It never truly feels like summer to me until I've hit the beach. This past weekend, I welcomed summer with open arms and a plastic cup of rosé (you know, like classy people do).
With a new ferry stop in south Brooklyn (specifically Sunset Park), getting to the Rockaways is easier than ever, for me at least. For just the cost of a subway ride, you too can be laying on the beach in under 45 minutes. The ferry itself is delightful -- complete with a bar, air conditioning, and plenty of room.
Speaking of plenty of room, I suspect they could have boarded more people since it seemed like the entire hull was practically empty. For some reason (weight restrictions?) they were turning people away at the ferry stop. Even though we took one of the earliest ferries available, we were only among 10 people to actually be allowed to board. The line of 40+ people waiting for the next ferry was furious, as you might imagine (the ferries only arrive once an hour).
Pro tip: Don't even bother taking any ferry after 9:30 a.m.
After a quick (and free) shuttle bus from the ferry, we were all set to kick it at Jacob Riis. The boardwalk there is great -- full of clothing vendors, food, and most importantly, tropical drinks that you can take on the go! After stocking up on the necessities, we headed west down the beach to the more secluded (and nude) Fort Tilden, and set up camp.
In addition to the hipster masses, there were tons of baby bird reserves all over the beach. It was freakin' adorable. The water was relatively warm (and jellyfish-free). After several hours in the sun, we headed out to explore the ruins-turned-art-projects of the beach and then back to the boardwalk for some grub before boarding the ferry back to Brooklyn. It was the perfect ending to a relaxing weekend.