Rockaway Beach lifeguard chair in NYC

Best Beaches in Brooklyn (& Beaches Near Brooklyn) Guide

In Brooklyn, Coney Island, Guides, See & Do by KatieLeave a Comment

We all know beating the heat in New York City can be a struggle, but a trip to one of the best beaches in Brooklyn can fix it all.

Although there aren’t many beaches in Brooklyn itself, we’ve also included the beaches near Brooklyn that are easily accessible!

NYC Parks manages and maintains over 14 miles of beaches and we are here to give you the full breakdown of each beach and how to get there, all that’s left for you to do is pick your favorite!

Enjoy this full guide to the best beaches in Brooklyn, one of the many awesome things to do in Brooklyn!

Beaches in Brooklyn

Coney Island Beach & Boardwalk

Coney Island Beach half empty from tourists

We all know and love this beach so this is probably one of the first beaches in Brooklyn that comes to mind.

The iconic Coney Island stretches for nearly three miles of beach and comes with all the amenities for a perfect beach day.

If you plan on spending your day mostly in the water or on the sand, lifeguards are on duty from 10 AM to 6 PM. Swimming outside this timeframe is strictly prohibited, so pay attention to your watch!

Visitors have access to Riegelmann Boardwalk, which is full of places to eat, shops, games, and more, as well as Luna Park for all your amusement park needs! And of course, Nathan’s Famous Hotdogs are almost a must.

Be sure to read our entire guide to all the best things to do in Coney Island and some of the best Coney Island Instagram spots to pack all the fun and action in during your visit!

How to get to Coney Island Beach & Boardwalk:

By public transport:

Directions to Coney Island is pretty straightforward, especially if you’re traveling by subway, which is always my preferred type of transportation!

Once you’re able to find one of the D, F, N, or Q trains, the ride will be a straight shot to your final destination, which is Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue station. Traveling by subway will also always be the most affordable option since a single ride is $2.75 and there are no additional fees for transferring.

When traveling from Downtown Brooklyn, getting to Coney Island will most likely take around 30 minutes, so plan accordingly!

By car:

We all know traveling by car in New York City can be difficult and the streets can be cluttered with commuters, so times getting to Coney Island can vary.

From Downtown Brooklyn, for this estimated 14-mile drive, you may get on the I-278 W, then merge onto the Belt Parkway E. From here you will take exit 6 onto Crospey Avenue in Coney Island. This drive can range from 30-45 minutes and make sure to factor in the time of day, day of the week, and route you choose when calculating your travel time!

Once you arrive, there will be multiple options for parking!

Brighton Beach

Brighton Beach in Brooklyn with Coney Island in the backdrop Another one of the great beaches in Brooklyn is Brighton Beach and it happens to be bounded by Coney Island.

Brighton Beach is a predominantly Russian neighborhood in the southern part of Brooklyn. Brighton Beach was nicknamed, “Little Odessa,” after a city in Ukraine due to all of the Jewish immigrants from Russia and Ukraine that began to settle here as early as the 1930s into the mid-1970s.

A short distance from the popular Coney Island, Brighton Beach is a little more relaxed than it’s neighbor. So if you’re looking to spend most of your day on the sand, this is your beach! Feel free to swim from 10 AM to 6 PM, while lifeguards are on duty.

You can take advantage of their bike and skate path from 5 AM to 10 AM. You can also surf here.

Brighton Beach gives New Yorkers and visitors an opportunity to see a whole new world. Each place in New York offers its own little history lesson.

Here you can find a mostly Russian-speaking community with a sense of togetherness and family. Brighton Beach is a calm and soothing neighborhood that can be a lovely escape for New Yorkers.

There are many markets and food spots to check out in Little Odessa and its nightlife is something worth experiencing during your visit. Tatiana’s Restaurant and Nightclub, for example, is known for an intimate and sexy ambiance for its guests.

This is one of the beaches in Brooklyn that has way more than meets the eye. Find out for yourself!

How to get to Brighton Beach

By public transport:

From Downtown Brooklyn, board the Brooklyn-bound Q or B train at Dekalb Avenue. Take this train for 16 stops, which estimated 35 minute ride, to Brighton Beach Avenue.

By car:

Getting to Brighton Beach from Downtown Brooklyn by car could take as little as 30 minutes. Merge onto the BQE, then merge onto Belt Parkway East and take exit 8 toward Coney Island Avenue. The drive is an estimated 14-mile drive and travel time may vary!

Manhattan Beach

 

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Another one of the best beaches in Brooklyn is Manhattan Beach! We often think of Coney Island first when it comes to beaches in Brooklyn, but Manhattan Beach is a very popular spot in the summertime! It’s a small and family-friendly beach that is just east of Brighton Beach!

This is the place you want to go if you’re looking for an active and fun day in the sun. Manhattan Beach has everything from barbecuing and picnic areas to sports courts to baseball fields and playgrounds, which makes for a fantastic outing with friends or family.

They have a skate and bike path, which can be used from 5 AM to 10 AM. They also offer public restrooms.

How to Get to Manhattan Beach

By public transport:

Getting to Manhattan Beach by subway is pretty straightforward even though it will require some walking once you arrive.

Board the B train at Dekalb Avenue in Downtown Brooklyn and take it for 7 stops to Sheepshead Bay. From there, it’s an estimated 19 minute walk to Manhattan Beach and your total travel time should be about 55 minutes.

By car:

Just like all beaches in Brooklyn, the most efficient way to get to Manhattan Beach is via the BQE then taking the Belt Parkway East toward Queens. Take exit 8 toward Coney Island and eventually find your way onto Ocean Avenue.

Make sure you take into consideration that parking is only $7 Monday-Friday and $22 on weekends and holidays!

Rockaway Beach & Boardwalk

lifeguard chair through the grass at Rockaway BeachAnother one of the beaches near Brooklyn is Rockaway Beach in Queens, which was once referred to as the “Irish Riviera,” for its large Irish American population! Like we mentioned before, there are so many different cultures to learn from right here in Brooklyn! Each place is unique with its own story.

Another awesome thing about Rockaway Beach is that it is actually the largest urban beach in the United States, it stretches across 150 blocks!

Keep in mind since the beach spans so much of the Atlantic Ocean, markets, concession stands, restrooms, and much more can be quite spread out.

This beach is full of action-packed activities for friends and family outings! As far as the beach goes, visitors can surf and swim here! Swimming is only allowed when lifeguards are on duty from 10 AM to 6 PM.

Additional activities include the bicycle and skate path along the boardwalk, multiple playgrounds, a variety of sports courts, and more.

After a day in the sun, there’s plenty of places to grab a refreshing cocktail or grab a bite to eat.

How to Get to Rockaway Beach & Boardwalk

By public transport:

When traveling by subway to Rockaway Beach from Downtown Brooklyn, board the A train at Jay Street MetroTech station. You will take it for 12 stops and get off at Broad Channel. After this, you will transfer to the Rockaway Park Shuttle train for 1 stop to get off at Beach 90 St. Then a short walk and you should be there! Total travel time to Rockaway will be around an hour.

The easiest and most popular way to get to this beach near Brooklyn though is via the NYC Ferry service. Depending on your starting point it might make sense to go to Lower Manhattan at Pier 11 Wall Street or go to Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park for an easy breezy, scenic ride to the Rockaways.

Once you get dropped off at the Rockaways, you have about a 10-minute walk to the beach.

By car:

Merge onto the I-278 W, then take exit 22 to merge onto the Belt Parkway E toward Queens. After 11 miles, take exit 11S onto Flatbush Avenue South toward Rockaways. Keep your directions handy for after you exit!

There are multiple free parking lots from Beach 11th to Beach 15th Street as well as Beach 95th Street. There is also free street parking.

Jacob Riis Beach & Boardwalk

Jacob Riis Beach near BrooklynJacob Riis Beach, also known as, “The People’s Beach,” is one of the awesome beaches near Brooklyn. Located in Queens, this beach was named after a journalist and photographer who advocated for the creation of this park.

Unlike all of our other beaches on this list, Jacob Riis is run by the National Park Services but a lot of the guidelines are similar to other our beaches near Brooklyn. Swimming is permitted when lifeguards are on duty daily 10 AM-6 PM from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day.

This is definitely the beach you want to go to if you’re looking for a day to escape the city. It is only a mile long and just west of the Rockaways that often isn’t too crowded.

Something interesting you might want to factor in before deciding to visit Jacob Riis is that it’s considered an unofficial “nude” beach. Although men and women wear bottoms, it’s normal to see topless bathers.

If you visit Jacob Riis, it has everything you’ll need for a fantastic day on the sand. They have multiple concession stands, public restrooms, vendors with beach day necessities, and even Riis Park Beach Bazaar where you can rent chairs and umbrellas.

How to Get to Jacob Riis Beach & Boardwalk

By public transport:

Getting to Jacob Riis by public transport will require a bus transfer.

First, board the 2 train at Borough Hall and take it for 14 stops, getting off at Flatbush Av-Brooklyn College. Walk to the Avenue H and Flatbush Avenue stop and take the Q35 bus for 9 stops. You’ll get off at Marine Parkway and Rockaway Point Blvd and walk a short 5 minutes to arrive at Jacob Riis!

Total travel time will usually be just over an hour.

By car:

Since Jacob Riis is practically apart of the Rockaways, the directions are very similar!

Merge onto the I-278 W, then take exit 22 to merge onto the Belt Parkway E toward Queens. After 11 miles, take exit 11S onto Flatbush Avenue South toward Rockaways. Then follow Flatbush Avenue south to Marine Parkway Bridge toll plaza and once you cross the bridge follow signs for parking!

This drive can take anywhere from 30-45 minutes and keep in mind that tolls are required!

Orchard Beach & Promenade

Home to the only public beach in the Bronx, Orchard Beach is one of the great beaches near Brooklyn. It’s a 1.1 mile-long beach that includes a couple of playgrounds, picnic areas, barbecue stations, sports courts, and more!

Orchard Beach is apart of the Pelham Bay Park and is sometimes referred to as, “The Riviera of New York.” It’s a great place for a day out with the family or for a get together with some friends.

Take advantage of the Promenade for a lovely walk and stop into some of the shops along the way.

Just like all other New York City beaches, beachgoers may swim only while lifeguards are on duty, from 10 AM to 6 PM.

How to Get to Orchard Beach

By public transport:

Getting to Orchard Beach by public transport can be a long journey, but totally worth it to see the only public beach in the Bronx.

Board the Manhattan-bound 4 train at either Nevins St or Borough Hall for 9 stops, getting off at 125 St. From there, transfer to the Bronx-bound 6 train for 18 stops to Pelham Bay Park. And that’s it for the subway!

You’ll exit and take a 2 minute walk to the Amendola Place & Westchester Avenue stop for the Bx12 Bus. Ride for 4 stops to Orchard Beach!

Your total travel time to get to Orchard Beach will be around an hour and a half!

If traveling by public transport there and back seems like too much, there’s always the rideshare option! It can cost around $70 to get back to Downtown Brooklyn from Orchard Beach.

By car:

Sometimes getting to other boroughs by car seems difficult, but luckily this is one of the beaches near Brooklyn that is closer than it seems!

Orchard Beach is an estimated 22 miles away from Downtown Brooklyn but can take just over 30 minutes to get there!

Find your way onto the I-278 E, then merge onto the Brooklyn Queens Expressway, and a few miles later, merge onto the I-678 East. You’ll continue onto Hutchinson River Parkway North and then take exit 5 toward Orchard Beach.

It may seem complicated, but just have your directions handy!

Visitors can expect to pay anywhere from $8-13 on parking depending on the day!

What to Bring to Beaches in Brooklyn

Jacob Riis Beach and Boardwalk in Queens

Don’t show up to these beaches in Brooklyn empty-handed or underprepared. Here are some beach essentials you’re going to want to bring with you to your Brooklyn beach!

Sunscreen Don’t you dare forget to pack sunscreen! We prefer mineral-based and environmentally friendly brands like ThinkSport. Their application is easy and it doesn’t leave a white residue behind like other enviro-friendly brands.

Beach Umbrella – We highly recommend bringing a compact and easy to carry around an umbrella for your visit to your beach in Brooklyn. There are some great options, like this one, that come with an easy to carry design making it a breeze to get it to your beach even if you’re taking public transportation!

Portable Beach Chairs or Sand Free Beach Blanket You’re going to want something to sit on all day! We highly recommend getting portable beach chairs that aren’t too bulky to bring with you or a great sand free beach blanket.

Quick Drying Beach Towel – We love these quick-drying and lightweight Turkish beach towels, not only are they easy to throw in your backpack bc they are lightweight and don’t take up too much space, but they dry alot quicker than your average beach towel. If you want to be super minimalist, this is also great to double your use as a beach blanket too.

Portable Bluetooth Speaker – You’re going to regret showing up to any of the beaches in Brooklyn without having something to play music. We recommend getting this portable Bluetooth speaker for all your music on the go needs!

Vacuum Insulated Water Bottle – Don’t come to any of the beaches in Brooklyn without proper hydration! We recommend getting a vacuum insulated water bottle that is not only refillable and environmentally friendly to reduce plastic use, but it keeps your drink cold!

Cooler Backpack or Cooler Bag – Keep your drinks, snacks, and anything you want to bring cool with these awesome portable cooler backpack or cooler shoulder bag. These are perfect for picnics in all the parks in Brooklyn too! Don’t forget freezer ice packs too!


Enjoyed this guide to the best beaches in Brooklyn and the best beaches near Brooklyn? Be sure to bookmark for later or share the love on Pinterest below!

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