Ready for a little fun in the sun this summer in NYC? If so then this list of 11 of the all-time best beaches in Brooklyn is totally for you.
After all, this super fun, wonderfully trendy, always vivacious borough is positively brimming over with enormous stretches of sand that easily qualify as some of the best beaches in NYC.
Trust me, I should know. I’ve lived in the city for 30+ years and am super familiar with all of the top beaches in Brooklyn – both the uber-famous ones and the well-hidden gems.
So, if you want to visit some of the best beaches in New York City like a real local, then read on my faithful friend.
Also, because there aren’t an insane number of beaches in Brooklyn, I’ve even included some of the best beaches near Brooklyn too.
This way, you can quickly and easily see as many best Brooklyn beaches as possible, both this summer and beyond.
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If you’re booking a trip right now then I IMPLORE you to get travel insurance – even if it’s not from me.
After all, this past year has been a wild ride and I don’t want you to lose money because government regulations have changed.
Truth be told though, I’ve never traveled without travel insurance and don’t think you should either – especially since I think we’ve all had plans drastically change because of the pandemic.
Therefore, find an insurance agency that covers travel changes related to COVID-19, like my two all-time faves World Nomads and Safety Wing. You can also read more about which policy is right for you in my full review here.
Where to Stay in Brooklyn
Looking for the best hotels in Brooklyn? If so then here are my local picks for the top places to stay in the area that are conveniently located next to some of the best beaches in Brooklyn.
- Pod Brooklyn (budget) – This well-priced (under $100 per night), pod hotel in Williamsburg has bright, minimalist-style, modern rooms that include flat-screen TVs, WiFi, and iPod docks. City walking tours are also included with your stay and there’s even a nice rooftop bar for you to hang out in.
- Ace Hotel Brooklyn (mid-range) – This stunning, 4.5-star hotel in Boerum Hill has retro-chic rooms that include flat-screen TVs, local art, vinyl record players, and WiFi. There’s also a sleek on-site restaurant and a 24-hour fitness center for guests to use in an exceptionally well-reviewed hotel with rates that start at just $179 per night.
- New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge (mid-range) – With stylish rooms that start at well under $200 per night, this modern hotel in DUMBO is an ideal place to stay that is just 2-minutes from the subway. Guests here will also love complimentary breakfast served inside their club lounge, as well as access to an indoor pool, spa, and gym.
- Franklin Guesthouse (luxury)– This ultra-posh, 3-star boutique hotel in Greenpoint is located just five-minutes from the subway and features contemporary, apartment-like rooms with hardwood floors that start at $230 per night. Guests will also love their swank, marble bathrooms and can even relax inside their in-house sauna.
1. Coney Island Beach
When you envision one of the best beaches in Brooklyn, I bet the very first beach that comes to mind is Coney Island.
And understandably so since Coney Island is an iconic NYC summer hot spot where the very first Nathan’s hot dog stand was built and where you can enjoy some of the best pizza in NYC at Totonno’s – a local hot spot that has been around since 1921.
So, what are you waiting for? Take the D,F, N, or Q train all the way to the southern end of Brooklyn (aka Coney Island station) and enjoy one of the best beaches in NYC with the beautiful Riegelmann Boardwalk for you to walk along.
After all, there are a ton of super fun things to do here like:
- Visit the New York Aquarium
- Stop by the Coney Island Museum
- Hop on the Wonder Wheel
- Experience Luna Park
- Check out the Cyclone (roller coaster)
- Attend the July 4th Hot Dog Eating Contest
- See the world-famous Mermaid Parade (mid-June)
- And so much more!
Yes, it will be brimming over with tourists but that’s okay since there’s lots of space for you to play games and check out local vendors all along the boardwalk.
You can also safely go for a dip since lifeguards are routinely on duty between 10:00 am and 6:00 pm throughout the summer.
Pro Tip: When using the subway, just know that it will take you about an hour and twenty minutes to get here from Midtown. You can also get off at the Neptune Avenue/Ocean Parkway stations since they are beach accessible too.
2. Brighton Beach
Another one of the most famous beaches in Brooklyn, Brighton Beach is known for being a super unique neighborhood that is home to a large Russian population.
Therefore, if you stop by, be sure to brush up on your Russian beforehand because the more you know, the friendlier locals will be towards you.
It’s also pretty easy to get here since this 1.1 mile long stretch of sand sits in-between Manhattan and Coney Island and shares yhr hella long Riegelmann Boardwalk with both Coney Island and Manhattan Beach.
Other than that just sit back, listen to the waves crash up against the shore, and enjoy the feeling of sand in between your toes.
Then, take the boardwalk to Brighton 6th Street and enjoy a lunch of pelmeni (Russian pierogis) at Tatiana’s before visiting iconic night clubs like Oleandr or Skovorodka.
Soak up the over-the-top decor here, stay for a kitschy stage show, and drink straight vodka while shouting, “Na Zdorovie” (To health!).
Pro Tip: To visit, take the B train from the East Village directly to Brighton Beach.
3. Brooklyn Beach Club
Looking for one of the top beaches in Brooklyn that is a bit swankier? If so then get those pinkies up and visit Brooklyn Beach Club and its associated beach.
Yes, this beach is private. And yes, summer memberships start at a hefty, $599.00 per person for the season.
But, this place has a fantastic, super safe location in southern Brooklyn and offers you an array of primo services like private beach cabanas, an Olympic-sized pool, theme nights, beach chairs, beach umbrellas, daily kids activities, lifeguards, and more.
This way, it’s now easier than ever to visit one of the best beaches in Brooklyn and spend the day relaxing, not worrying about what the heck your kids are getting into.
4. Manhattan Beach
Another one of the best beaches in Brooklyn is Manhattan Beach. In fact, it sits just east of Brighton Beach and is a small but lovely little sandy beach that is perfect for families.
And while it was originally started as an exclusive private community, it is now one of the best beaches in NYC that is open to the public and that features two baseball fields, restrooms, handball/tennis/volleyball/basketball courts, and a bike/skate path that can be used regularly.
So, make a day of it and enjoy playing some sports before barbecuing and having a family picnic in a nearby picnic area.
Pro Tip: To get here from Manhattan, take the B train to Sheepshead Bay station and then walk about 20 minutes to one of the top beaches in Brooklyn (you could also take the B49 bus from here and walk from the stop at Mackenzie Loop).
5. Kingsborough Beach (at Kingsborough Community College)
Another one of the private beaches on this list of the best beaches in Brooklyn, Kingsborough Beach is actually owned and operated by Kingsborough Community College.
So, if you want to visit a beach that quietly sits at the point where the Atlantic Oceans meets Jamaica Bay (near Sheepshead Bay) then feel free to purchase a beach pass through the College.
After all, it’s valid from June through September and the beach is conveniently located right near the school campus.
It’s a sandy oasis that is also free for students to use throughout the summer, with a valid school ID. However, use is prohibited throughout the school year unless you’re enrolled in a maritime program at the college.
Other than that, just enjoy a wealth of on-site amenities here like a beachside dining area, on-duty lifeguards, beach furniture, and private lockers.
Pro Tip: Use only designated paths to get to one of the best beaches in New York. You also MUST have a permit to park here.
6. Pebble Beach
This is one of those not-so-well-hidden beaches in Brooklyn since it can be found in Brooklyn Bridge Park, which sits in the always popular and ever awesome neighborhood of DUMBO. So, this is a great place to stop after walking the Brooklyn Bridge.
It’s also not one of those iconic beaches where you can sit on soft white sand and go for a refreshing swim. Instead, this is one of the best beaches in New York City that is known for its stellar views of the Brooklyn Bridge and the Manhattan skyline.
So, mosey on over to the Main Street Park section of Brooklyn Bridge Park and take advantage of the dog run, open field (great for a picnic), playground, and Brooklyn Bridge Park Education Center here before heading to the beach itself.
If you want, you can even relax for a bit on either the stairs that lead you to the beach (they are meant for sitting) or on one of the giant boulders that sit near the southern end of the beach.
Just be sure to bring a towel if you want to sit on the beach since you’ll get super dirty otherwise. I would also NOT recommend swimming in the water since it’s dirty AF.
Instead, just relax here and then enjoy local attractions like Jane’s Carousel, Kaigo Coffee Room, Oddfellows Ice Cream, Ample Hills Creamery, and Juliana’s for pizza (so…dang….good).
Pro Tip: Try to time your visit for sunset if you want the best views possible. You can also take the F train to York Street and then walk from there.
7. Charlotte Beach
Brooklyn has many secrets and hidden gems that only locals know about. And one of my all time fave among them has actually snagged a spot on this list of the best beaches in Brooklyn.
And that beach is none other than Charlotte Beach in Williamsburg. It quietly overlooks the East River from one of the trendiest neighborhoods in the city and features a ton of old wooden pillars from its days as a dock for the Williamsburg Branch of the Brooklyn Ferry Company throughout the late 1800’s.
So, while it may not be an ideal place to go sunbathing and swimming, it is a fun area to explore that is conveniently located inside of Brooklyn Inlet Park.
Therefore, you can easily visit after eating your face off at Smorgasburg here on Saturdays. Just walk for a few minutes down Kent Avenue, go behind the buildings here, and you’ll find this beach with rusty ladders, large rocks, and sweet panoramas of Manhattan’s iconic skyline.
8. Plumb Beach
Hidden away in the Gateway National Recreation Area, this is one of the best beaches in Brooklyn that provides visitors with a much needed respite from the chaos of the city.
In fact, it sits along the northern shore of Rockaway Inlet, near the Gerritsen Beach and Sheepshead Bay neighborhoods, and is open daily between 6:00 am and 9:00 pm.
So, enter near the woods at Gerritsen Creek and take advantage of the kayak launch on Plumb Beach before exploring exploring local mudflats, marshlands, tidal pools, woodlands, and sand dunes that are home to resident horseshoe crabs.
Additionally, guests here can do a bit of windsurfing and kiteboarding since this a super windy area that has an associated parking lot and restroom for visitor convenience.
Pro Tip: To get here just take either the B-44 or B-4 bus to Knapp Street/Shore Parkway and walk from there.
Best Beaches in Brooklyn – In and Around Brooklyn
9. Rockaway Beach and Boardwalk, Queens
Although technically located in Queens, not Brooklyn, this is one of the best beaches in NYC that is super close to Brooklyn. Hence the reason why it made it on this list of the best beaches in Brooklyn.
It’s also easily one of the best outdoor activities in NYC since there is a ton to do along this 5-mile stretch of sand and its associated 5.5-mile long boardwalk.
So, just hop on the A train from Manhattan (get off at Broad Channel station, transfer to the S train, and take it to Beach 90 street station) or board the ferry from Pier 11 in Manhattan/Brooklyn Army Terminal in Red Hook, and enjoy one of the best beaches in New York City.
Then, upon arrival, visit the many Italian ice and pizza vendors that line the boardwalk before heading to Rockaway Surf Club (bring cash) so that you can rent a board and catch some waves.
Afterward, refuel with some excellent libations from the comfort of the outdoor patio at Low Tide Bar (at 9th Street Boardwalk).Enjoy the live DJs and vibrant atmosphere here before heading back home and calling it a night.
Pro Tip: Long Beach is another great beach in the area too.
10. The People’s Beach at Jacob Riis Park (Queens)
First opened in 1912, Jacob Riis Park is a historic place that is home to one of the best beaches in NYC.
Known as The People’s Beach, this stunning mile long area is easily accessible from Manhattan by both bus and subway, making it a great destination for enthusiastic beach goers who want to escape the crowds of the Rockaways.
Also, while you’re here, be sure to grab some supplies from the Beach Bazaar before laying down your towel down (as far away from the boardwalk as you can get) and going for a swim when lifeguards are on duty.
After all, this is one of the few beaches in NYC that is run by the National Park Service. Therefore, lifeguards are regularly here from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
Then, enjoy a wide array of activities like mini-golf, basketball, and walking on the boardwalk before sneaking a peak at the park’s signature, art deco-style bathhouse from 1932.
Pro Tip: To get here, take the 2 train to Flatbush Avenue and then transfer to the Q35 bus.
11. Orchard Beach (Bronx)
Although not technically in Brooklyn, Orchard Beach is pretty close by in the Bronx and is without a doubt, one of the best beaches in NYC.
And that’s mainly because this 1.1 mile long, idyllic oasis of sand is often fondly refers to as, “The Riviera of New York” and has an enormous promenade where visitors can go for a walk.
You know, to that you can soak up some stellar panoramic views of Pelham Bay Park and the Long Island Sound.
This is also one of the best beaches in NYC that sits rights near City island (a seafood hot spot where you can have dinner at City island Lobster House or Anthony’s Authentic Italian Cuisine) and has all sorts of amenities for visitors to enjoy – including bbq grills, playgrounds, picnic tables, and various sports areas (imagine volleyball courts, handball courts, and basketball courts).
So, take a refreshing dip, when lifeguards are on duty between 10:00 am and 6:00 pm, and take in all of the beauty that one of the best beaches in New York City has to offer.
Pro Tip: To get here, take the 6 train to Pelham Bay Park station, get off, hop on the Bx29 bus to City Island, get off at the City Island stop, and walk from there. And if you drive here, just note that there will be a parking fee of between $8.00 and $15.00 per car.