8 NYC Beaches Are Great Sand to Surf Summer Playgrounds

Posted on Jun 22, 2017

NYC Parks maintains 14 miles of beaches, which are open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. During beach season, lifeguards are on duty daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Swimming is prohibited when lifeguards are not on duty and in closed sections. Closed sections are marked with signs and/or red flags.

  1. Brighton Beach and Coney Island

Brighton Beach, also called Little Odessa, is a reference to the Ukrainian city from which many of its residents hail.  Located on Atlantic Ocean, from W. 37th Street to Ocean Parkway, this Brooklyn neighborhood is known for its tight-knit, Russian-speaking community and the colorful shops, food emporiums and restaurants (much of their signage in Cyrillic) that line Brighton Beach Avenue beneath the rumble of the elevated subway lines.

Once a beach getaway for wealthy New Yorkers, the neighborhood saw its first influx of Jewish immigrants—a number of them Holocaust survivors—in the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s; a second wave began when the Soviet Union relaxed its emigration policy in the late 1970s and continued through its eventual dissolution in the ’90s. Georgians, Armenians, Uzbekistanis and many other groups from the former Soviet Union have settled here as well, with their knowledge of Russian continuing to operate as a common bond.

Contact a Discover New York Destination Specialist to see the beautiful single-family homes form the late 19th century. Visit the shops’ and markets full of Russian-made goods. Besides the ethnic attraction, it was also the childhood home of writer/producer/comedian Mel Brooks and playwright Neil Simon, who put the neighborhood on the stage with Brighton Beach Memoirs.

Have lunch or dinner in any one of several sea-side Russian restaurants.

As you enter the ever-popular, world-famous Coney Island, the area is really a public beach with a boardwalk and an amusement park.  Its colorful history has been written about in The Great Gatsby in the film Annie Hall and He’s Got Game.  Known as America’s famed “People’s Playground!”, you’ll see the Coney Island classics including: Nathan’s Famous hot dogs, the ever-popular beach and boardwalk, the Brooklyn Cyclones, Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park, Luna Park, and the New York Aquarium will greet visitors all summer long.

2. Cedar Grove Beach: Ebbitts Street and Cedar Grove Avenue, Staten Island 718-987-2060.
The city’s newest beach is a converted oceanfront bungalow colony. This charming beach has direct views of the Manhattan Bridge. It is smaller and somewhat more tranquil than its neighbors, Midland Beach and South Beach, and is popular with the area’s families.

3. Manhattan Beach: Atlantic Ocean, Oriental Blvd, from Ocean Avenue to Mackenzie Street, Brooklyn, 718-946-1373. This small family friendly beach is located east of Brighton Beach.  It’s good for picnic baskets and set up your own barbecues.

4. Midland Beach and Franklin D. Roosevelt Boardwalk, On Lower New York Bay, from Fort Wadsworth to Miller Field, Midland Beach, Staten Island, 718-987-0709. This smaller beach has a playground. Midland Beach shares the Franklin D. Roosevelt Boardwalk with neighboring South Beach, and tends to be the somewhat less crowded of the two beaches. The beach’s attractions include a playground and courts for tennis and shuffle ball, as well as a sea turtle fountain for children.

5. Orchard Beach and Boardwalk: On Long Island Sound in Pelham Bay Park, Bronx 718-885-2275. Orchard Beach, also known as “The Riviera of New York” when it was created in the 1930s. The 115-acre, 1.1-mile-long beach contains a hexagonal-block promenade, a central pavilion, snack bars, food and souvenir carts, two playgrounds, two picnic areas, a large parking lot, and 26 courts for basketball, volleyball, and handball. Changing areas and showers are available.

 6. Rockaway Beach and Boardwalk: On Atlantic Ocean, from Beach 9th Street, Far Rockaway, to Beach 149th Street, Neponsit, Queens, 718-318-4100. From surfers to swimmers to the Ramones, everyone wants to “hitch a ride to Rockaway Beach.” Rockaway Beach is a year-round resource for residents all along the Rockaway peninsula, and it comes alive each summer with millions of visitors.

Beach goers can enjoy the sand and water, the variety of concessions, and the city’s only legal surfing beaches. Rockaway Beach is also home to a variety of playgrounds and other outdoor activities.

7. South Beach: On Lower New York Bay, from Fort Wadsworth to Miller Field, Midland Beach, Staten Island. 718-987-0709. Beachgoers can sunbathe while taking in a lovely view of the Verazzano Bridge, bike through a scenic trail, jog along the boardwalk, kayak, play tennis, or fish off of the Ocean Breeze Fishing Pier, one of the city’s most popular. A park on the beach designed especially for seniors contains chess tables, benches, and bocce courts. The beach’s Fountain of Dolphins is a popular stop on any tour of the boardwalk.

8. Wolfe’s Pond Beach: On Raritan Bay and Prince’s Bay, Holton to Cornelia Avenues, Staten Island 718-984-8266. As one of Staten Island’s largest parks, Wolfe’s Pond Park has a beautiful beach and a wildlife and plant preserve and a recreation area with space to run, jump, and climb.

Contact a Discover New York Destination Specialist to design the perfect Summer Weekend or outing for your corporate group or family!

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