Best Beaches near NYC - A Summer Splash

By Arundhati Bhand on Nov 06, 2017
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What is the first thing that comes to your mind when someone says New York? If it’s shopping, eating, cinema, theatres and the brilliant collection of monuments, then we are on the same page. 

But with the slight trace of heat, the onset of the summer, the beach beckons all… Families, friends and couples set out to the cool ocean waters to find some respite from the scorching sun. The beaches around New York City are many, each one more fun than the other. While some of them have the most thrilling events lined up for you, some offer you a quiet natural escape. So, here is a compilation of the best beaches near NYC, gather your troops and plan your summer escape soon!

1. Rockaway Beach, Queens- the Surfing Turf! 

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A summer is incomplete without a visit to the Rockaway Beach. Known as the largest urban beach in the United States, you will find the most exciting things to do here, along with the best crowd. Although a peninsula, this tiny piece of land can almost be mistaken for an island. And with the serene blue waters surrounding it, your summer getaway here is sure to cool you down. Flocked by adventure enthusiasts, athletes and sportsmen, surfing is the most popular activity here...what with the beach being the city's only legal surfing beach! 

Activities: Surfing, swimming, picnicking (barbecue areas), sports (volleyball, baseball, children’s play areas)

A bite and a sip: RIPPERS, Connolly's Bar

Ideal for: Youngsters, adventure enthusiasts

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2. Coney Island Beach, Brooklyn- Let’s Play!

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Overlooking the silent waves of the Lower Bay, Coney Island Beach is a striking contrast to these waters. While the calm of the ocean acts as a perfect summer respite, the beach offers a myriad of exciting amusement opportunities. With rides and fairs decorating the coast, it is claimed to be the most fun, and one of the best beaches near NYC. And while families enjoy the buzzing atmosphere, you will spot large groups of youngsters indulging in a good game of volleyball. Known for the Volleyball tournament that is held every summer, you will never have a dull moment here!

Activities: Amusement rides, swimming, sports (volleyball, handball, basketball)

A bite and a sip: Place to Beach, Pauls Daughter, Ruby's Bar & Grill

Nearby tourist spots: Carousel Amusement Park, Luna Park, Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park, New York Aquarium

Ideal for: Families and children, youngsters

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3. Orchard Beach, Bronx- A Romantic Getaway

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Left to be the purest form of the marriage of sand and water, the Orchard Beach is a sight to behold. The perfect white crescent overlooks the ocean, while being surrounded by a lush orchard, together, giving you the perfect spot for a romantic weekend. The vibrant sight of the green, white and blue is mesmerising to say the least. You won’t find the beach packed with people, and so, a couple of hours here relaxing and soaking up the sun is a treat that you can enjoy. The promenade that neighbours the beach makes for a good souvenir shopping experience. 

Activities: Jogging, swimming, sunbathing, sports (basketball), picnicking

A bite and a sip: Orchard Beach Snack Bar

Nearby tourist spots: Promenade

Ideal for: Couples

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4. Ocean Beach Park, Long Beach- Time for some “Me”

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Embracing the waters with a 4-mile coastline, the Ocean Beach Park is one that has a unique history. With a lovely Boardwalk dating back to the early 1900s, you will find this place to be unusually calming. A quiet biking expedition along this walk, or a simple stroll in the soft sand, you can indulge in some “me” time here. Carry your favourite book and playlist, and set out to rediscover yourself. 

Activities: Fishing, swimming, beach volleyball, summer concerts, beach biathlons, boating, surfing

A bite and a sip: Riptides 11561, Shoregasboard, Gentle Brew Coffee Boardwalk 

Nearby tourist spots: Long Beach Boardwalk, Long Beach Historical & Preservation Soc., Annual Arts & Crafts Fair (along the Boardwalk, during the summers)

Ideal for: Solo travellers, senior people, couples

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5. Jacob Riis Park Beach/ The People’s Beach, Queens- A Feast for All

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You don’t often find a beach that excels in food, rather than being popular for the sun and sand. The People’s Beach in Jacob Riis Park is one such spot. Top on the list of the best beach eats, it is loaded with the best food trucks, casual eateries and snack bars serving the most delicious comfort food, the beach is packed with foodies. You will find everything from ice creams to ice pops, Bolivian to Mexican, seafood to sandwiches...the list is endless! Plan a weekend trip here with your buddies, enjoy the waves, and then gorge on this delectable feast! 

Activities: Swimming, feasting

A bite and a sip: Shore Shack

Nearby tourist spots: Wise Clock (a.k.a. Riis Park Memorial Clock)

Ideal for: Youngsters, families, foodies 

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6. Brighton Beach, Brooklyn- The Ethnic Hub

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Amidst the monotony of today’s routine, the similar holiday destinations, and the same culture that surrounds us, Brighton Beach is like a breath of fresh air. With its history etched with the blend of American, Ukrainian and Russian culture, you will find posh restaurants and clubs offering tourists the best of everything, from music and company, to food and drinks. But before you treat yourself to this party, take a round about the shoreline and a dip in the warm summer waters. The shallow waters of this beach and the tranquil atmosphere is in striking contrast with its neighbour, Coney Island Beach, which boasts of an energising, upbeat mood. 

Activities: Swimming, shore activities and games, sunbathing

A bite and a sip: Tatiana, Volna, Ocean View Cafe

Nearby tourist spots: Brighton Beach Boardwalk, Grimaldo's Chair, Master Theater

Ideal for: Youngsters, families with small children

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7. Robert Moses State Park, Fire Island- One with All

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Flaunting a five-mile coastline, Robert Moses State Park of Fire Island is a holiday destination for those who are looking to make the most of their holiday. The beach not only offers the most relaxing atmosphere, but the park houses a rich wilderness abundant in flora and fauna. Perfect for hiking, you can set out with your friends to explore the animals and the diverse species of plants of this nature center. Indulge in the sporting activities, make the most of the gorgeous weather, and return home with plenty great experiences.

Activities: Swimming, surfing, fishing, volleyball, picnicking, camping, boating, hiking, snowshoeing trails, X-country skiing, golfing

A bite and a sip: J & B Restaurant Partners

Nearby tourist spots: Fire Island Lighthouse, Robert Moses Water Tower, Robert Moses Nature Center

Ideal for: Youngsters, adventure seekers, nature enthusiasts

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8. Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn- For the Family

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Looking to spend some cosy time with your loved ones? Head to the Manhattan Beach! You can revisit your childhood with your children... build some sandcastles, play with a frisbee and go fishing! Priding in its soft sand shoreline, it is the ocean which is more enticing. The gentle waves lapping against the shore are melodious, as are the sea birds who join in from time to time. Encompassed by sporting arenas from all sides, there is plenty to do here with your family. This beach is also one of the best pet-friendly ones in New York, so, feel free to bring your pooch along!

Activities: Swimming, sunbathing, picnicking, bicycling, sports (baseball, basketball, tennis courts, handball courts, volleyball courts, children’s play areas)

A bite and a sip: CHILLAX Manhattan Beach Cafe, Panini Tozt Cafe, Enzo's pizza

Ideal for: Families, friends

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9. Fort Tilden Beach, Queens- The Best of the Best!

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Along with being one of the best beaches in the state of New york, Fort Tilden Beach was recently crowned as the Best-kept beach of the state! I can already sense your expectations on the rise, and be sure that they will be met. With its remoteness and solitude being the hero in its preservation, this oasis has nothing “concrete” to it. A shoreline that seems to stretch to infinity, you will often find the entire oasis to yourself. Surrounded by the best of nature, you can spot the vibrant migratory birds, and also observe breeding colonies. You’ll have to carry all that you need, because this beach is in its purest form, uninhabited and untouched...

Activities: Exploration, beach games, sunbathing, picnicking

A bite and a sip: The Sugar Shack

Nearby tourist spots: Battery Kessler, Battery Harris East, Nike Missile Launch Site (NY-49), 

Ideal for: Couples, adventure seekers, nature lovers

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10. Jones Beach, Long Island- Top Beach in Long Island

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Its sheer size will give you an idea of its popularity. One of the busiest holiday destinations during the summers, you will get to be a part of the most happening crowd, events and concerts. While the sand and water is delightful, it is the Beach Park and all of its offerings which draw youngsters from the neighbouring states here during the peak season. Having said that, this 6.5-mile shoreline does have areas perfect for some quiet enjoyment. And this makes the beach one of the best beaches to visit with your family too!

Activities: Events, concerts, water sports

Nearby tourist spots: East Mall Market 

Ideal for: Youngsters, families

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11. Midland Beach, Staten Island- Holiday Hub!

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Midland Beach is a great holiday destination for all. With games and friendly tournaments enticing the youngsters and sports enthusiasts, the clean shoreline and the calming waters bring families here for picnics. The enthusiastic atmosphere is contagious, and with a range of water activities to indulge in, the beach has become a favourite amongst many!

Activities: Sports (play areas, handball courts), swimming, water activities

A bite and a sip: Verrazano Grill, Gourmand Express Beach Cafe, Joe & John Toto's

Nearby tourist spots: Battery AMTB 11 - Miller Field, Franklin D Roosevelt Boardwalk, Fantasy Shore Amusement Park

Ideal for: Families, Youngsters

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12. North Beach, Sandy Hook, New Jersey- A Small Step Away

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Although not technically in New York State, this list would have been incomplete without mentioning this beach. “Sandy Hook Beach” is the collective name for a number of beaches that border this tiny barrier island. If you are looking for some unique ideas for a date, do take your special one here for a romantic weekend. With a total of seven miles of the sand stretch, people come from all the neighbouring states to enjoy the weather, the water sports and the picturesque views. Close to 300 migratory bird species flock this island, alluring nature lovers, birdwatchers and photographers to add some memories to their exciting adventure books. While here, do explore the island to the fullest! 

Activities: Cycling, kite surfing, fishing, boating

A bite and a sip: Ohana Isle

Nearby tourist spots: North Beach Observation Deck, Fort Hancock, Battery Gunnison, Sandy Hook Lighthouse

Ideal for: Families, Couples

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Wasn’t this a journey in itself! With the energy that the summer brings, planning in advance will only do you good! Whether it is an exhilarating holiday that you are looking for, or a romantic getaway to one of the best beaches near New York City, this list is all you need!

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