done this!) you can take a long (1.5-hour) journey via subway + bus. Take the 4/5 train to Flatbush Ave-Brooklyn College and then catch a Q54 bus directly to the beach.
- Long Beach: This beach is a favorite of mine. Although not as scenic as some of the other beaches on this list, its entrance fee makes it very clean and less crowded. Before she moved to Texas, my friend Cat and I used to take this trip a lot during the summer. We'd take the first train out around 7:45 am and get back to the city around 3 pm to avoid the massive crowds on the train. Don't miss Five Guys on your way home! You'll be happy to have those fries and cold Diet Coke with you on the way back to the city.
How to get there: Take the LIRR from Penn Station towards Long Beach. A combo train + beach entrance ticket is $22.
- Jones Beach: This beach can get super crowded, but its big. Over 6.5 miles of beach, a pretty boardwalk, swimming pools and miniature golf. Plus, there are concerts all throughout the summer here. Be sure to hit Friendly's on your way back home!
How to get there: Take the LIRR to Freeport and grab the JB88 bus to East Bath House (less crowds) for $18.75.
There are several beaches within reach that I haven't traveled to yet. Here are a few options that I've heard great things about:
- Montauk: There's hiking, biking and the beach! There's also a historic lighthouse that's supposedly worth the trip.
How to get there: Take either the LIRR (with two transfers) or a Hamptons bus (there are a bunch!)
- Fire Island: An outer barrier island famous for sand dunes, nightlife and a lesbian + gay scene.
How to get there: Take the LIRR followed by a shuttle to a ferry (Sayville Ferry, Fire Island Ferry or Davis Ferry). Since there aren't cars allowed on the island, be sure to bring a bike or good walking shoes :)
- Sandy Hook: A pristine beach with lifeguards, showers, snacks and tons of bike trails.
How to get there: Take the Seastreak Ferry from Pier 11 on East 35th St. for $40
And, of course, if you can't make it out to the beach but still want to soak up the sun, join fellow New Yorkers in making every inch of green space this city has to offer into a makeshift beach.
What are your favorite NYC beach spots?
Don't forget to check out the States East gallery to see the new photos that I took of my most recent trip to the Eastern Shore!