Are you looking to escape city life and enjoy some waves and sand? Oftentimes, we think of cold weather and tall buildings when we think of New York. However, there are many incredible beaches nearby well worth a visit.
New York boasts 14 miles of coastline that’s easy to get to by public transportation. Let’s take a look at the 15 best beaches in New York and around the area so you can add a trip to the ocean to your itinerary.
1. Main Beach, East Hampton
Main Beach in East Hampton is upscale and features blue waters. The beach takes pride in keeping itself clean and well-maintained.
At Main Beach, you can find the expected amenities of a popular beach, such as lifeguards and a snack bar. Restrooms are also available.
Dogs are welcomed at the beach during the off-season and in the evenings. From the second Sunday in May to September 30th, the beach prohibits pets from 9 am to 6 pm.
If you plan to stay overnight in East Hampton, accommodations come at a higher price. One of the most popular places to stay in East Hampton is The Roundtree, a hotel that was made from a centuries-old farm.
2. Beaches on Shelter Island, Suffolk County
If a short ferry ride to an island appeals to you, Shelter Island in Suffolk County is well worth a visit. Shelter Island offers several beaches. This lovely island’s coastline stretches over 20 miles.
On Shelter Island, you’ll find bay beaches. Some are popular and busy, while others offer more peace and are great for relaxing.
One of the most popular beaches on the island is Crescent Beach, also called Sunset Beach and Louis Beach. Crescent Beach stretches more than half a mile and offers stunning views.
At Crescent Beach, you can find all the expected amenities of a popular beach, including comfort stations and lifeguards. You can also enjoy a cocktail beachside. There are also many restaurants and hotels nearby.
A quieter beach on Shelter Island is Shell Beach. You can bring your dog, too! There are several hotels and resorts in the area.
Most of the beaches on Shelter Island are public. A parking permit is required most times of the year.
3. Jacob Riis Park Beach, Queens
Jacob Riis Park Beach, also known as the Rockaway Beach, has been National park property since 1972. The beach recently underwent a renovation where soft sand was added. The park is easily reached by car or public transportation.
This family-friendly beach offers plenty of conveniences including outdoor showers during the summer and food services. Lifeguards are on duty at Jacob Riis Park Beach during the peak beach season. There’s also a playground at the park.
People’s Beach at Jacob Riis offers several experiences to enjoy. These include an art deco boathouse, sports courts, and many kid-friendly activities. There are also a couple of boardwalks including a renovated one.
Lastly, The Riis Park Beach Bazaar is also a must-visit. It features tasty food, beach equipment and rentals, and live entertainment.
4. Jones Beach State Park, Long Island
Located on Long Island’s south shore, Jones Beach State Park boasts enchanting white sand stretching over 6.5 miles. The park itself includes at least 2400 acres of land.
This beach park is loved by people of all ages. However, furry family members must be left at home.
With the best bike path on Long Island, Jones Beach is the perfect spot to ride your bike. You can start your ride in Seaford at Cedar Creek Park and head straight to the beach Boardwalk’s East Bathhouse.
Of course, many visitors enjoy swimming in the Atlantic Ocean waters at Jones Beach State Park. Lifeguards are on duty in the designated swimming areas. Check out Zach’s Bay if you prefer more gentle waves or want an easy spot for children to play.
One of our favorite things about Jones Beach State Park is that it accommodates people with mobility impairments who want to swim. Beach wheelchairs make it possible to access the water.
If you’re looking for adventure while you’re at Jones Beach State Park, then check out the Wild Play Adventure Course. It includes daring feats such as a 40-foot jump, various aerial activities, and zip lines.
5. Coney Island Beach and Boardwalk
Without question, Coney Island is one of the most iconic tourist attractions in the city. The beach stretches almost three miles and it has plenty of sand.
Visitors enjoy hanging out at Coney Island Beach and Boardwalk. You can spend time at nearby zoos, aquariums, and an amusement park.
Conveniences at Coney Island include bathrooms, showers, and snacks. If you’re looking to get active on Coney Island, there’s an area with ball courts where you can play sports.
And, of course, there’s plenty of swimming to be done in the ocean. However, take note that swimming is only permitted when lifeguards are on duty from 10 am to 6 pm daily.
6. Brighton Beach, Brooklyn
Brighton Beach, or Little Odessa, is a popular beach in Brooklyn with an interesting history. Brighton Beach’s heritage stretches back to the 1860s. It was initially a resort area for wealthy NYC residents.
William A. Engeman was one of the key figures in the beach’s development, as he purchased the area for $20,000 in 1868. He named the beach after the resort town of Brighton in England.
One of Brighton Beach’s main attractions is its boardwalk, which is a great place to enjoy a relaxing walk. Many locals love Brighton Beach because it’s usually more laidback and relaxed than Coney Island.
If you’re looking to take a break from the beach, Brighton Bazaar is a supermarket worth visiting. The best part might be the delicious treats like the Russian ice cream referred to as a “cheesecake bar.”
Leashed pets are allowed on Brighton Beach’s boardwalk between 7 am and 10 am. They are welcomed on the sandy part of the beach during the off-season from October to May.
7. Asbury Park, Jersey Shore
Although Asbury Park is located outside of New York, it’s just over an hour from New York City. This small beach town offers a fun, artistic atmosphere and a vibrant music scene. It’s no wonder Asbury Park is linked to the careers of several famous New Jersey musicians including Bruce Springsteen and Asbury Jukes
Surfers, fishers, and sunbathers all love Asbury Park Beach. At the beach, there’s a boardwalk to enjoy beach views.
There are also a variety of restaurants and cafes, so many within walking distance of one another and other popular areas. Feel free to fit in with the locals by wearing your beach gear around town!
If you want to stay overnight in the area, the Ashbury Hotel is a popular choice.
8. Orchard Beach, Bronx County
Orchard Beach and Promenade in the Bronx is the only beach in the area open to the public. It was established in the 1930s, and people called it “The Riviera of New York.” This beach has a 1.1 mile stretch of shore and encompasses 115 acres overall.
Orchard Beach has no shortage of offerings including a promenade with a unique hexagonal shape. There’s also a pavilion, a couple of picnic tables, and two playgrounds. You can also find carts with snacks and souvenirs. For a delicious meal, there are several snack bars and seaside restaurants.
If you’re looking to enjoy sports, you can play a game of handball, volleyball, and basketball. There are also showers and changing areas.
When it comes to swimming at Orchard Beach, there are designated areas. Swimming is allowed when lifeguards are on duty daily between 10 am and 6 pm.
Dogs aren’t allowed onto the promenade or beach between Memorial Day weekend and October 1. Of course, there is an exception for service animals. Orchard Beach and Promenade is on Park Drive in the Bronx.
9. Robert Moses State Park
Robert Moses State Park is located in Babylon, New York south of Fire Island National Seashore. This beach boasts about 5 miles of shoreline and is wildly popular. Close to four million people visit every year!
The history of this state park goes back to 1908 when Robert Moses created Field 3, one of the park’s recreational areas. This state park is in the western area of Fire Island.
Swimming and boogie-boarding are two popular recreational activities anywhere lifeguards are stationed. There are also surfing opportunities and a unique activity known as surf-fishing.
Every swimming area at Robert Moses State Park has private outdoor showers, comfort stations, and first aid offices. The beaches are also wheelchair accessible with special beach chairs available.
Several beach shops and concession stands are located around the area. There are also picnic areas with grills that are a great place to hang out.
10. Cooper’s Beach, Southampton
Cooper’s Beach in Southampton in Long Island is often considered the best of the NYC beaches and even one of the best in the United States. While there is a steep parking fee, many find the beautiful white sands and natural scenery well worth it. This beach is in the famous Hamptons, where everything is top-quality.
This public beach is found on Dune Road. There is a wide range of facilities, including umbrella and chair rentals, concession stands, and a bathhouse. The beach itself is 500 feet long and offers plenty of swimming opportunities and views of stunning mansions.
If you’re going to stay overnight in the area, the Southampton Inn is a convenient choice as it’s very close to the beach. Hamlet Inn is also a great choice nearby.
11. Franklin Delano Roosevelt Boardwalk and Beach, Staten Island
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Boardwalk and Beach is one of the four large beaches in the New York City area and is located on the eastern shore of Staten Island. The beach was established in 1935 and is now known as a perfect hangout spot day or night.
Visitors enjoy this Staten Island beach and boardwalk which are two and a half miles long. There’s plenty of room to walk, sunbathe, and swim. There are also opportunities for fishing, kayaking, and canoeing.
At the beach, you can enjoy refreshments as you stroll. The beach has several different amenities and facilities. There are ball courts, showers, and barbecue areas. There’s also space for picnics.
12. Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn
If you’d like to visit a smaller, tranquil New York City beach, Manhattan Beach in Brooklyn is a great choice. It’s located in a neighborhood and offers a relaxed atmosphere perfect for solo beachgoers and families.
Manhattan Beach is a popular spot for picnics and swimming. Swimming is allowed between 10 am and 6 pm when lifeguards are on duty.
If you’re looking for more, Manhattan Beach may not be the best choice. Fishing and watersports such as kayaking and jet skiing aren’t permitted.
Pets are allowed during the off-season from October to Memorial Day.
13. Fort Tilden Beach, Queens
Fort Tilden Beach is a small, charming beach in Queens that’s connected to a historic military site. It can be reached by car or by public transportation. While there’s a members-only beach club on the premises, Fort Tilden is a public beach from 9 am to 9 pm daily.
Fort Tilden isn’t a beach for swimmers as it’s not permitted since there aren’t any staffed lifeguards. However, it does offer a beautiful ocean view and rich history.
There aren’t many amenities at Fort Tilden Beach, but visitors do enjoy discovering the gun batteries decorated with graffiti and hidden bunkers from a former U.S. army base. There are also select options for dining nearby.
14. Ocean Beach Park
Long Island’s Ocean Beach Park is on Nevada Avenue and features four miles of beachfront along the Atlantic Ocean. There are many reasons why it’s one of the best beaches in New York for a summer vacation.
At the beach, you can find a boardwalk stretching more than two miles. Visitors love to stroll, bike, and even rollerblade on the boardwalk.
Ocean Beach Park also offers several different facilities, including a marina and boat ramp, beach volleyball, a fishing pier, and playgrounds. The ocean also offers waves for surfers to enjoy.
If you visit during the summer, be sure to check out an evening concert for a memorable experience!
15. Wolfe’s Pond Beach, Staten Island
If you’re looking for a hidden gem, Wolfe’s Pond Beach is considered a secret Staten Island treasure. This beach certainly isn’t as large as other beaches on the island, but it’s much less crowded. It’s the best spot for rejuvenation!
Wolfe’s Pond Beach is found on Raritan Bay and stretches from Holton to Cornelia Avenues. It provides a magnificent view of the Atlantic Ocean and is the perfect photo-op.
Safety is a top priority at Wolfe’s Pond Beach. Most activities have designated areas. This includes swimming, jet skiing, kayaking, and fishing. You can swim when lifeguards are on duty, daily from 10 am to 6 pm.
If you’re hoping to have your pet join you, they’re allowed during the off-season from October 1st to Memorial Day.
Enjoy Your Time Beachside
When you’re looking to get away from the city, New York beaches have a lot to offer. Whether you enjoy seclusion or a lively beach town, there’s something for everyone!
We hope you enjoy our list of the best beaches in New York and nearby and find the perfect spot for your next seaside getaway.