The beach doesn’t immediately come to mind when you think of the Big Apple. It’s a shame because the city has so many spectacular beaches! Swimming in cool saltwater sounds excellent in the summer when you’re reaching the highest temperatures in the 80’s or even ’90s (30-40 degrees Celsius for Europeans)!
. To get to the beaches, you’ll need to leave the centre of the universe and visit 4 other NYC boroughs: The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island, or go even further to the expansive beaches of Long Island.
Coney Island in Brooklyn
Coney Island has been transformed in recent years: the boardwalk has been renovated, new showers and toilets have been installed, and the 2.5-mile beach has become clean and inviting again.
It also doesn’t hurt that Coney Island is easily accessible by public transportation. It’s less than an hour on the cheap subway from midtown Manhattan – you can take the D, F, N, or Q train to the Coney Island/Stillwell Avenue station, which is just two blocks from the beach.
Ride the famous Cyclone rollercoaster, eat a hot dog at Nathan’s Famous, stroll along the boardwalk, relax on the beach and swim! For more sights and activities, check out the Coney Island Fun Guide.
Rockaway Beach in Queens
Rockaway Beach has been named the most extensive urban beach in the United States. In addition, this is the only beach in New York that has a surf area – two separate parts of the beach are reserved for surfing. In the summer, small waves are great for beginners, and experienced surfers often visit this beach during the peak of the hurricane season in early autumn.
The beach has swimming areas, a long promenade, food vendors, seven playgrounds, public beach toilets, and of course, plenty of sand to hold your beach towel in! Rockaway Beach is also easily accessible by metro. Take the A train or transfer to the S on the scenic Broad Canal, to 90th Street Beach to get to Surfers Beach, or to 116th Street Beach to get to Swimmers Beach. Join surfers, Brooklyn hippies and local families at this versatile beach just 1.5 hours scenic subway ride from Midtown, Manhattan!
Orchard Beach in the Bronx
This artificial beach was once called the “Riviera of New York”.
It indeed boasts some exciting features: the crescent-shaped beach overlooks Long Island Sound, and playgrounds and food vendors line the boardwalk. After an afternoon of sunbathing and swimming, we advise you to end the day at City Island, which is just a few steps from the beach. This picturesque island resembles an authentic fishing town and is famous for its seafood restaurants. City Island Lobster House serves terrific crab cakes, while Original Crab Shanty serves delicious seafood pasta.
Great Kills Park in Staten Island
Staten Island has its own railroad, and you can conveniently pay with your MetroCard. Catch the railroad to Bay Terrace, and you’re almost there – just a 3-block walk east will take you to Great Kills Park.
If you go south from here, you will encounter an idyllic marina filled with small boats. This pier’s east is a peninsula with a small harbour and a beautiful quiet beach. Apart from toilets and showers, there is nothing else on this side of the dock, so don’t forget to bring a picnic basket with you! If you have fallen in love with Staten Island and want more time to explore all it has to offer, we have a fantastic island getaway mansion where you can stay. The 4 bedroom mansion also has a private pool, and the rental price includes a 3-day complimentary limousine rental that will take you to the beach in style!
Long Beach in Long Island
Long Beach is a real gem: soft white sand, clean beach, refreshing water, big waves for surfing and free parking! Plus, the beach is easy to get to even if you don’t have access to a car. The LIRR (Long Island Railroad) will get you there less than an hour from Pennsylvania Station in Midtown, Manhattan!
. Watching the sunset over the Atlantic, you will feel far away from the bustling New York. It would be unfair to talk about Long Island beaches without mentioning Jones Beach, Fire Island and Cooper Beach. These three popular holiday destinations are a little further from New York City, but they definitely deserve an honourable mention!
Jones Beach was designed by Robert Moses and is considered one of the most beautiful parks in the New York area. It has many great amenities such as a swimming pool and an amphitheatre where concerts take place during the summer. Finally, the best beach in America in 2010 was recognized as Cooper Beach in the village of Southampton. It overlooks the imposing Hampton mansions has a pretty pavilion and pristine white sand.