BeachUnited States

9 Best Beaches in New York

New York

Beaches in New York; Amidst the hustle and bustle of New York City, it’s easy to forget that this vibrant state is also home to some incredible beaches. When the summer heat sets in, locals and visitors alike flock to the coastline, seeking refuge in the cool waters and sandy shores.

From the iconic Coney Island in Southern Brooklyn to the serene lakesides of the Adirondacks, New York offers a variety of beach experiences for every type of traveler. Whether you’re in search of thrilling roller coaster rides, water sports adventures, or simply a tranquil escape in nature, the state’s beaches have something to offer everyone.

Venture to Long Island, explore the Great Lakes, or visit the picturesque Finger Lakes region to discover the hidden gems of New York’s beaches. Each beach exudes its unique charm, from lively boardwalks and seaside amusement parks to miles of lonely sands for peaceful contemplation.

Plan your summer getaway with our guide to the best beaches in New York, and create lasting memories by the sparkling shores of the Atlantic and the Great Lakes.

Coney Island Beach: A Timeless Gem in Brooklyn

Beaches in New York: Nestled in the heart of Brooklyn, New York, Coney Island Beach is a captivating destination that effortlessly blends the charm of the past with the excitement of the present. Its three miles of sun-kissed shoreline have long been a favorite among both locals and tourists, offering a perfect escape from the bustling city.

Coney Island’s enchanting atmosphere is enhanced by two iconic amusement parks, Deno’s Wonder Wheel and Luna Park, where visitors can experience thrilling rides like the legendary Cyclone roller coaster. And, of course, no trip to Coney Island is complete without savoring the world-famous Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs, a cherished tradition since 1916. The Fourth of July weekend brings an extra dose of excitement with the renowned Hot Dog Eating Contest, a spectacle of competitive eating.

Coney Island Beach - Beaches in New York
Coney Island BeachBeaches in New York

Throughout the year, Coney Island hosts a variety of exciting events, including the much-celebrated Mermaid Parade in June, where creativity and artistic expression take center stage.

Coney Island’s sandy beaches provide endless entertainment, from beach sports and sunbathing in the summer to ice skating in the cooler months. The beach offers a perfect blend of relaxation and recreation for all seasons.

With its iconic amusement park, vibrant ambiance, and picturesque coastlines, Coney Island remains a timeless gem that invites visitors to bask in the spirit of summertime.

Address: 1813 N High St, Columbus, OH 43210, USA

A Serene Coastal Haven in Brooklyn: Brighton Beach

Beaches in New York: Nestled just east of the bustling Coney Island, Brighton Beach offers a tranquil and intimate beachfront experience. Contrasting its crowded neighbor, Brighton Beach charms both locals and visitors with its inviting ambiance and sun-kissed shores.

The beach’s peaceful atmosphere draws swimmers and sunbathers seeking a serene retreat by the Atlantic Ocean. Although lacking the flashy attractions of Coney Island, Brighton Beach’s laid-back charm captivates all who visit.

Renowned for its vibrant community, lovingly referred to as “Little Odessa,” Brighton Beach celebrates its Russian and Eastern European heritage. Strolling along Brighton Beach Avenue, you’ll find grocery stores with traditional delights, delightful delis, and restaurants serving mouthwatering pierogies.

Brighton Beach - Best Beaches in NYC
Brighton Beach – Best Beaches in NYC

The boardwalk is a favorite gathering spot, boasting a diverse range of restaurants and cafes offering tantalizing cuisine.

For those seeking adventure, a short stroll from Brighton Beach leads to the secluded Manhattan Beach Park. Here, visitors can enjoy tennis, basketball, handball courts, and baseball fields, while free movies enhance the park’s allure throughout the summer.

Brighton Beach is more than a beach; it’s a sanctuary of relaxation, a glimpse into rich cultural heritage, and a place to savor the simple joys of life along the South Brooklyn coastline.

Address: Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, NY, USA

Jones Beach State Park: A Beach Lover’s Paradise

Beaches in New York: Jones Beach State Park, located on Long Island, is a beloved destination known for its expansive sandy shoreline stretching over 6.5 miles. Families and beach enthusiasts flock to this well-maintained oasis, offering a plethora of activities and entertainment for all ages.

The park features a two-mile-long boardwalk, adorned with Art Deco-inspired bathhouses that add a touch of architectural charm. For those seeking adventure, there are mini-golf courses, ball courts, shuffleboard, and even a swimming pool to cool off in.

Music lovers are in for a treat at the Northwell Health outdoor arena, where big-name artists like Jimmy Buffett and Dave Matthews grace the stage during summer concerts. Additionally, Jones Beach hosts the popular Bethpage Air Show with the Blue Angels every Memorial Day weekend, along with a spectacular July 4th Fireworks show. The bandshell offers free entertainment for visitors to enjoy.

Jones Beach State Park - Best Beaches in NYC
Jones Beach State ParkBest Beaches in NYC

Accessible by car, boat, or bicycle, Jones Beach requires a $10 vehicle use fee. However, if you possess a New York State Empire Passport ($80), you can enter for free. It’s worth noting that during peak summer season, the beach can get crowded, making early mornings and sunset evenings the best times to visit. Lifeguards are on duty for swimming, and certain locations allow stand-up paddleboarding, surfing, and windsurfing.

Beyond its scenic beauty and recreational offerings, Jones Beach State Park also houses the Theodore Roosevelt Nature Center, where visitors can explore and learn about the area’s ecological features through educational tours and displays.

Whether you’re seeking a fun-filled family day or a serene coastal escape, Jones Beach State Park has something to offer everyone, making it a beach lover’s paradise.

Address: Jones Beach State Park, Wantagh, NY 11793, USA

Rockaway Beach: An Urban Paradise by the Seaside

Beaches in New York: Nestled on the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens, Rockaway Beach is a beloved destination that effortlessly combines urban charm with coastal allure. With easy access to the subway, it attracts both locals and visitors seeking a quick escape to the inviting waves and sandy shores.

Stretching nearly six miles, the beach provides ample space for relaxation and enjoyment. Surf enthusiasts can sign up for lessons at the renowned New York Surf School, which offers perfect waves for riding.

Rockaway Beach offers a plethora of activities for an action-packed day, including beach volleyball, fishing, and leisurely strolls along the 5.5-mile boardwalk. The beach also features seven playgrounds, ensuring endless fun for families.

Rockaway Beach - Best Beach in NYC
Rockaway Beach – Best Beach in NYC

For a taste of the vibrant local scene, visit the Rockaway Beach Surf Club with its bohemian atmosphere and colorful murals. Open during the summer, it’s the perfect spot to immerse in the area’s culture.

Reaching Rockaway Beach is easy with convenient transportation options like the “brew cruiser” bus from Long Island City to Rockaway Brewing Company or the ferry from Wall Street in Lower Manhattan and Sunset Park in Brooklyn.

Whether you’re an experienced surfer, a family seeking fun, or someone in search of a peaceful retreat, Rockaway Beach has it all. Its unique blend of adventure and relaxation makes it a true seaside paradise.

Address: Rockaway Beach, Queens, NY, USA

Orchard Beach: A Seaside Haven in the Bronx

Beaches in New York: Nestled within Pelham Bay Park, Orchard Beach is a delightful escape offering a mile-long stretch of sandy shores and 115 acres of parkland. This “Riviera of New York” in the Bronx provides a perfect setting for relaxation and recreation.

The beach and surrounding park are well-equipped with various amenities, making it a hassle-free outing for visitors. Enjoy basketball, volleyball, and handball courts, as well as playgrounds and picnic areas. The central pavilion offers a selection of cafes, restaurants, and food stalls, ensuring you’re well-fed and energized during your stay.

Facing the Long Island Sound, Orchard Beach offers picturesque views of City Island. Showers and changing areas are available for added convenience. Whether you plan a family picnic or simply want to bask in the sun, Orchard Beach has everything you need for a fun-filled day by the water.

Orchard Beach - Best Beach in NYC
Orchard Beach Best Beach in NYC

If you’re looking to explore beyond the beach, Pelham Bay Park provides a wealth of opportunities. As the largest park property in New York City, it boasts miles of bridleways and hiking trails, perfect for birdwatching and spotting ospreys. Additionally, the park offers two golf courses, playgrounds, sports fields, and courts, catering to various interests.

Don’t miss the historic country estate of Bartow-Pell Mansion, a National Historic Landmark with exquisite Greek Revival interiors, located on the northern end of the park.

Address: Orchard Beach, Pelham Bay Park, Bronx, NY, USA

Robert Moses State Park: A Serene Haven on Fire Island

Beaches in New York:Nestled on the western end of Fire Island National Seashore, Robert Moses State Park is a coastal gem offering a tranquil and crowd-free beach experience. Stretching for five miles, the sandy shore provides the perfect setting for a jealousy-inducing beach day.

With quiet and serene beachfronts, particularly in Fields 3 and 4 where radios are not permitted, visitors can bask in the beauty of the Atlantic Ocean without the hustle and bustle of larger beaches. The park’s facilities are well-maintained, featuring private outdoor showers, first aid stations, and convenient grills and picnic tables.

For those seeking even more solitude, Field 5 grants access to the scenic Fire Island coast, where the historic Fire Island Lighthouse stands tall. A short nature trail leads to the lighthouse, where adventurous souls can climb 192 steps for panoramic views of the island and beyond.

Robert Moses State Park – Beach in NYC

Beyond the beach, Robert Moses State Park offers various sports and leisure activities. Enjoy ocean views and spot the iconic 200-year-old Fire Island Lighthouse while strolling along the sandy shores. Field 2 boasts an expansive volleyball court and an 18-hole Pitch & Putt Golf Course, perfect for active beachgoers.

Whether you’re looking to dip your toes in the cool waters, relax on the sands, or engage in exciting activities, Robert Moses State Park has something for everyone. It’s a bike-friendly haven that promises a beautiful beach-going experience and memorable moments amidst nature’s splendor.

Address: Robert Moses State Park, Fire Island, NY, USA

Fort Tilden Beach: A Serene Nature Escape in NYC

Beaches in New York: Tucked away as NYC’s best-kept secret, Fort Tilden Beach is a three-mile stretch of pristine sand, trees, and grassy dunes. The isolated beauty of this lifeguard-free beach offers a unique experience, even on busy summer weekends, as you can find a peaceful 50 yards of beach all to yourself. While nearly inaccessible by subway or car, a scenic bike ride is the perfect way to reach this hidden gem.

Situated between Jacob Riis Park and Breezy Point, Fort Tilden Beach boasts breathtaking views of Jamaica Bay, New York Harbor, and the Manhattan skyline. Once a military site, the beach now invites visitors to revel in the tranquil energy and serene atmosphere that sets it apart from other beaches in the city.

With its Atlantic-facing beachfront, a maritime forest, and serene ponds, Fort Tilden Beach is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, adding to its allure. While it may require a bit of effort to park at Jacob Riis and walk or bike half a mile to reach the heart of Fort Tilden, this remote access only enhances the sense of seclusion and tranquility that awaits.

As a protected nature park, Fort Tilden offers not only beautiful beaches for relaxation but also lush forest and coastal scrubland to explore. Take a leisurely stroll along the shore or venture on the park’s trails, either on your own or guided by a ranger, for a closer connection to nature’s wonders.

History buffs can explore vestiges of the area’s military past, including Battery Harris East, a bunker once housing two 16-inch M1919 guns. A newly installed staircase now allows visitors to climb to the bunker’s top and enjoy panoramic ocean views.

For those seeking a truly unique beach experience away from the bustling city, Fort Tilden Beach offers a tranquil haven of natural beauty and bliss.

Address: Fort Tilden Beach, New York, NY, USA

Main Beach: A Pristine Retreat in East Hampton

Beaches in New York: Frequently topping the list of the nation’s best beaches, Main Beach in East Hampton is a picturesque oasis that attracts both locals and visitors alike. Its pristine white sand and clear waters have earned it a spot as a favorite among the elite of Gotham.

While a hefty parking fee of $30 per day may deter some, the litter-free surroundings, nearby concession stands, and occasional celebrity sightings make it well worth the price. For a more budget-friendly option, biking to the beach offers a scenic and enjoyable alternative.

Main Beach offers essential amenities such as bathrooms and lifeguards, ensuring a safe and comfortable experience for all beachgoers. At the Pavilion, you can find respite in the shade, store your belongings in lockers, and enjoy refreshments and snacks at the nearby snack bar.

Beyond the beach, the surrounding area offers a variety of attractions and activities. Explore Main Street, where you’ll find an array of shops and restaurants to indulge in. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Home Sweet Home Museum and admire the historic Old Hook Mill, an old-fashioned windmill adding charm to the landscape.

For those looking to add some adventure to their beach day, kayak, surfboard, and paddleboard rentals are available from outfitters in town, some even offering lessons for beginners.

Main Beach’s popularity is well-deserved, offering a relaxing and upscale environment for beachgoers seeking a tranquil escape from the city. Embrace the Hamptons’ natural beauty and unwind on its soft sands, creating cherished memories in this serene coastal haven.

Address: Main Beach, East Hampton, NY, USA

South Beach: A Family-Friendly Oasis on Staten Island

Beaches in New York: Adjacent to Staten Island’s Midland Beach, South Beach shines as “the Riviera of New York City.” Recently refurbished after Hurricane Sandy, this vibrant destination offers all-new fountains, playing fields, and a charming two-mile-long wooden boardwalk.

South Beach is a haven for families seeking a fun-filled weekend escape. Whether you’re in the mood for sunbathing on the sandy shores or engaging in various recreational activities, this beach has something for everyone. Enjoy kayaking, volleyball, basketball, and tennis, or take a refreshing run along the picturesque boardwalk.

For families with children, South Beach boasts playgrounds and a skatepark where the little ones can frolic and have a blast. Additionally, the Ocean Breeze pier, one of the largest fishing piers in the city, offers a fantastic opportunity for fishing enthusiasts to cast their lines and enjoy the tranquil surroundings.

When it comes to entertainment, South Beach does not disappoint. Experience the delightful sounds of the Back to the Beach concert festival, adding a touch of musical charm to your beach experience. For a delightful dining experience, head to the South Fin Grill restaurant and savor a delectable meal.

Reaching South Beach is a memorable journey in itself. Hop on the Staten Island Ferry from Lower Manhattan and be treated to stunning views of the iconic New York City skyline and the majestic Statue of Liberty along the way. Best of all, the ferry service is free for all, making it a budget-friendly and enjoyable way to begin your South Beach adventure.

Whether you’re looking to relax on the sand, engage in exciting activities, or simply savor the beauty of the surroundings, South Beach is the ideal spot for families seeking an unforgettable coastal getaway.

Address: South Beach, Staten Island, NY, USA

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