However, if you are coming to visit, remember to pack your beach towel, as there are some superb beaches to visit in New York. What’s more, they are a great place to go when the weather is hot, and they are mostly free!
Here’s our take on the top 6 best beaches to visit in New York – and even this doesn’t cover all of them!
Jones Beach, Long Island
This six-mile long stretch of sand on Long Island is a really well kept beach. It’s also a great option for families as there’s a pool as well as opportunities to play mini golf and the Theodore Roosevelt Nature Centre to visit a variety of marine life. There’s also a theater that attracts great artists and holds various events each summer. For added interest, the water tower at the beach resembles the Campanile at St. Mark’s Basilica, Venice.
The Campanile look-a-like at Jones Beach New York.
Rockaway Beach is on the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens. It is also the city’s only legal surfing beach. As well as surf, you can swim and sunbathe on the beach, or make the most of the playgrounds and the boardwalk. The area was badly affected after Super storm Sandy in 2012, but it’s benefitted from a multi-million dollar rebuild that’s made it much more sustainable and protected.
Breezy Point, Rockaway Beach NYC. The city’s surfing mecca.
This beach was created in the 1930s after Parks Commissioner brought in sand from beaches in Queens and New Jersey. It’s located in the Bronx, sits on Pelham Bay Park and is the area’s only public beach. It’s recently had new facilities and playgrounds added and still lives up to its title as the ‘Riviera of New York City’.
Orchard Beach is still New York’s Riviera – popular with tourists and locals alike.
Jacob Riis Park Beach
This popular beach is known as ‘the people’s beach’. As well as sunbathing, swimming and ball activities – it also has a restored Art Deco bathhouse. It’s named after an acclaimed city journalist who brought to attention the experiences of the city’s poor in the tenement buildings. Created by the same park commissioner who created Orchard Beach, he hoped that the beach would be easy to use for the poorer people in the city – close to the city and accessible by public transport.
The people’s beach – Jacob Riis Park, Queens, New York.
Brighton Beach is in the southern end of Brooklyn, and sits just along from the Coney Island peninsula. It is popular with New York City residents because it is close to Coney Island, but is perhaps a little quieter. It is known as ‘Little Odessa’ because of the high proportion of Russians who settled here and brought their Russian oriented restaurants, food shops and bars.
Brighton Beach, Coney Island’s Russian speaking next-door neighbour.
Long Beach is around one hour away from New York City centre via public transport, and it’s super easy to get to since the train stops right next to the beach. It too was badly affected by Superstorm Sandy back in 2012, but since then it’s had a cool $30 million dollars invested, and it’s now arguably better than ever. There’s 2 miles of new boardwalk, lots of food truck vendors, a community led summer concert series, art markets, farmers’ markets. It costs $15 to get in, but it’s officially ranked as one of the best beaches in the entire country.
Long Beach New York is officially one of the cleanest beaches in the entire country – according to the National Resources Defense Council.
The best value way to get around New York City
The team at Gray Line New York offer the best way to tour New York City with our Uptown and Downtown Tour or Hop-On Hop Off bus tours. They stop at all the main sights across the city and you can use them throughout the length of your stay – which is genuinely a very cost effective way to tour NYC since you can buy a pass that lasts for up to 48 or even 72 Hours. Get in touch with us today to plan your time whilst in New York, we’d love to help you get around the city.
See you soon!