Who doesn't love the beach? Bright blue waters, a warm summer breeze, sandcastles, sun tans, and surfing await thousands of visitors annually who are itching to ditch the humdrum of everyday life to unwind in a little corner of paradise. No two beaches are alike here, but all of them are guaranteed to give you what you're looking for no matter if it's good fun, awesome food, iconic waves, or anything else in between. The best beaches in NYC are always ready for your arrival! Just be sure you have all you need to know before you go. 

What's The Beach Schedule Like?

Beaches are open from Saturday, May 25th Memorial Day weekend through September 8th. Lifeguards are on duty from 10 am - 6 pm and swimming is prohibited when they are not. 

Nice, But Where Exactly Are All The Best Beaches?


1. Coney Island Beach

One of New York's most famous attractions! Beachgoers flock to Coney Island in droves not only for the gorgeous Atlantic Ocean, but the amusement parks, (Deno's Wonder Wheel and Luna Park), lovely boardwalk and good eats from the legendary Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs. Three miles of sun and sand provide the perfect opportunity to sunbathe or get some exercise in on the volleyball, handball or basketball courts. 


Best Known For: Amusement parks, hotdogs

How to Get There:  D, F, N, or  Q train straight to the Coney Island  – Stillwell Ave subway station. Getting off at Neptune Ave or Ocean Parkway Stations also works depending on where you want to arrive at the beach. 

Car rides can last around 30-60 minutes depending on whether you're coming from Brooklyn or Manhattan (or elsewhere). Take the I-278 W onto Belt Parkway E. Then, take exit 6 on Crospey Avenue in Coney Island. Plenty of (metered) parking spaces are available no matter where you start, but the earlier you arrive the better parking space you'll get. This is an accessible beach. Beach mats are available for wheelchair access.

2. Brighton Beach

Coney Island Beach's nextdoor neighbor right in the easternmost section of the area. Little Odessa occupies the surroundings, aptly named after the heavy Russian and Ukranian influences on the population. Guests are free to take their pick of Eastern Slavic shops and restaurants among the community.  Brighton Beach is a bit smaller than adjacent Coney Island but is quieter and offers a respite for vistors seeking calmer waters for better sunbathing and swimming opportunities. 


Best Known For: Eastern European enclave, seafood

How to Get There:  Take the B or Q train to the Brighton Beach station and walk about two minutes to the shore. If driving, head down Ocean Pkwy or take the I-278 W onto Belt Pkwy. Street parking is metered. This is an accessible beach and beach mats are available for wheelchair access.

3. Manhattan Beach 

Keep moving eastward past Brighton Beach to find this hidden gem. Manhattan Beach is great for family-friendly fun or a romantic getaway. Guests can also set up a barbeque and picnic, take a swim, rent a bike, enjoy the boardwalk and even get some fishing in at one of the nearby piers. There are casual and upscale dining options in the areas as well for everyone to enjoy.


Best Known For: Peaceful atmosphere, good for cookouts

How to Get There: Take the Q train to Brighton Beach, then catch the B1 bus and get off at Oriental Blvd and Mackenzie St. From there, the beach is less than 500 feet away. 

You can also Take the B train or the N train. For the B, head to the Sheepshead Bay station, then get the B49 bus at East 16th St./Sheepshead Bay Road. Get off at Oriental Blvd/Hastings St. and walk about two minutes. The N will take you to the 86th Street station and you can get the B1 bus there. Take it to Oriental Blvd then the beach is a quick walk. 

Driving takes about 45-60 minutes and you can take Ocean Pkwy the whole way through. Parking is $7.00 Monday through Friday and $22.00 on weekends and holidays. The parking lot is only open during beach season. This is an accessible beach and beach mats are available for wheelchair access.


1. Rockaway Beach

An increasingly popular destination for locals and tourists alike, Rockaway Beach's revamp in recent years has boosted its popularity as one of the city's snazziest beaches around. 170-acres of prime beach real-estate is ideal for sports, tans, and of course, swimming! 

Locals Surf School and New York Surfing School offer lessons for diverse groups. Breezy Point Surf Shop is the premier destination for any surfing-related merchandise needs while Rockaway Beach Surf Club showcases local artists and exhibits. Grab some fast food at Rippers or light fare and craft beer at the Rockaway Brewing Company. Caracas, Umas and Cuisine by Claudette are also great options in the area to check out. 


Best Known For: Surfing, great retail options

How to Get There: Take the A train to Broad Channel, then get the S shuttle and ride to Rockaway Park-Beach 116th Street for a quick walk the rest of the way. 

Ferry service is available in Manhattan and Brooklyn as well. Take the Rockaway NYC Ferry by Hornblower in downtown Manhattan from Wall Street's Pier 11 or from the Brooklyn Army Terminal in Sunset Park. The former is about an hour long trip while the latter should only take about fifteen minutes. The fare is $2.75 both ways.

Driving to Rockaway Beach is also an option. Expect the drive to take around 40-50 minutes from Brooklyn or Manhattan from the I-495 E, which is the easiest way to get there. There are parking lots from B. 11th to B. 15th Street and on B. 95th Street, plus free street parking. This is an accessible beach and beach mats are available for wheelchair access.

2. Fort Tilden Beach

Fort Tilden is relatively remote compared to its neighboring Jacob Riis and Rockaway counterparts, which is a part of the appeal for those who want to get away from the crowds while still enjoying some fun in the sun. No lifeguards mean no swimming goes on here, but that doesn't mean it's not worth checking out! The Fort Tilden Historic site is open to guests to learn about the beach's history during World War II. Basking in the lull of the hypnotic waves and privacy of the area is also just as good. 


Best Known For: Sunbathing, fishing 

How to Get There: Drive on the Belt Pkwy the whole ride, the nearest parking is at Riis, however since lots here require a permit. Depending on your starting point, the Q22 and Q35 buses also stop at Rockaway Point. The N, Q, A, C, B, D, 2, and 5 train lines can transfer you to either of these buses depending on where you are coming from. If you purchase a one-way ferry ticket from American Princess Cruises, the ride will be just a little under an hour. Biking is also an option. 

3. Jacob Riis Beach

This eye-catching southwestern expanse is well-known for its great food, games (including free kayaking), and unforgettable views of the ocean year-round! Affectionately dubbed "the people's beach" for its easy access via public transportation, Jacob Riis offers guests unique vendors for retail splurging, ample breathing room to unwind on a blanket, and a new Bazaar and Art Deco boathouse. The Bazaar is quite popular and offers highly desired options like Ample Hills Ice Cream, Rockaway Clam Bar, and Oaxaca Tacos. Concession stands are not always open so making a picnic out of the day is never a bad plan B. 


Best Known For: LGBTQ-history

How to Get There: Take the Q train to Flatbush Avenue, then transfer to the Q35 bus. Driving is about a 45-minute trip over the Belt Pkwy. Parking is $10 from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day. Other times, parking is free. Ferry tickets also by American Princess Cruises are $20 and can be caught from Pier 11 at Wall St.  

The Bronx

1. Orchard Beach

Also known as "The Riviera of New York", this beach is spacious and entices visitors with its exquisitely designed hexagonal-block promenade and central pavilion upon first arrival. 

Loads of recreational activities are available here like volleyball, biking, basketball, and handball. There are over twenty-six courts and two gold courses for visitors to choose from. Plus two playgrounds that are great for young children to enjoy! 

Snack bars, food, and souvenir carts are scattered around the beach for convenience. Picnic areas are also offered but barbecuing is allowed in the North and South picnic areas only. Changing areas and showers are available as well. 


Best Known For: Only beach in The Bronx

How to Get There: When driving, it's about an hour's worth of travel time from downtown Manhattan or roughly 45 minutes from Midtown or Brooklyn. Take FDR Dr. and I-278 E the entire way there. Parking fees vary from $8-$15 depending on when you go and what type of vehicle you're driving. This is an accessible beach and beach mats are available for wheelchair access. Public transportation options include taking the 6 train all the way there, the Q50, BX29, or the BX12, and a shuttle if you live in the Bronx. 

Staten Island

1. Wolfe's Pond Beach

Dubbed "the city's best-kept secret", Wolfe's Pond gives visitors a more intimate atmosphere than other Staten Island Beaches because of its smaller size and obscurity. The perfect retreat especially for locals seeking alternatives to the more populated beaches. A dog-friendly environment with tennis courts, a roller hockey rink, and a winding trail for those who like to walk or run.


Best Known For: Most serene beach in the borough

How to Get There: Easily accessible to borough residents; it is best to take the Staten Island Railway to the Huguenot Avenue station and ride the S55 bus to Hylan Blvd./Cornelia Avenue.  From there, walk through the park for about 5-10 minutes until you arrive at the beach portion. Parking is free. This is an accessible beach and beach mats are available for wheelchair access. For those outside of Staten Island, it's best to chart a course on your smart map. 

2. South Beach

Located on the East Shore directly from the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge lies this captivating, sandy stretch of beach. Get some fishing in at the popular Ocean Breeze Pier or ride bikes up the scenic route if that's preferable. South Beach also has a park designed with older citizens in mind that contains chess boards, benches, and bocce courts. Kayaking and playing tennis are possible here as well. The boardwalk's Fountain of Dolphins was added after Hurricane Sandy and continues to draw in crowds wanting to marvel at the expert craftsmanship. 


Best Known For: Fishing, Great boardwalk

How to Get There: A short ride from lower Manhattan; it should only take around 30 minutes if you take the I-278 W the entire way through. Manhattan's South Ferry Terminal will take you straight to Staten Island's St. George Terminal, where you can then transfer to the S51 bus. 

From there, ride down to Father Capodanno Boulevard and Robin Road, and you'll find yourself right at the beach. Going through Brooklyn's Bay Ridge-95th Street station and then transferring onto the S53 bus can also take you directly to South Beach. Free parking lots are available. This is an accessible beach and beach mats are available for wheelchair access.

3. Midland Beach

Midland Beach shares the Franklin D. Roosevelt Boardwalk with South Beach, making it easy to go back and forth between the two at leisure. Midland is even less crowded than South Beach, giving folks the best opportunity to get some handball or shuffleball games in on the courts, set up a grill on the beach, go fishing or bike-riding or just take a snooze on the sunny shore. The Midland Beach War Memorial is ideal for history buffs while the Sea Turtle Fountain and sprinklers are great for entertaining the kids!  


Best Known For: Fishing, Biking 

How to Get There: Driving takes about 45 minutes on I-278 W and the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge until you reach Midland Beach. Free parking lots are available. This is an accessible beach and beach mats are available for wheelchair access. The Staten Island Ferry at Whitehall Terminal in Lower Manhattan can also be taken to the S51 bus which stops at Midland and Lincoln Avenue. The SIM6 bus is also an option that can be ridden the entire way to the beach.

4. Cedar Grove Beach

This former oceanfront colony sat untouched for decades until it was transformed into a charming and tranquil getaway destination. A highly popular location for solo trips, couples, and especially families! Cedar Grove has a playground area decked out with jungle gyms, slides, swings, and more for children to explore. Concession stands and plenty of picturesque picnic areas abound too. 


Best Known For: Newest Beach in NYC

How to Get There: Either take the I-278 W straight for about an hour or some combination of train and bus depending on your starting route. Public transportation typically doesn't take more than two hours. The parking lot is free and this is an accessible beach, so beach mats are available for wheelchair access.