Explore the top beaches in NYC! From iconic Coney Island to serene Rockaway Beach, dive into our guide for beach bliss, activities, and more.
Hey there! If you’re looking for some beach fun in the bustling city of New York, you’ve come to the right place. While NYC is famous for its towering skyscrapers and vibrant city life, it’s also home to several incredible beaches where you can soak up the sun, feel the sand between your toes, and enjoy a refreshing dip in the ocean.
In this guide, we’ll take you on a virtual tour of the best beaches in New York City, highlighting their unique features, popular activities, and interesting facts. So, grab your beach towel and sunscreen, and let’s dive right in!
1. Coney Island Beach:
Located in the southernmost part of Brooklyn, Coney Island Beach is a true New York City icon. It’s renowned for its historic amusement park, the Coney Island boardwalk, and its vibrant atmosphere. This beach offers a lively and festive experience, complete with rides, games, and delicious food.
The Coney Island boardwalk stretches for 2.7 miles, providing ample space for leisurely walks, bike rides, and people-watching. Along the boardwalk, you’ll find a wide variety of food vendors offering classic Coney Island treats like hot dogs, cotton candy, and ice cream. Don’t miss the opportunity to try the famous Nathan’s Famous hot dogs, which have been a Coney Island staple since 1916.
One of the highlights of Coney Island Beach is Luna Park, an iconic amusement park that features thrilling rides and attractions. The Cyclone, a wooden roller coaster built in 1927, is a must-ride for thrill-seekers. It’s been designated as a New York City landmark and offers an exhilarating experience that’s not to be missed.
2. Rockaway Beach
If you’re seeking a more serene beach experience, head over to Rockaway Beach in Queens. Stretching for miles along the Atlantic Ocean, Rockaway Beach offers a tranquil escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. It’s known for its soft sand, perfect for sunbathing, and consistent waves that attract surfers of all levels.
The Rockaway Beach boardwalk provides a scenic pathway for strolling or biking. Along the boardwalk, you’ll find various concessions offering beach snacks, ice cream, and refreshing drinks. Make sure to try the popular fish tacos from the local food trucks, a favorite among beachgoers.
Surfing is a major attraction at Rockaway Beach, and it’s a great spot for beginners and experienced surfers alike. The Rockaway Beach Surf Club offers surfboard rentals and lessons, making it easy for visitors to try their hand at catching a wave. If surfing isn’t your thing, you can still enjoy the water by swimming or simply relaxing on the sandy shores.
Rockaway Beach is also home to Jacob Riis Park, a part of the Gateway National Recreation Area. The park offers additional recreational activities, including picnicking, birdwatching, and exploring the beautiful dunes that provide a natural backdrop to the beach.
3. Jacob Riis Park Beach:
Nestled within the Gateway National Recreation Area, Jacob Riis Park Beach is a hidden gem located on the Rockaway Peninsula. This beach offers a unique blend of natural beauty and historic architecture, with the iconic Art Deco bathhouse serving as a prominent feature.
The Art Deco bathhouse at Jacob Riis Park Beach is a designated New York City landmark and a beautiful example of 1930s architecture. It now houses a visitor center and exhibits, providing insights into the beach’s rich history. The bathhouse’s unique design and ornate details make it a popular spot for photographers.
The beach itself is pristine and spacious, providing plenty of room for sunbathing, picnicking, and playing beach games. Designated swimming areas ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for visitors of all ages. Jacob Riis Park Beach is known for its family-friendly atmosphere, with lifeguards on duty and shallow areas for children to splash around.
Nature enthusiasts will appreciate the birdwatching opportunities at Jacob Riis Park Beach. The beach and nearby salt marshes attract a variety of bird species, making it a great spot for birdwatching and nature photography. Keep an eye out for species like piping plovers, ospreys, and sandpipers.
4. Brighton Beach:
Known as “Little Odessa,” Brighton Beach is a vibrant and diverse neighborhood in Brooklyn with a stunning beach to match. It’s a cultural hotspot with a significant Russian and Ukrainian population, and you’ll find a plethora of Russian restaurants, bakeries, and shops in the area.
Brighton Beach offers a lively and energetic atmosphere, with beachgoers of all backgrounds coming together to enjoy the sun and sea. The beach itself features fine sand and clear waters, perfect for swimming and sunbathing. Volleyball courts are available for those who want to engage in a friendly game with friends or join a pickup game.
After a day of beach activities, be sure to explore the neighborhood’s culinary delights. Sample traditional Russian dishes such as pelmeni (dumplings), borscht (beet soup), and blini (thin pancakes) at one of the many authentic restaurants. Don’t forget to visit the local grocery stores and specialty shops to discover unique Russian and Ukrainian products.
5. Orchard Beach:
Located in Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx, Orchard Beach offers a picturesque escape from the city’s urban landscape. With its crescent shape and sandy shores, it’s often referred to as the “Bronx Riviera.” This man-made beach is a popular spot for families, as it provides ample space for picnicking, barbecues, and various recreational activities.
Orchard Beach is known for its family-friendly environment, with lifeguards on duty and designated swimming areas. The calm waters make it a safe place for children to enjoy a swim. The beach’s expansive promenade is perfect for leisurely walks, jogging, or cycling.
Barbecue enthusiasts will appreciate the designated areas equipped with grills and picnic tables, providing the perfect setting for a family cookout. Pack some burgers, hot dogs, and your favorite picnic treats, and make the most of the beach’s facilities.
For those seeking additional recreational activities, Pelham Bay Park offers hiking trails, playgrounds, and opportunities for fishing. The park is the largest public park in New York City, providing a peaceful and natural setting that contrasts with the urban environment.
New York City may be famous for its towering skyscrapers and vibrant city life, but its diverse selection of beaches offers a perfect getaway from the urban hustle. Whether you’re seeking a lively atmosphere, serene tranquility, or a cultural experience, the best beaches in NYC have it all.
From the iconic Coney Island Beach with its amusement park charm to the serene shores of Rockaway Beach and the hidden gem of Jacob Riis Park Beach, each destination offers a unique blend of relaxation, entertainment, and natural beauty. So, grab your beach essentials and make the most of these incredible coastal gems right in the heart of the Big Apple!