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20 Best Beaches Near NYC + Secret Local Tips

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I know it can be easy to forget but Manhattan is actually an island that is surrounded by water. Therefore, when the temperatures get wickedly hot and humid in the summer, you have a ton of beaches near NYC to choose from.

This way, you can quickly cool off at one of the best beaches in NYC any time you like – at least between Memorial Day and Labor Day if you plan on going swimming.

However, with so many beaches available to you, it can be difficult to know exactly what the best beaches in New York City are.

And that’s where I come in mighty handy. After all, I’m a 30+ year local who knows all about the top beaches in NYC – places you can go to escape the heat and the intense hordes of summer beach goers too!

So, stop guessing and start visiting some of the best beaches near New York City right now!

Because between the Hamptons, the Jersey Shore, and NYC proper, you have plenty of beachy awesomeness to choose from in the city that never sleep.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more information. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.

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.

Best Beaches Near NYC – Brooklyn

1. Coney Island Beach

View of Coney Island Beach, one of the best beaches near NYC.

Looking for one of the best beaches in NYC? If so then be sure to check out the world-famous Coney Island Beach in Brooklyn.

Not only is it one of the best things to do in Coney Island, but this amazing beach is a solid 3 miles long and features the historic Riegelmann Boardwalk too.

Plus, Coney Island is just an all-around amazing place to spend summer in NYC since it’s been around since ye olde 1921, is home to the first ever Nathan’s hot dog stand, and allows you to grab some of the best pizza in the city from Totonno’s.

And if you’re still not convinced that you should visit Coney Island NOW, you can also:

  • Stop by New York Aquarium
  • Check out the Coney Island Museum
  • Take a ride on the Wonder Wheel
  • Explore Luna Park
  • Ride the Cyclone roller coaster
  • See the annual July 4th Hot Dog Eating Contest
  • Watch the Mermaid Parade in mid-June

Just be sure to bring your bathing suit since lifeguards are regularly on duty between 10:00 am and 6:00 pm all summer long.

Pro Tip: It will take you about an hour and twenty minutes to get here from Midtown if you use the subway. You can also get off at the Neptune Avenue/Ocean Parkway stations since they are beach accessible too.

Address: Corbin Pl. to W. 37 St., Boardwalk, Coney Island, Brooklyn.

Hours: Open 24 hours a day but you can only swim between 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, usually from Memorial Day through Labor Day, when lifeguards are on duty.

Price: Free

How to Get There: Take the D,F, N, or Q train to Coney Island station and walk from there.

2. Brighton Beach

View of the sun setting on Brighton Beach in Brooklyn, one of the top beaches in Brooklyn.

Just down the road from Coney Island beach is the one and only Brighton Beach.

It’s a unique part of the city that is known for its large Russian population and for having a huge, 1.1-mile long stretch of beach that is nestled in between Manhattan and Coney Island.

Therefore, it shares the Riegelmann Boardwalk with both Coney Island and Manhattan beach and is just a great place to soak up some rays.

Then, when you’re ready, head into town and enjoy a fabulous lunch at Tatiana’s. They serve great Russian pierogis (pelmeni) and can be found just off the boardwalk at Brighton 6th Street.

Next, order some straight vodka and yell, “Na Zdorovie” (To health!) at local night clubs like Oleandr or Skovorodka, which are known for their kitschy decor and over-the-top stage shows.

Pro Tip: You may want to learn a few Russian phrases before you visit since locals will tend to be friendlier towards you if you speak Russian.

Address: Brightwater Ave East of Coney Island, Brooklyn, NY 11235

Hours: You can swim when lifeguards are on duty which is daily from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Price: Free

How to Get There: Take the B train from the East Village directly to Brighton Beach.

3. Manhattan Beach

View of the Ocean from Manhattan Beach, one of the best beaches in Brooklyn

Sitting just east of Brighton Beach, Manhattan Beach is one of the best beaches in Brooklyn that is relatively small.

But what it lacks in size it more than makes up for with a variety of amenities that include restrooms, a bike/skate path, baseball diamonds, bbq grills, picnic tables, volleyball/tennis/handball courts, and more.

Therefore, it’s one of the best beaches near NYC that is perfect for families who want to enjoy the beach but who don’t want to venture too far from the city.

It’s also a fairly historic place since it was first started as a summer resort in ye olde 1877.

Pro Tip: Use public transportation to get here since parking costs $20.00.

Address: Oriental Blvd. between Ocean Ave. and Mackenzie St.

Hours: 24/7

Price: Free unless you want to park here.

How to Get There: Take the B train to Sheepshead Bay station and walk from there (or take the B49 bus).

Best Beaches Near NYC – Long Island

4. Jones Beach

View of the sunset at Jones Beach in Long Island. One of the best beaches near NYC.

Easily one of my favorite beaches in the whole wide world, I’ve been going to Jones Beach since I was an itty bitty baby.

And that’s mostly because this is one of the best beaches near NYC that is brimming over with tons of super fun things to do.

I mean, not only is there an awesome boardwalk for you to stroll along, but there’s a full-on arena where you can enjoy live concerts (Yes Northwell Health outdoor arena, I’m not so low-key talking about you) from musical greats like Jimmy Buffet and Dave Mathews Band.

Or, you could always just soak up the rays along the 6.5 miles of pristine sandy beaches here before visiting historic, art-deco bathhouses, playing a bit of mini-golf, trying your hand at shuffleboard, or checking out an on-site restaurant (or ten).

However, this is one of the best beaches near New York City that is very much NOT a secret.

So, do try and get here between 6:00 am and 8:00 am on busy summer weekends since parking lots fill up fast (or just visit on a weekday instead) – especially if you want to park close to the ocean at field 6.

Also remember that swimming, surfing, paddle boarding, and windsurfing are ONLY permitted when lifeguards are on duty at designated locations.

Pro Tip: Stop by for special fireworks on July 4th or to see the Blue Angels at the Bethpage Air Show during Memorial Day weekend.

J.A. Heneghan’s Tavern & Restaurant is also a great restaurant that you can visit after spending the day at the beach.

Address: 1 Ocean Pkwy, Wantagh, NY 11793

Hours: Open daily from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm.

Price: $10.00 per vehicle per day.

5. Long Beach

View of Long Beach on Long Island. One of the top beaches near New York City.

Head to Penn Station, hop on a Long Beach train, and in less than an hour, you’ll be at Long Beach – one of the best beaches near NYC.

Once here, relax, catch some waves, rent umbrellas/chairs, and enjoy all that this one of the top beaches near New York City has to offer.

Whatever you do though, don’t leave without walking along the impressive, 2.2-mile long Long Beach Boardwalk.

Not only is it super scenic but it’s home to a ton of great local restaurants, like Riptides 11561 (cash only but French fries/coffee both good) and Grotta di Fuoco (authentic Italian food and the pizza/gnocchi are both epic).

Plus, added bonus? Throughout the summer, Long Beach places host to a ton of fantastic events like a free summer concert series, an Arts and Boardwalk festival, and a Saturday farmer’s market at Kennedy Plaza.

In the summer, there’s a free concert series, an Arts on the Boardwalk festival, and a farmers market at the Kennedy Plaza on Saturdays.

Pro Tip: Head to Skudin Surf Long Beach and try your hand at surfing while you’re here.

Address: 300 W Broadway, Long Beach, NY 11561

Hours: Open daily from 5:00 am to 8:00 pm.

Price: Day passes are $12 for residents and $15 for non-residents.

6. Cooper’s Beach, Southampton

View of Cooper's Beach in Southampton.

Easily one of the best beaches in the Hamptons, Cooper’s Beach is known for having clear, wide open, sandy beaches that make this a perfect place to relax on a warm summer day.

it’s also one of the few beaches near NYC that never really feels crowded since it’s incredibly spacious too.

Add in some epic waves and you have the perfect place to try a bit of surfing. You can also admire the incredible mansions all around you (they’re on Meadow Lane which is locally known as Billionaire Lane) before taking a quick dip since lifeguards are present here throughout the summer.

Other than that, just enjoy a variety of on-site amenities that include restrooms, showers, and umbrella/beach chair rentals.

Just do yourself a favor and leave the doggo at home since this beach is very much NOT pet-friendly.

Pro Tip: You’ll need a $50-day pass to park here and can stop for a meal at Henri’s Cafe on the beach. But, if you’re coming from the city, just take an LIRR train to Southampton and grab an Uber from there.

Address: 268 Meadow Ln, Southampton, NY 11968

Hours: Open all day.

Price: Free except for the parking fee.

7. Main Beach, East Hampton

Viewing platform and lifeguard tower on Main Beach in East Hampton, one of the best beaches in New York City.

if you’re planning to travel from NYC to the Hamptons then be sure to stop by Main Beach in East Hampton.

I mean, it consistently ranked as one of the best beaches on the East Coast due to its crystal clear waters and the fact that you can swim, rent a kayak, paddleboard, and even surf while you’re here.

Plus, it features lots of great amenities like lockers, snack bars, on-duty lifeguards, showers, bathrooms, and shaded decks.

And lastly, it’s a super pet-friendly beach too. So, be sure to bring your favorite canine companion for a picturesque walk along the sand.

Pro Tip: Be careful when visiting with small children since the waves here can be quite strong.

Address: 101 Ocean Ave, East Hampton, NY 11937

Hours: The beach closes around 11:00 pm.

Price: Free but you’ll need a $50 per day parking permit if you’re not a resident.

How to Get There: Just take the Jitney from NYC.

8. Robert Moses Beach

sunset at Robert Moses Beach, one of the best beaches near NYC.

Another one of my all-time fave beaches near New York City, Robert Moses is a great alternative to Jones Beach since it’s a little further out on Long Island and, as a result, is a lot less crowded.

It’s also a park and is therefore not quite as built up as it’s aforementioned cousin. So, stop by and check out the supremely sandy shores nestled along the western side of the Fire Island National Seashore.

Better yet, bring a bike and take a ride to the historic Fire Island Lighthouse. It sits just under a mile away from field five, is over 200 years old, and features 192 steps that culminate in stunning panoramas of the Atlantic Ocean.

Afterward, make-use of ultra-snazzy things like grills, picnic tables, outdoor showers, and a high-end volleyball court at Field 2.

Pro Tip: if you’re visiting with family, do be aware that some sections of the beach are nudist friendly. There’s also a Pitch & Putt Golf Course here that is open from April through mid-November.

Address: Robert Moses Causeway, Babylon, NY 11702

Hours: Open daily from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm.

Price: Between $8 and $10 per car, depending on the time of year.

9. Cherry Grove Beach

Sunset at Fire Island.

Tucked away on Long island’s always popular Fire Island, Cherry Grove Beach is an ideal destination for a quick weekend getaway or a relaxing overnight stay.

After all, this area has been home to a vibrant resort community since the 1960s and is filled with some of the best beaches near NYC.

It also provides visitors with a bit of solitude since there are no paved roads here and only wooden walkways -making cars and gridlock all but distant memories.

This place is also a bit more laid back and affordable than many of the other beaches on Fire Island. So, after hanging out on the beach, grab a meal at Pines Bistro and Martini Bar and then dance the night away at one of Fire Island’s most popular clubs, Sip N Twirl.

Address: Cherry GroveFire Island, NY 11980

Hours: Varies by season so check with the visitor center before you visit.

Price: Free

How to Get There: You can take the Sayville Ferry or park at Robert Moses Beach and then catch a water taxi from there.

10. Ocean Bay Park

Another one of the top beaches near NYC that is located on Fire Island, Ocean Bay Park sits along the Southern shores of Long Island and is a community known for its vibrant nightlife.

It’s also a popular spot so definitely don’t expect to have this place all to yourself since summer beach goers like to party the day away at Flynn’s, The Inn Between, and Schooners.

Other than that, embrace the party vibe and live la vida local for a hot minute at one of the best beaches near New York City. Also, please be aware that there are no public restrooms or lifeguards available on the beach itself.

Pro Tip: Stop by OBP for happy hour, which starts at 4:00 pm and runs until the next day.

Address: Ocean Bay ParkFire Island, NY 11770

Hours: 24/7

Price: Free

How to Get There: Hop on an LIRR Bay Shore Line train and take it to Bay Shore station. You’ll then have to catch a ferry to Fire island.

11. Ditch Plains Beach, Montauk

Take a supremely scenic drive all the way out to Montauk and you’ll discover Ditch Plains Beach – one of the best beaches near NYC that is perfect for surfing.

After all, the waves here are pretty intense and the vibes are super chill, making it the perfect spot for any aspiring surfers out there.

And if you’re not super confident in your skills, you can always procure a bit of help from the in-house pros at Speed Surf Shop.

Otherwise, you could just rent nifty things like surfboards, wet suits, and beach cruisers before surfing it up or just relaxing on the beach since they have plenty of restrooms available at this small, pet-friendly, sandy oasis.

You can also feel extra safe and secure since lifeguards are usually here until around 5:00 pm.

Pro Tip: If you can, walk here to avoid a parking fee. You can also visit Montauk Lighthouse and hit up Ditch Witch Food Truck for some cubanos and cinnamon buns.

Address: 18 Ditch Plains Rd, Montauk, NY 11954

Hours: Open 24/7

Price: Free

Best Beaches Near NYC – The Bronx

12. Orchard Beach

Locally known as the “Riviera of New York”, Orchard Beach is actually the only public beach in the Bronx and is a 1.1-mile long stretch of sand that is an easy pick for one of the best beaches near NYC.

After all, there’s an enormous promenade for you to walk on and take in sweeping panoramas of the Long Island Sound and Pelham Bay Park.

It’s also well-located near City island so you can easily stop by either Anthony’s Authentic Italian Cuisine or Lobster House for dinner.

This is also one of the top beaches in New York City that features a wide array of on-site amenities like grills, playgrounds, picnic tables, and volleyball/basketball/handball courts – making this the perfect spot for a fun day out in NYC.

So, enjoy a nice swim here when lifeguards are on duty between 10:00 am and 6:00 pm throughout the summer.

Address: Orchard Beach, Bronx, NY 10464

Hours: Life guards are on duty daily, between 10:00 am and 6:00 pm, all summer long.

Price: Parking fee of between $8.00 and $15.00 per car.

How to Get There: Take the 6 train to Pelham Bay Park station, get off, hop on the Bx29 bus, take that to City Island, and walk from there.

Best Beaches Near NYC – Queens

13. Rockaway Beach

Located in Queens, Rockaway Beach is a beautiful place to go surfing in the summer.

Probably the single most popular beach in all of Queens, no list of the best beaches in NYC could ever be complete without mentioning Rockaway Beach.

And that makes sense since this enormous, 5-mile beach is accompanied by an insanely long, 5.5-mile boardwalk that is brimming over with authentic Italian Ice vendors and fine purveyors of pizza – all of who are only too happy to do business with you.

Plus, if you’re feeling extra energetic, you can stop by Rockaway Surf Club (cash only) for a board rental or sign up for some lessons at New York Surf School before trying to catch some sweet waves during your visit.

Pro Tip: After visiting one of the best beaches near NYC, relax on the outdoor patio at Low Tide Bar (at 9th Street Boardwalk) since they have great drinks and live DJs.

Address: Beach 3 St. to Beach 153 St. and Boardwalk to Atlantic Ocean.

Hours: Open for swimming from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm daily during the summer.

Price: Free

How to Get There: Take the A train to Broad Channel station, transfer to the S train, and take it to Beach 90 street station. You can also catch the ferry at Pier 11 in Manhattan/Brooklyn Army Terminal in Red Hook.

14. People’s Beach at Jacob Riis Park

View of Jacob Riis Park Beach in Queens, one of the best beaches in NYC

This Queens area hot spot is another great beach near NYC that is easily accessible from Manhattan by either subway or bus.

It’s also pretty dang historic since it was first opened in 1912 and now features a super rad, art-deco style bathhouse from 1932.

So, after stocking up on supplies at the on-site Beach Bazaar, grab a towel, and lay it out as far away from the boardwalk as possible.

This way, you can avoid the crowds and go for a refreshing dip when lifeguards are on duty between 10:00 am and 6:00 pm, from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Then, take part in a wealth of fun local activities like basketball, mini-golf, and a picturesque walk along the boardwalk.

Pro Tip: This is one of the best beaches near NYC that is a great alternative to the Rockaways since it’s a lot less crowded.

Address: 157 Rockaway Beach Blvd, Queens, NY 11694

Hours: Lifeguards on duty from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm during the summer.

Price: Free

How to Get There: Take the 2 train to Flatbush Avenue and then transfer to the Q35 bus.

15. Fort Tilden Beach

Some rocks along the shore of Fort Tilden Beach in Queens. One of the best beaches in NYC.

Just a hoot and holler down the road from Jacob Riis Park Beach is another one of the best beaches in NYC.

Yup, it’s a 3-mile stretch of pristine sand that quietly sits in the Gateway National Recreation area and is filled with tons of volleyball courts.

It’s also home to a great food court and even made it on the National Register of Historic Places since the now abandoned, historic Fort Tilden also sits in the area (hence the name of the beach).

And if you get a little hungry after all that fun in the sun, be sure to head to Two Dudes at the Beach Bazaar and order a delicious burger and fries for me.

Pro Tip: This is one of the best beaches near NYC for you if you want to escape the crowds and don’t mind visiting a beach without lifeguards.

Address: Center Rd, Queens, NY 11697

Hours: Open daily from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm.

Price: Free

How to Get There: It’s pretty difficult to get here by way of public transportation so I’d opt for biking here instead.

Best Beaches Near NYC – Staten Island

16. FDR Boardwalk and Beach

Extensive boardwalk at Midland Beach. One of the best beaches in Staten Island.

If you’re searching for one of the best beaches in Staten Island, then be sure to check out the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Boardwalk and its associated beach area.

After all, this gorgeous boardwalk is a solid 2.5-miles long and will take you from Fort Wadsworth, past both Midland Beach and South Beach, and eventually to Miller Field’s Gateway Recreational Area.

It’s also easy to get to since it’s a quick ferry ride away from Manhattan and features a wealth of chess tables and bocce courts that visitors of all ages will love.

You’ll also walk past the iconic Fountain of the Dolphins and can even play some tennis or go biking if you feel so inclined.

Whatever you do though, don’t forget to bring your camera since you can enjoy epic views of the Verrazano Bridge from here.

Pro Tip: Enjoy a bit of fishing at Ocean Breeze Fishing Pier near Midland Beach or take your kids to the nearby Sea Turtle Fountain and sprinklers as you enjoy one of the best parks in Staten Island.

Address: Fr Capodanno Blvd, Staten Island, NY 10306

Hours: Open daily from 6:00 am to 1:00 am.

Price: Free

How to Get There: Use the SIM6 bus once on Staten Island.

17. Midland Beach

View of a beach in Staten Island New York.

This is one of the best beaches in NYC that is also known for being an iconic neighborhood Staten Island.

Additionally, it is home to the aforementioned Franklin D. Roosevelt Boardwalk (like South Beach) and is regularly inundated by locals who want take in sweet views of the nearby Verazzano Narrows Bridge.

So, try a game of shuffleboard and volleyball before checking out the many area playgrounds and going for a 2.5-mile walk along the beach and its accompanying boardwalk.

Next, go for a relaxing swim – since lifeguards are regularly on-duty here throughout the summer – before grabbing dinner at Lilya’s Restaurant and Grill Cafe Gourman.

They are known for their amazing Georgian dumplings so be sure to order some “Xinkalli” while you’re here.

Pro Tip: Stop by on Wednesday evenings all summer long to see a fireworks display from the boardwalk.

Address: Fr Capodanno Blvd, Staten Island, NY 10306

Hours: Open daily from 6:00 am to 1:00 am.

Price: Free

How to Get There: Use the SIM6 bus once on Staten Island.

Best Beaches Near NYC – New Jersey

18. Asbury Park

View of the buildings on the beach at Asbury Park.

Possibly one of the most historic seaside towns in all of New Jersey, Asbury Park has been an oasis for fun in the sun since the late 1800s.

It also features a newly renovated, one-mile-long boardwalk that is flanked by tons of cool restaurants and chic art boutiques.

Plus, while you’re here, you can also visit Silverball Retro Arcade, local glassblowing studios, and Asbury Splash Park

And if you can somehow make it all the way to the end of the boardwalk, you’ll be rewarded with an epic view of the Paramount Theater and Convention Hall, where you can do a bit of shopping or catch an impromptu show.

So, if you want to visit one of the best beaches near NYC for yourself, just catch an NJ transit train from Penn Station to Long Branch, change trains here, and then continue for another 12 minutes to Asbury Park.

Address: Boardwalk at First Avenue, Asbury, NJ 07712

Hours: Lifeguards on duty daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm – and until 6:00 pm on weekends – from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Price: $9.00 on weekends and holidays and $6.00 during the week.

19. Sandy Hook, Jersey Shore

View of one of the best beaches near NYC, Sandy Hook in New Jersey

Catch a ride on the Seastreak Ferry from the Battery Maritime Building (slip 5) and make your way to one of the best beaches near NYC on the Jersey Shore.

In fact, the trip here should only take around 45 minutes and has the added benefit of offering you some pretty sweet views from the water.

Then, when you finally arrive, take a serene stroll on the boardwalk and grab some food from one of the food trucks here.

Other than that, just enjoy all the serenity and natural beauty that the northern part of the Jersey Shore has to offer.

But, if you find yourself getting a little antsy, you can always do a bit of hiking, fishing, picnicking, and birdwatching since this beach is part of Gateway National Park.

It’s also fairly windy here so you can always try a bit of windsurfing and general surfing too.

And yes, you can obviously go for a swim since lifeguards are regularly on duty during the summer.

Just don’t leave without seeing the Sandy Hook Lighthouse since it’s over 250 years old and is now considered to be the oldest operating lighthouse in the USA.

Address: Sandy Hook Beach, Hartshorne Dr, Highlands, NJ 07732

Hours: Open daily from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm.

Price: $20.00 per day parking fee.

How to Get There: Take the Seastreak ferry, from either E. 35th Street or Wall Street.

20. Gunnison Beach, Jersey Shore

Another popular beach on the Jersey Shore, in Sandy Hook, Gunnison Beach is an ideal place to throw caution to the wind and channel your inner nudist since this place is known for having the largest nude beach on the east coast.

It’s also a pristine, 2-mile beach that was once the site of an old military base in the 1970s.

Today though, you won’t find much of a military presence here since the beach is filled with on-duty lifeguards, restrooms, and handy snack bars.

You’ll also uncover tons of eager beach goers who want to go hiking, swimming, and bird watching as they enjoy stunning views of southern Brooklyn.

Pro Tip: Come early on weekends since parking lots here fill up fast.

Address: Gunnison Beach, Atlantic Dr, Highlands, NJ 07732

Hours: Life guards on duty daily, between 10:00 am and 6:00 pm, from Memorial Day through Labor.

Price: Free. Although, while parking is free during the off-season, it is $15 per day, or $75 for a seasonal pass, during the summer.

How to Get There: You can take the Seastreak ferry, from either E. 35th Street or Wall Street, to sandy Hook.

Map of the Best Beach Near NYC

Map of the best beaches near NYC.
Click here for the full mpa.

Additional New York Resources You’ll Love

There you have it! That just about wraps up this guide to the best beaches near NYC!

Tell me, did you picks for the best beaches in New York City make the list? If not then let me know below!

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