Did you know there are incredible beaches in NYC? Yep, and there are also many New York beaches nearby that make for a great day trip, some of which are connected by public transportation meaning you don’t even need a car to have an epic NYC beach day!
It’s funny because New York City may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking about beaches, but the city is home to a surprising number of sandy shores. From secluded stretches of sand to bustling boardwalks, there are plenty of options for sun-seekers looking for a little taste of paradise within the five boroughs.
Whether you’re a local or just visiting, here are some of the best beaches in New York City that offer everything from stunning views and great amenities to fun activities and delicious food. So pack your sunscreen, grab your beach towel, and get ready to soak up some rays!
This guide will cover an overview of each of these beaches within the 5 boroughs and the few featured that are near NYC, how to get there, and what they offer.
Also, be sure to check out our guide to the best beaches in Brooklyn to help you pick where to lounge in the sand and sun during your time in the city!
From Surfing to Swimming, Here are NYC’s Best Beaches For Every Kind of Beach Seeker
1. Coney Island
Welcome to Coney Island Beach, the most famous of beaches in New York City where the sand is hot and the fun never stops! This historic NYC beach is located in South Brooklyn and has been a popular destination for over a century.
So grab your sunscreen and let’s dive into what makes this beach so iconic. First things first, let’s talk about the boardwalk. It’s like a runway for people watching. You’ll see all kinds of characters on Riegelmann Boardwalk, everything from families with strollers to people cruising on a retro bike or a large boom box.
Don’t be surprised if you spot someone dressed up as a mermaid – it’s all part of the charm! In fact, each year Coney Island hosts the annual Mermaid Parade where everyone is encouraged to dress up as their favorite under-the-sea character.
Now onto the real reason we’re here: the beach itself. With almost three miles of sandy shoreline, there are plenty of spots to park your towel and soak up some rays. But don’t forget to take a dip in the Atlanic Ocean too! If you’re feeling brave, hop on one of the amusement park rides nearby before heading back to your towel.
Speaking of amusement parks, Coney Island is home to some pretty famous ones – Luna Park and Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park are two of the top things to do in Coney Island. From roller coasters to carnival games, there’s something for everyone at these classic attractions.
If you’re looking for something more low-key (or have had enough excitement on those thrill rides), take a stroll down Surf Avenue for some shopping and eats. The Nathan’s Famous hot dog stand has been serving up their world-famous dogs since 1916 – be sure not to miss out on that iconic flavor!
In the summer months, you can expect that Coney Island attracts flocks of crowds for not only beachgoers but those enjoying a day at one of the most historic amusement parks and boardwalks in the country.
Along the boardwalk you can find public restrooms, plenty of places to eat, entertainment, and convenience to public transportation – which is why this is one of our favorite NYC beaches, you have everything here!
From 10 AM to 6 PM, you can expect to find seasonal lifeguards on duty. Keep in mind that swimming during any other hours is prohibited!
Be sure to explore our entire guide for how to get to Coney Island to make planning your visit to this NYC beach a breeze. Also, don’t miss our favorite Coney Island hidden gems while you’re there too!
Getting to Coney Island Beach:
You can take the D, F, N, or Q train straight from Manhattan to the Coney Island – Stillwell Ave subway station, you can also get off at Neptune Ave or Ocean Parkway Stations depending on what part of the beach you’re trying to go to.
Taking the subway is one of the fastest and most affordable options, costing only $2.90 each way and taking around 30 minutes to an hour at most if you’re coming from Brooklyn.
If you want to venture out to Coney Island by car, you can expect the ride to last around 30-45 minutes if you’re coming from Brooklyn. The most popular way to get to Coney Island is to take I-278 W and then onto Belt Parkway E. Then, most people take exit 6 on Crospey Avenue in Coney Island!
Keep in mind you’ll want to come early if you want to snag a prime parking spot during a summer day. Once you get to Coney Island, there will be many places to park depending on where you want to start out your adventure!
2. Rockaway Beach
Rockaway Beach is a beautiful beach in the southernmost part of Queens that NYC residents love to visit throughout the year. This long stretch fo sandy beach stretches for over 5 miles and offers a 5.5-mile boardwalk that’s great for anyone looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
Once you arrive, you’ll be greeted by an array of food trucks serving up delicious tacos, hot dogs, Italian ice, and more. As you walk towards the boardwalk, take in the sights and sounds around you. The smell of sunscreen mixed with salty ocean air will make you feel like you’re on vacation.
And let’s not forget about the waves! Surfers flock to Rockaway Beach for its consistent waves making it one of the best beaches in NYC for surfing. So if surfing is your thing, bring your board along!
The beach itself has everything you need for a fun day out – seasonal lifeguards keep watch over swimmers, volleyball nets are set up for friendly games and there are plenty of spots to lay down your towel or rent chairs from local vendors. Oh, and there are public restrooms.
But wait – there’s more! If beach lounging all day isn’t quite your style or if you need a break from all that sunshine (we get it), explore nearby neighborhoods such as Far Rockaway or Arverne, both on the Rockaway Peninsula.
These areas have been revitalized in recent years with new restaurants popping up left and right – hello seafood galore!
This is also one of the best NYC beaches for people who don’t want to travel too far as it’s an easy commute via the ferry service or subway from the city.
Getting to Rockaway Beach:
Getting to Rockaway beach from Manhattan is quite easy by subway! First, you’ll take the A train to Broad Channel. Then, you’ll transfer to the S and stop at Rockaway Park-Beach 116th Street. From there, the beach will be a short walk away!
You can also take the ferry service from Pier 11 in Lower Manhattan or Brooklyn Army Terminal in Red Hook, Brooklyn, which takes about an hour if you’re departing from Manhattan and 15 minutes less if you’re boarding in Brooklyn, you can see the time table here.
If you want to get to Rockaway Beach by car, you can expect the drive to take around 40-50 minutes from Brooklyn or Manhattan. The most popular route is via the I-495 E, which is the straightest way to get there. Unlike other beaches in NYC, getting to the Rockaways won’t take long if you’re a local!
3. The People’s Beach at Jacob Riis Park
The People’s Beach at Jacob Riis Park is a National Parks Service Beach that offers many concessions, ball courts, and great views. This is one of the best beaches near NYC for people who are looking for a gorgeous, quiet beach to relax at.
Seasonal lifeguards are on duty between Memorial Day and Labor Day from 10 AM – 6 PM. However, the beach and park are open from 6 AM – 9 PM every day. From Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day, parking is $10 per day. At other times, parking is free.
Once you’re at the beach, you can expect to find restrooms, outdoor showers, a playground, and food services with a nice beer garden area you can get a nice refreshing brew to cool you off on those hot summer days.
Getting to the People’s Beach at Jacob Riis Park:
If you want to take a day trip to The People’s Beach at Jacob Riis Park, you can take the 2 train to Flatbush Avenue. From there, you can transfer to the Q35 bus. After the bridge, you can stop at Jacob Riis and get off right inside the park on the beach!
It’s also easy to use a rideshare app to the beach, but we will warn you that it gets tricky to get a rideshare app driver to come pick you up when you’re ready to leave. We do not recommend this option, instead we recommend using the bus or coming when you have a car yourself.
If you want to drive to Jacob Riis Beach from NYC, you can expect the journey to take about 45 minutes. The most straightforward route is via Belt Pkwy.
4. Midland Beach
Midland Beach is a neighborhood in Staten Island that shares the Franklin D. Roosevelt boardwalk with South Beach! However, Midland Beach is the more popular beach of the two and one of the best NYC beaches to check out with great views of the Verazzano Narrows Bridge!
Enjoy volleyball courts, long stretches of sandy beaches, playgrounds, shuffleboard, and the boardwalk with those bridge views! During the summer months, you can expect a lifeguard on duty making it one of the great family-friendly New York beaches.
Midland Beach has all the amenities you need for a fun and comfortable beach day. There are restrooms, showers, and changing rooms available for use too.
Aside from swimming and sunbathing, there are other attractions at Midland Beach worth checking out. The Franklin D. Roosevelt Boardwalk and Beach offers scenic views of the ocean while walking or cycling along its three-mile stretch. You can also visit South Beach Park nearby for more outdoor activities such as fishing or playing basketball.
At Midland Beach, you can expect to find a few concession and food options near the beach, but you’re also close to many great restaurants, including Jac Mao and Violette’s Cellar.
Every Wednesday, there are fireworks by the boardwalk, making it a great place to walk off dinner or go for an evening bike ride!
Midland Beach is one of the most family-friendly beaches near NYC since it offers many free parking options, grassy areas, and playgrounds all year long.
Getting to Midland Beach:
The easiest way to get there from Manhattan is by taking the Staten Island Ferry from Whitehall Terminal in Lower Manhattan. Once on Staten Island, take the S51 bus to Midland Avenue and Lincoln Avenue.
Taking the subway from Manhattan to Midland Beach is an easy trip that won’t take longer than one hour. Simply take the SIM6 bus the entire way through until you hit the final destination!
Going to Midland Beach from Lower Manhattan or Brooklyn by car typically takes around 45 minutes since it’s a 17-mile drive. The most straightforward route is to take the I-278 W and the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge until you reach Midland Beach! This is one of the best beaches in NYC for people who want to take a day trip!
5. Main Beach (East Hampton)
Hamptons, Long Island
Some of the best beaches near NYC can be found in the Hamptons on Long Island, as a matter of fact, there are plenty of incredible Hamptons beaches to check out and it’s even possible a day trip to the Hamptons from the city if you don’t have the time or budget to spend a long holiday on a Hamptons getaway.
The most popular thing to do in East Hampton is to visit Main Beach. In fact, some people even like to visit Main Beach from NYC! Keep in mind that if you want to spend all day at Main Beach, it’s best to leave the city in early the morning so that you have ample time once you arrive and can start thinking about heading back late afternoon or early evening if you want to stick around for dinner.
Once you’re at Main Beach, you can expect to find showers, bathrooms, changing rooms, and over 50 restaurants within just a few miles! There are also plenty of parking options and lifeguards on duty during the peak summer season.
Getting to Main Beach in East Hampton:
Driving to Main Beach in East Hampton from Manhattan or Brooklyn will take approximately 3 hours total since this beach is on the Eastern end of Long Island.
The most popular way to get to Main Beach from the city is to take the I-495 E. Keep in mind on weekends you might sit in more traffic, so taking the train might be a better option and you can just go to the beach and not worry about parking, traffic, or a car.
If you’d rather take public transportation to Main Beach instead of driving, the LIRR and Hampton Jitney are the best options. The Hampton Jitney goes to Main Beach from Manhattan more often than the LIRR and takes about 3 hours total, be sure to check our full guide on how get from NYC to the Hamptons for all the best options.
Taking the LIRR is a great way to get to Main Beach. However, be sure to check the schedule online and buy tickets ahead of time so you know when the LIRR will be leaving. Once you buy tickets, the LIRR will take you from Penn Station all the way to East Hampton! From there, Main Beach will be a quick walk.
Besides being one of the best beaches near NYC, Main Beach in East Hampton has been named one of the top beaches on the East Coast.
6. Orchard Beach
Orchard Beach is a popular NYC beach in the Bronx that offers a long boardwalk and various courts to play basketball and volleyball and is the only NYC beach in the Bronx to check out! One of the biggest draws of Orchard Beach is its stunning shoreline. With a mile of golden sand stretching out before you, it’s easy to spend hours lounging on the beach or taking a refreshing dip in the ocean.
Located on the Long Island Sound and Pelham Bay Park with a view of City Island, Orchard Beach is also nearby many lodging areas and restaurants! This is one of the best beaches in NYC for locals who want a quick escape from the city and don’t need to travel too far (depending on where you’re leaving from that is).
Of the beaches in NYC to choose from, Orchard Beach is considered the “Riveria of NYC,” according to NYC’s tourism page.
Keep in mind that this beach is not pet friendly and when it’s not summertime, there are no lifeguards on duty and it’s prohibited to swim in the beach without a lifeguard present. In the peak summer season, lifeguards are on duty from 10 AM to 6 PM, keep in mind that the beach closes by 7 PM.
Whether you’re looking to play some volleyball with friends or take a leisurely bike ride along the boardwalk, there are plenty of activities to keep you entertained at Orchard Beach. There’s even a playground area for kids making it one of the best New York beaches for families.
Orchard Beach makes it easy to enjoy your day by providing convenient amenities like public restrooms, showers, and changing areas. Plus, there are plenty of vendors selling everything from sunscreen and beach toys to cold drinks and snacks. And there are great restaurant options nearby too.
Finally, one thing not to miss at Orchard Beach is its famous bathhouse. Built in 1936 as part of FDR’s New Deal program, this Art Deco masterpiece features stunning murals depicting scenes from Bronx history and culture.
Getting to Orchard Beach:
If you want to visit Orchard Beach in the Bronx from Manhattan, you can expect the drive to take no longer than an hour from downtown Manhattan and around 45 minutes if you’re coming from Midtown or Brooklyn. The most popular route to take is FDR Dr. and I-278 E the entire way.
There is a small fee for parking which varies from weekday to weekend, expect to pay anywhere from $8-$15 depending on the day you go.
You can also take the 6 train from Manhattan to this beach the entire way through if you’re looking for a cheaper way to travel. Another option is to take the BX29 and Q50 buses until you get there!
If you live in the Bronx, BX12 local buses serve the beach and there are many shuttles to take that operate between Orchard Beach and The Pelham Bay Park 6 Station.
If you have time, be sure to explore Pelham Bay Park while you’re here as it’s one of the best parks in NYC!
7. Manhattan Beach
Manhattan Beach is a picturesque, residential neighborhood in Brooklyn that is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean and just east of Brighton Beach, another popular New York beach.
Manhattan Beach is truly a hidden gem that is relatively quiet compared to other popular beaches in the New York City and provides a peaceful retreat and respite from the city. Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly day out or a romantic escape, Manhattan Beach is definitely worth checking out.
Manhattan Beach Park is one of the most popular destinations in the area. At this park, you can find a long boardwalk, concession stands, and the beach that is open for swimming in the summer!
You can take leisurely walks along the boardwalk while soaking up breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean. The beach is also ideal for swimming and sunbathing, with plenty of space to spread out and relax.
You can find public restrooms at the beach, which is great if you plan on spending an entire day at this popular New York beach!
For those who love outdoor activities, there are plenty of options available at Manhattan Beach. You can rent bikes and ride along the bike path that runs parallel to the beach, or try your hand at fishing on one of the piers located nearby.
If you’re feeling peckish after all your outdoor adventures, there are several dining options available at Manhattan Beach for all tastes and budgets. From casual eateries serving burgers and fries to upscale restaurants offering fresh seafood dishes, there’s something for everyone.
Getting to Manhattan Beach:
If you’re driving from Manhattan to Manhattan Beach, you can expect the drive to be around 45 minutes to an hour-long, depending on how far uptown you’re located. The most popular route is to take Ocean Pkwy the whole way through.
Keep in mind that parking is $7 per day on weekdays and $22 per day on weekends and holidays. Also, the parking lot is only open during the summer season. However, there are many beaches and parks nearby that offer parking as well!
If you want to take the subway to Manhattan Beach, you can take the Q train without having to transfer! This is one of the best beaches in NYC for people who don’t want to travel too far from the city.
8. Long Beach
Long Beach is a city and beach in Nassau County that makes up the South Shore in Long Island and is another place to find some of the most popular New York beaches for a gorgeous summer day trip from the city.
At Long Beach, you can expect to find a lively boardwalk, a city beach playground, and Ocean Beach Park. And if you’re wanting to get a breeze, you can rent bicycles here too.
Ocean Beach Park is one of the most sought-after beaches near NYC in Long Beach. This lively area contains a long boardwalk with many different food options and events like outdoor movie nights!
Feeling adventurous? Try your hand at surfing with Skudin Surf Lessons! They offer lessons for all skill levels and ages.
Long Beach has no shortage of delicious places to eat too. Grab brunch at Jetty Bar & Grill or try some lunch at Swingbellys BBQ. As the sun sets, head to one of Long Beach’s bars for drinks and live music if you want to continue the fun after a day in the sun. Check out The Inn or Minnesota’s for a lively atmosphere.
This beach also has seasonal lifeguards on duty, making it a great place for families with younger children typically from Memorial Day through Labor Day from 9 AM to 6 PM.
Getting to Long Beach:
If you want to travel from Manhattan to Long Beach Island, you have a few options. One of the cheapest options is to take the line 559 bus. You can also take the Parkway Express bus to Forked River and then go to the beach from there.
Hop on the LIRR from Penn Station and take the train to Long Beach station. The ride is about an hour, but trust us – it’s worth it.
If you want to drive to Long Beach from NYC, you can expect the drive to last around 90 minutes. The fastest way to get to Long Beach from NYC is to take the Garden State Pkwy the entire way through.
9. Asbury Park
Jersey Shore, New Jersey
Located on the Jersey Shore of New Jersey is another popular beach near NYC that makes for a great day trip or even weekend trip. Located just 90 minutes away, this beach offers a perfect blend of sun, a beautiful sandy shoreline, and a great beachfront boardwalk that makes a great American beach escape!
Once you arrive in Asbury Park, you’ll find yourself in a vibrant seaside town with plenty to explore. The boardwalk is lined with shops, restaurants, and bars that offer everything from fresh seafood to craft beer.
But the real draw here is the beach itself. With miles of soft sand and rolling waves, it’s the perfect place to relax and soak up some sun. Whether you’re looking to swim or just catch some rays, there’s plenty of space for everyone.
And if you’re looking for something more active than lounging on the beach, there are plenty of activities available as well. You can rent bikes or kayaks right on the beach or try your hand at surfing at one of the local surf schools.
Asbury Park is home to the Stone Pony live music venue and The Silverball Museum’s arcade games, making it a great place for large groups, families with children, and people who are celebrating a special event!
There are also many hotels and other beaches nearby, making it a great area to stay for more than just a day and one of the best getaways and beaches near New York City for everyone.
Getting to Asbury Park:
Driving from Manhattan to Asbury Park typically takes around 2.5 hours. The quickest way to get there from Manhattan is to take the I-95 S and Garden State Pkwy!
Getting there from Manhattan using public transit couldn’t be easier. You can take the NJ Transit train Penn Station and hop on the North Jersey Coast Line train toward Bayhead. Eventually, you’ll stop at Asbury Park! This train typically takes around 1 hour and 45 minutes, making it both a cheaper and faster option than driving.
10. Brighton Beach
Another one of the best New York beaches in Brooklyn tucked on the shoreline between Coney Island beach and Manhattan Beach is Brighton Beach.
Brighton Beach is famous for being a Russian enclave of the city and you can feel the influences from Russia here from the restaurants along the boardwalk and shops you’ll find on your way to or from this NYC beach.
One of the highlights of Brighton Beach is its boardwalk, which spans 2.7 miles connecting to Coney Island, you know the first and most famous beach in New York on this list. The boardwalk is perfect for taking a leisurely stroll, jogging or cycling while enjoying the fresh sea breeze.
For those who love sunbathing and swimming, there are ample places to pick a spot on the sand with views of the Coney Island rides in the near distance. There are lifeguards on duty during peak season so you can swim safely.\
There’s no shortage of delicious food options in Brighton Beach either. You’ll find everything from traditional Russian cuisine to street food vendors serving up crispy falafels or hot dogs with sauerkraut.
Getting to Brighton Beach:
Driving to Brighton Beach from Manhattan typically takes around 45 minutes. The most popular way to get there is via Ocean Pkwy. However, you can also take the I-278 W onto Belt Pkwy if you’re not in a hurry.
If you want to visit Brighton Beach by taking the subway down from Manhattan or even from Brooklyn, you have a few options. The two quickest options are to either take the F and then the B or to take the L and then the Q. Both will get you to Brighton Beach from lower Manhattan in just over an hour. You can also take the B train straight from the East Village!
11. South Beach
Briefly mentioned earlier on this guide to New York beaches and close to Midland Beach is South Beach. In fact, the two beaches share the same 2.5 mile boardwalk. South Beach is a beach in Staten Island that is located on the East Shore, which is directly south of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge.
Enjoy a day on the beautiful sandy stretch of beach, walk along the FDR boardwalk, or hop between Midland Beach and South Beach to switch things up since both of these NYC beaches are adjacent to one another.
Along the boardwalk, you’ll find plenty of food vendors if you’re hungry selling everything from hot dogs to ice cream. This is also a great family-friendly beach in New York too as there are playgrounds on the beach.
Be sure to catch a view of the Lower Bay from the Ocean Breeze Fishing Pier while you’re here too. And if you’re into fishing, you can enjoy that here too.
Getting to South Beach:
Unlike other NYC beaches, driving to South Beach from Manhattan will only take around 30 minutes if you take the I-278 W the entire way through.
You can also take the Staten Island Ferry from Manhattan’s Whitehall Terminal to St. George Terminal on Staten Island. From there, you can catch the S51 bus, which will take you directly to South Beach.
Taking public transportation with a combo of the subway and bus will take longer but is doable, take the subway to Brooklyn’s Bay Ridge-95th Street station and then transfer onto the S53 bus, which will also take you straight to South Beach.
12. Sandy Hook
Jersey Shore, New Jersey
Another one of the best beaches near NYC and a relaxing day trip from the city is Sandy Hook beach located just 45 miles south of the city. This beach offers a pristine coastline and plenty of activities for visitors of all ages.
This beach is open to visit year-round and is more lively during the summer season when lifeguards are on duty and the water is very mellow here making it a great beach near NYC for families or less experienced swimmers.
Sandy Hook Beach is in Gateway National Park and is popular not only for a great New York beach day but also attracts surfers, winder surfers, hikers, bird watchers, and people looking for a great place to picnic along the waterfront.
After working up an appetite in the water (or simply lounging on the sand), head over to one of several beachside eateries where you can grab everything from hot dogs and hamburgers to seafood platters and fresh salads. There are also public restrooms here too.
Finally before heading back home make sure not miss out on some amazing scenic views that include the historic Sandy Hook Lighthouse which dates back over 250 years!
Getting to Sandy Hook:
Driving to Sandy Hook Beach from lower Manhattan will take no more than 40 minutes if you take the I-278 W to the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge.
The easiest and most scenic way to get to this New York beach is via ferry. There are daily ferries that operate from Manhattan that take you directly to Sandy Hook in 35 minutes using the Seastreak Ferry making it very convenient for city folks to get out to this beach near NYC.
13. Fort Tilden Beach
Fort Tilden Beach is a beach in Queens at Breezy Point located near The People’s Beach at Jacob Riis mentioned earlier on this guide to the best New York beaches!
Located in the Gateway National Recreation Area, Fort Tilden Beach is also on the National Register of Historic Places at the site of a former military base used during World War II, Fort Tilden has since been repurposed into a public park with stunning beaches and natural habitats.
Whether you’re looking to sunbathe, swim, surf, or birdwatch, there’s something for everyone at Fort Tilden Beach. The park also boasts hiking trails and picnic areas for those who want to take in the scenery. Plus, the beach is surrounded by dunes that provide shelter for various species of birds and other wildlife.
Although it may not be as developed as some other New York City beaches, visitors can still find restrooms. Nearby Fort Tilden Beach is Jacob Riis Beach.
Getting to Fort Tilden Beach:
Going to Fort Tilden Beach from Manhattan won’t take more than an hour if you take the Belt Pkwy the entire way through if you’re driving your own car.
You can also take a bus and subway combo, like the Q22 train, that stops at Rockaway Point. From there, you can cross the Gil Hodges bridge and head to the beach! No matter how you get to Fort Tilden, most subways and buses stop just a few minutes away from the shoreline.
Getting to this NYC beach via rideshare is much easier than leaving, we don’t recommend this option unless you’re prepared to take the bus back as it’s hard to get a driver to come to pick you up all the way out here since you’re in a bit of a remote area of the city.
14. Robert Moses State Park
Fire Island, Long Island
Robert Moses State Park is a famous state park located on Fire Island, at Long Island, New York. This 875-acre state park is in the southern part of Suffolk County and on the western end of Fire Island. With over five miles of shoreline to enjoy, this state park offers great views making it one of the most popular beaches near NYC to visit!
Robert Moses State Park Beach is well-equipped with all the amenities you need for a fun day out in the sun. You’ll find restrooms, showers, picnic areas, concession stands, and seasonal lifeguards on duty.
With almost 4 million annual visitors, this state park is a must-see. Not only do visitors love to swim in this beach, but surfing, boogie boarding, and fishing is also quite popular. This beach also has a Pitch & Putt Golf Course, Water Tower, and a spacious gazebo that operates on a first-come, first-serve basis.
If you want to explore beyond the beach, take advantage of the park’s nature trails that wind through dunes and marshes along Fire Island’s western shore.
For an added bonus during your visit, take a tour of the nearby Fire Island Lighthouse – it’s only a few miles away!
Getting to Robert Moses State Park:
Driving to Robert Moses State Park by car won’t take more than 90 minutes. You can take the I-495 E or the Southern State Pkwy the entire way through, keep in mind that Fire Island isn’t exactly car-friendly, which is great when you’re just trying to enjoy the beach. You’ll need to park at one of the paid lots at the state park.
You can also come to Robert Moses State Park from the Babylon train station with a quick bus connection after, which is what we recommend!
15. Jones Beach
Jones Beach is a beach and state park located in Long Island and is one of the best beaches near NYC with over 6.5 miles of white, sandy shoreline, and oceanfront views!
With over 6 million annual visitors, Jones Beach is estimated to be not only one of the most popular beaches near NYC but on the East Coast!
Once you’re here you’ll want to take a stroll on the beachfront boardwalk, swim, sunbathe, and during the summer, you can enjoy concerts at Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater at their summer concert series.
At Field 4, you can find great beach amenities like outdoor showers, changing rooms, and concessions stands which makes it a very family-friendly beach near NYC.
Getting to Jones Beach:
Driving to Jones Beach will take just over an hour if you’re coming from Lower Manhattan and miss out on any traffic. The quickest way to get there by car is to take the Meadowbrook State Pkwy S the entire way through.
If you want to go to Jones Beach via public transportation, the LIRR is a great way to go. Simply take the LIRR to Freeport. From there, get on the n88 bus for about 20 minutes and stop at Jones Beach, which is why so many people love this as one of the best beaches in New York because it’s easy to get to and there are so many great spots to set up a beach day along the 6.5 miles of beach!
16. Cedar Grove Beach
Located at Great Kills Park, you can find another one of the best NYC beaches located on Staten Island. This is one of the more quiet New York beaches to check out as this spot was only opened to the public recently, even though this has been an established beach colony for a century! With its picturesque views and family-friendly atmosphere, this beach is the perfect destination for a day of fun in the sun.
Cedar Grove Beach is smaller than the other New York beaches nearby, Midland and South Beach, but don’t let that dissuade you from visiting as it’s often a much more tranquil spot to enjoy a day at this New York beach!
If you’re looking for New York beaches that are family-friendly, you’re in luck. Bring your little ones over to the playground area where they can climb on equipment such as slides, swings, jungle gyms while enjoying the sound of the waves.
You can find public showers and restrooms here along with concession stands and plenty of places to picnic if you need a snack or drink. It’s not a bad idea to pack your own snacks and drinks too since this is a more quiet area. Plus there’s a seasonal lifeguard on duty for swimmers.
Getting to Cedar Grove Beach:
Driving to Cedar Grove beach from Manhattan will typically take around an hour. The best way to get there is by taking the I-278 W.
Many people also take the subway and bus combo from the city to Cedar Grove Beach. This route typically doesn’t take more than 2 hours! However, keep in mind that you will have to transfer.
17. Cherry Grove Beach
Fire Island, Long Island
Another great beach near NYC located on Fire Island in Long Island that requires a well-planned day trip starting early in the am or a proper overnight trip or weekend getaway is Cherry Grove Beach, one of the most popular New York beaches and resort communities with great bed and breakfast and oceanfront resort options!
Once you arrive in Cherry Grove, there are plenty of activities to enjoy. Walk along the miles of sandy beaches while enjoying stunning views of Fire Island Lighthouse or rent kayaks and paddleboards for some fun on the water.
Cherry Grove also has several dining options ranging from casual cafes to fine dining restaurants serving fresh seafood dishes. Great waterfront dining options include waterfront restaurants like Pines Bistro and Martini Bar. You can also expect to find great nightlife, like Sip N Twirl night club.
Don’t forget to check out the local shops selling unique souvenirs and gifts too!
Getting to Cherry Grove Beach:
To get to Cherry Grove Beach from Manhattan, hop on the Long Island Railroad at Penn Station. The train ride takes about two hours and drops you off at Sayville station. From here, take a short cab ride or walk to the Sayville Ferry Terminal where you can catch a ferry that will take you straight to Cherry Grove.
However, you can also take a private water taxi after parking at Robert Moses State Park! From there, Cherry Grove will only be a few minutes away.
18. Gunnison Beach
Jersey Shore, New Jersey
Gunnison Beach is another beach located within Sandy Hook, already mentioned as one of the best beaches near NYC. This beach is one of the most popular in Sandy Hook so it’s getting its very own feature. Once you arrive at Gunnison Beach, you’ll be greeted by breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and miles of pristine sand dunes.
The beach is known for its relaxed atmosphere and welcoming community. While clothing is optional here, most visitors choose to go au naturel. So feel free to enjoy a nude sunbathing experience if that’s your preferred way to enjoy the sunshine and sand.
But don’t let the lack of clothing fool you – there’s plenty to do at Gunnison Beach. Take a dip in the ocean, play some volleyball on one of the many courts or simply soak up the sun with a good book.
If you’re hungry after all that activity, head over to one of the nearby concession stands for some delicious food and drinks. And if you need any supplies like sunscreen or towels, there are plenty of vendors selling them right on the beach.
You can also expect to find on-duty lifeguards, snack bars, and public restrooms. Gunnison Beach boasts views of the skyline in Lower Manhattan and has a large shore-to-dune perspective that many visitors love.
Getting to Gunnison Beach:
Keep in mind that parking before Memorial Day is free and parking during the peak season is $15 per day or $75 for a seasonal pass, so if you plan on coming often you might save some money by opting for the seasonal parking pass.
To get to Gunnison Beach, you can take the bus to Cropsey Avenue. From there, you won’t be far from the beach. You can also drive to Gunnison Beach from NYC via the NJ-36, which will take around 90 minutes.
Or you can get to Gunnison Beach from Manhattan by taking the Seastreak Ferry from Wall Street/Pier 11 to Sandy Hook. From there, it’s just a short walk or bike ride to the beach.
19. Hampton Bays
The Hamptons, Long Island
Another awesome beach in the Hamptons and great beaches near NYC (and doable in a day trip) are the beaches of Hampton Bays. Some of the most popular beaches in this area are Ponquogue Beach, Meschutt Beach, and Dune Road Beach.
Hampton Bays is a great place to go if you’re looking for a spot with lots of beaches next to each other. Many of these beaches offer great food options, seasonal lifeguards on duty, and warm waters that are great for swimming during the summer!
Meschutt Beach is a popular choice thanks to its calm waters, soft sand, and well-maintained facilities. Ponquogue Beach is another great option for swimming or sunbathing with its wide expanse of sand and clear blue water.
If you’re feeling adventurous, rent a kayak or paddleboard from a local outfitter such as East End Jet Ski & Watersports or Peconic Water Sports. Explore Shinnecock Bay’s scenic waterways while keeping an eye out for local wildlife like osprey and seals.
After an action-packed day on the water, make sure to check out some of Hampton Bay’s delicious seafood restaurants like Cowfish or Rumba Seafood & Rum Bar. Enjoy fresh oysters or lobster rolls while taking in breathtaking sunset views over Shinnecock Bay.
Getting to Hampton Bays:
There are a few ways to get to Hampton Bays from NYC. Driving from NYC to Hampton Bays will take around 2 hours, but plan on driving around peak hours to not make this drive longer! The most popular way to get there is by taking the I-495 E. Taking the subway takes closer to 3 hours, however, there are many different ways to get there.
You can take the subway, Hampton Ambassador, LIRR, or a bus! If you take the LIRR, aka Long Island Railroad, you can stop right in Hampton Bays via the Montauk line.
If you do choose to do a day trip, you’ll want to leave early in the morning to maximize your time at the beach and be sure to have your timetables or return tickets in advance, otherwise, we recommend making a stay out of it and spending the night or weekend here.
20. Ocean Bay Park
Fire Island, Long Island
Another one of the best New York beaches located on Fire Island on the southern shore of Long Island is Ocean Bay Park. This resort community is home to many beaches and great nightlife!
Ocean Bay Park boasts a beautiful sandy beach with crystal-clear waters perfect for swimming, sunbathing or playing beach games with friends and family. Be sure to pack sunscreen, towels, and plenty of water as there are limited facilities available.
If you’re feeling adventurous, rent bikes from nearby shops and explore the island’s picturesque scenery on two wheels. You can also go fishing off the pier or take part in various water sports such as kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding.
There are also dining options nearby including Schooner Inn and Flynn’s. In fact, Flynn’s offers a marina space that can hold up to 50 boats!
Getting to Ocean Bay Park:
Getting to Ocean Bay Park from NYC will take just over two hours. The most popular way to get there is by taking the Southern State Pkwy.
You can also take the LIRR on the Bay Shore Line and stop at Bay Shore Train Station. However, once you’re there, you’ll have to take the ferry or a water taxi to Ocean Bay Park.
Does New York have nice beaches? While NYC might not be known as a beach destination, the city boasts beautiful beaches and stretches of shoreline across the boroughs as well as beautiful beaches near NYC that are an easy day trip by car or by public transportation in popular beach destinations like Long Island beaches in the Hamptons and Fire Island as well as the Jersey Shore.
The most popular beach in NYC is Coney Island Beach, known for its boardwalk and amusement park attractions. The beach itself stretches for 2.5 miles along the Atlantic Ocean and boasts soft, white sand in South Brooklyn.
The most family-friendly beaches in New York City are Coney Island Beach because of all the amusement parks, food, and attractions along the boardwalk as well as Rockaway Beach in Queens which has beach amenities and playgrounds.
Best New York Beaches (Post Summary)
- Coney Island Beach
- Rockaway Beach
- The People’s Beach at Jacob Riis Park
- Midland Beach
- Main Beach at East Hampton
- Orchard Beach
- Manhattan Beach
- Long Beach
- Asbury Park
- Brighton Beach
- South Beach
- Sandy Hook
- Fort Tilden Beach
- Robert Moses State Park
- Jones Beach
- Cedar Grove Beach
- Cherry Grove Beach
- Gunnison Beach
- Hampton Bays
- Ocean Bay Park
Did we cover all your favorite beaches in NYC and best beaches near NYC? Let us know if we missed one of your favorites, we are always looking for excuses for an NYC beach day!