Staff Picks: Best Beaches Around NYC

And so it begins, the sweaty, steamy, hard-to-breath humid summer air in New York City. What better way to cool off and enjoy the day with friends and family than to spend time on the beach. A beach day? In New York City? Yep. The island of New York is not all sky scrapers and beeping taxis; an easy subway, ferry, or bus ride can drop you off at a few great, refreshing beach towns in BrooklynStaten Island, Queens and Long Island. Check out our list of recommended spots.

Beaches in Brooklyn

Coney Island Beach & Boardwalk
(Photo by Brittany Petronella/NYC & Company)

1. Brighton Beach

A one hour subway ride will bring you to this lively Russian and Eastern European neighborhood with a beach and boardwalk where you are able to enjoy the sun and the sea in a more laid back atmosphere than Coney Island.

2. Manhattan Beach

To the east of Brighton Beach you can walk to an even calmer version of Coney Island. Many families spend the day relaxing with full picnics and barbecues here.

3. Coney Island Beach & Boardwalk

Coney Island is a famous destination, known for the iconic boardwalk, attractions such as the Wonder Wheel, and Nathan’s Famous Hotdogs. While this beach isn’t necessarily the purest of all nature reserves, it certainly acts as more of an entertainment hotspot, great for friends and families.

Beaches in Staten Island

South Beach
(Photo by Peter Borghard/ NYC & Company)

1. South Beach

You can kayak, fish, bike, swim and sunbathe on this beach. You will also find The Fountain of Dolphins here.

2. Midland Beach

Less crowded than South Beach, Midland Beach is not much farther south along the East Coast of Staten Island. If you get tired of laying on the beach, you can find a playground, a sea turtle fountain for kids, as well as courts for tennis and shuffleboard.

3. Cedar Grove Beach

Parks Development labels Cedar Grove Beach as the newest beach in New York. This clean and beautiful neighborhood beach is the perfect getaway for a tranquil day.

Beaches in Queens

Rockaway Beach
(Photo by Marley White/ NYC & Company)

1. Jacob Riis Beach

Ironically known as “The People’s Beach,” this beach is noted to be one of the least crowded in the city. You will find some Atlantic Ocean waves and an Art Deco Boathouse originating in 1932. To get here from the city, you can take the MTA bus or subway for about an hour and a half.

2. Rockaway Beach

Also about an hour and a half away from NYC, Rockaway Beach is a great spot to swim and sunbathe, as well as surf, paddle board, kayak, and boogie-board. This beach is located in a beach residential neighborhood and is a great family-friendly destination.

3. Fort Tilden Beach

Fort Tilden Beach was once a United States Army Base, but now it is a beautiful natural reserve, best for fishing and birdwatching. The beach is also home to Battery Harris East, where you can climb the observation deck for 360 degree views of Jamaica Bay and New York Harbor.

Beaches in Long Island

Jones Beach
(Photo by Rickety Schorr)

1. Jones Beach State Park

Located in southern Nassau County, you can take the LIR from Manhattan and then the NICE bus to the beach. People of all ages flock to this beach to cool off. This is one of New York’s largest beaches ranging in about 6.5 miles in length. You will also find two swimming pools, a two-mile boardwalk, miniature golf and the Theodore Roosevelt Nature Center.

2. Corey Beach

This is a small and local beach that draws many families, particularly with small children. The water is calmer and the beach is clean and well-maintained, perfect for a stress-free getaway.

3. Cooper’s Beach

Coopers Beach, Southhampton Village’s main beach, is a popular summer destination among locals, yet quiet and clean nonetheless. You are also able to rent chairs and umbrellas for around $10-$15, but keep in mind that if you choose to park here you will be charged a whopping $50.

The beauty of New York City is in its options. You can really do it all here, from city sights to outer borough beauty. If you are interested in finding more to do in New York City, search through our complete range of tours, attractions and activities. We can also tailor-make programs specifically to match your desires and budgets. Harlem Spirituals is the ideal one-stop-shop to simplify your planning! Find more information on

What is your ideal seaside destination? Let us know in the comments below!

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