Everyone knows that going to the beach is the best part about summer in New York City.
Maybe you have a friend or two who doesn’t think this; that friend is probably OCD about getting sand on him or herself and their stuff. Whatever... their loss, right?
Regardless, you should definitely make a move and grab your NYC beach essentials: a couple of towels, some sandwiches, a sneaky cooler of beers, and a book.
And if you hate the subway, the LIRR, or NYC’s expensive beach ferries, check out this NYC Beach Bus (while it's unfortunately a yellow school bus, it does provide free beer).
Also, if you're just looking to completely get out of this city for just a day, you should definitely check out which beaches on the Jersey Shore are worth visiting, but be warned...
We think NYC beaches are just better. (But we might be just a little biased about that one, right?) Anyways, here's 7 reasons why.
1. Rockaway Beach (Beach 3 Street - Queens)
rockawaybeachsurfclub The weather is looking good for Saturday June 6th. Perfect conditions for @outdoorfest - Beach Day by @urbanoutfitters It will be a full day of yoga with @popupyoganyc surf lessons by @skudinsurf photography class by @andreeawaters and beach clean up with @surfridernyc The day finishes up at the @rockawaybeachsurfclub with a surf film and party all starting at 8pm. For more information you can go to www.outdoorfest.com/beachday Photo by @andreeawaters #ocean #beach #surfer #surf #tacowaybeach #rockaway #rbsurfclub #rockawaybeach #rockawaybeachsurfclub #outdoorfest #skudinsurf #popupyoganyc #urbanoutfitters
This beach is so excellent that it’s ridiculous that we even need to discuss it. With sparkling blue water, bluffs, and rocks jutting out into the water, it’s extremely easy to forget you’re still in Queens while stretched out on a towel at Rockaway Beach.
This is also the city’s only legal surfing beach, so if you’re into that sort of thing, this is definitely the beach for you. There are seven playgrounds, endless summery bars and restaurants, and even live music. Plus, it's free.
How to get there: Get on a Far Rockaway-bound A train and get off at Far Rockaway – Mott Avenue.
2. Jacob Riis Park (157 Rockaway Beach Boulevard - Rockaway Park)
davidheales Jacob Riis Park, yesterday. #nyc #summer #jacobriispark #queens
This scenic beach, excellent for summertime relaxation, is also steep in NYC history. It was built on one of the first U.S. naval air stations.
If you’re friends with or dating a history buff, you’ll probably want to bring them here. At Jacob Riis Park, you can attend ranger-led programs, and view history exhibits like their famous Art Deco bathhouse.
You can also play golf at the Riis Park Pitch and Putt Golf Course, play basketball on their basketball courts, and buy food. So you won’t starve if you forget to pack a lunch! Beach admission here is free too.
How to get there: Take a Brooklyn-bound 2 train, get off at Flatbush Avenue, take a Q35 Bus to Riis Beach
3. Manhattan Beach (Oriental Boulevard - Brooklyn)
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Manhattan Beach is, paradoxically, in Brooklyn.
It tends to be much more peaceful than Coney Island or Jones Beach, and its beachgoers can most commonly be seen picnicking, barbequing, vegging out in the sand, and swimming.
It contains two playgrounds on either side, two large baseball diamonds, as well as tennis, volleyball, basketball, and handball courts. Manhattan Beach also occasionally hosts dance performances.
How to get there: Take a Brighton Beach-bound B or Q train, get off at Brighton Beach, take a B1 Bus to Oriental Boulevard.
4. Coney Island Beach (West 37th Street - Brooklyn)
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With nearly three miles of free and sparkling waterfront beaches, Coney Island is the perfect location for your summertime Saturday.
If you’re into letting out your inner athlete, bring a volleyball or a basketball-- Coney Island has volleyball, basketball and handball courts.
After you’re sweaty and sandy, wash off in the cool ocean. Coney Island also rocks an amusement park, playgrounds, and a boardwalk. Bottom line is, if you come to Coney Island Beach, you definitely won’t get bored.
How to get there: Get on a Coney Island-bound D, Q, N, or F train, ride to the end of the line, and get off at Coney Island – Stillwell Avenue.,
5. Brighton Beach (Brighton Beach Avenue - Brooklyn)
Brighton Beach is nicknamed "Little Odessa" for a reason. If you’re hankering for some Russian cuisine on your beach day, this is probably the ideal location for your next getaway.
Brighton Beach is next to Coney Island and right beside lots of Russian eateries, so you’ll be able to satisfy your kebab, borscht, caviar, and vodka cravings after you’re exhausted from your vigorous tanning and boardwalk jogging regime.
How to get there: Take a Brighton Beach-bound B or Q train and get off at Brighton Beach.
6. Orchard Beach (Pelham Bay Park - the Bronx)
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This beach is the Bronx’s only public beach. It’s heavily wooded, and located within a city park that is three times the size of Central Park. It contains 26 tennis, basketball, and paddleball courts (you know, if you want to be all athletic about it).
The downside is it has basically no real cuisine options, so you should probably pack a lunch if this is your choice beach location. The bright side? It has showers, lifeguards, and changing areas. And City Island isn't all that far.
How to get there: Take a Pelham Bay Park-bound 6 train, get off at Pelham Bay Park, get on a BX12 bus and get off at Orchard Beach. (Many people do trek it from the subway to the beach, but be forewarned, it is a bit of a hike.)
7. Jones Beach (1 Ocean Parkway - Wantagh)
frosaesorbae Find us at the Jones Beach concession stands and beer tent all summer long! #JonesBeach #Frosae #Yum #BeachSnack #Healthy
We know what you're thinking. Long Island is not NYC-- and you're right. But this beach is simply too beautiful to not include on this list.
Jones Beach is excellent because of its summer ambiance: it's a 6.5 mile stretch of beach always packed with jovial summertime celebrators. Usually these summertime celebrators are loudly cursing high schoolers that tend to be a tad intimidating, but you shouldn't let that stop you.
To that end, if you yourself are a loudly cursing high-schooler, Jones Beach is probably for you. Jones Beach has a playground, a boardwalk, and places to buy touristy t-shirts and greasy chicken fingers and French fries.
Jones Beach is also home to Jones Beach Nikon Theater, which has a killer lineup of concerts this summer. Seeing your favorite band tear it up on Jones Beach Theater’s stage is, in our humble opinions, the perfect way to end a perfect beach day.
How to get there: Go to Penn Station and buy a Beach Getaway ticket. Get on a Babylon-bound LIRR train, get off at Freeport Station, walk downstairs, and get on an N88 NICE Bus.
If you enjoy beaches, check out 8 Heart-Wrenching Reasons Why Girls in NYC Struggle With Bikini Season.