15 BEST Beaches in New York [January 2020]

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New York is a famous destination for many reasons. While most of the attention towards this city is around its hub of urban activity, there are also some excellent beaches in New York! These beaches have a lot to offer, with boardwalks, roller coasters, surfing, nature, and more!

If you’re looking for the best beaches in NYC, there are actually more choices than you may think! Here’s our list of the best places to enjoy some sand and sun during sunny days in the big apple.

Best Places to Stay in New York

Looking for somewhere to stay while you enjoy the best beaches near NYC? Here are some of our favorite accommodation options that this city has to offer.

#1 – Pod Times Square

Best Budget Hotel in New York

Pod Times Square

Pod Times Square is our pick for the best Budget Hotel in New York

Located just around the corner from Times Square, you can easily access the city from this central spot. The rooms are well equipped, clean and comfortable. With a fun bar, restaurant, and modern finishes throughout, you will be sure to have an unforgettable stay at Pod Times Square.

#2 – Archer Hotel New York

Best Mid-Range Hotel in New York

Archer Hotel New York

Archer Hotel New York is our pick for the best Mid-Range Hotel in New York

Location, comfort, service, and style, this hotel offers everything you need for the perfect stay. This well-positioned hotel is charmingly decorated in order to make you feel right at home. Besides the well kitted out rooms, the rooftop bar is a great reason to stay here!

#3 – The Beekman

Best Luxury Hotel in New York

The Beekman

The Beekman is our pick for the best Luxury Hotel in New York

For world-class luxury in an iconic setting, consider checking into the Beekman, a Thompson Hotel. This high-standard hotel offers everything you could imagine for the ultimate stay in New York. You get an ideal location near the Brooklyn Bridge, stylish clean rooms, and many quality amenities.

#1 – Coney Island Beach

A Great Beach For Families

Coney Island Beach

Coney Island Beach (Photo credit – thrillist.com)

  • A fun amusement park, pier, and central location
  • Three miles long

Coney Island in Brooklyn is a favorite summertime destination in New York! This neighborhood is best known for its exciting amusement park and iconic Ferris Wheel. Beyond the rollercoasters, food stalls, and family fun, it’s also home to one of the best beaches in NY.

The Atlantic Ocean beach is a free space, open to the public and is a popular place when the summer heat strikes! Visitors can enjoy volleyball, handball and basketball facilities, playgrounds, and some great swimming areas.

This iconic New York beach is a firm favorite among anyone wanting to enjoy the busy boardwalk that stretches along the beachfront.

#2 – Brighton Beach

A Beach in a Unique Neighborhood

Brighton Beach

Brighton Beach (Photo credit – flickr.com)

  • A less crowded and spacious extension of Coney Island
  • Three miles long

Brighton Beach is basically an extension of Coney Island Beach. There’s no clear marker that you have gone from one to the other. However, as soon as you reach Brighton Beach you’ll notice a distinct difference in the entire area.

The vibe here is more relaxed and quiet, with less of the amusement park appeal found around Coney Island. Instead, you can find more charming cafes, serving a wide variety of foods.

The beach itself is pretty similar to Coney Island, but with more open spaces. It’s a great spot to lie in the sun, swim, and enjoy a quieter day escaping from the busy city. Definitely one of the best beaches in Brooklyn.

Ready to book? Here are our favorite areas to stay in New York, USA!

#3 – Sandy Hook

A Relaxing Beach to Visit in New York

Sandy Hook

Sandy Hook (Photo credit – sandy-hook.com)

  • Long stretches of peaceful beach surrounded by nature
  • Six miles long

This is, without a doubt, one of the finest beaches that the New York area has to offer! While not always a first choice, it‘s one of the most tranquil stretches of sand and sea that can be accessed from the city.

Sandy Hook, part of the Gateway National Recreation Area, has soft sands and inviting waters (when it isn’t too cold). There are lifeguards on duty, great places for fishing, and walking trails through the surrounding nature areas.

It takes about 45 minutes to escape to this beach from Downtown Manhattan (you can catch a ferry). Be sure to check out the stunning 250-year-old lighthouse while you are here!

Let’s make this simple. These are the most competent hotels in New York!

#4 – Rockaway Beach

A Classic New York Beach Experience

Rockaway Beach

Rockaway Beach (Photo credit – nycgo.com)

  • Its exciting boardwalk, cafes, bars, and surf
  • Six miles long

Rockaway Beach is the quintessential New York favorite for summer. This beach, made famous by the Ramones song, remains one of the most popular places away from the city. The subway stop is only a few blocks away from the sand, making it convenient for anyone traveling from downtown.

There are loads of things to do on this six-mile stretch of beach. The New York Surf School offers lessons here for those wanting to ride the waves. The boardwalk along Rockaway Beach is also a hub of activity.

One of the best features of Rockaway Beach is the amount of space available. For the full New York beach experience, Rockaway is the place to go!

#5 – Fort Tilden Beach

One of the Quieter Beaches in NYC

Fort Tilden Beach

Fort Tilden Beach (Photo credit – pinterest.ru)

  • An isolated and secluded beach in Queens
  • Three miles long

Even though this beach in Queens is so close to the busy city, there’s a sense of tranquility while visiting. The beach remains pretty deserted throughout the week. This is mostly because the beach is inaccessible by subway or car. The best way to get here is by bike.

Fort Tilden is definitely one of the best beaches NYC has to offer. You can sit along the dunes and enjoy a nice amount of open space all around you – a rarity in this city.

There are no lifeguards here, and no busy beachfront alongside the sands. This is a completely secluded beach that offers a peaceful nature experience in New York.

 

#6 – Jacob Riis Park Beach

A Lively New York Beachfront

Jacob Riis Park Beach

Jacob Riis Park Beach (Photo credit – trover.com)

  • An easily accessible beach with lots of activity
  • One mile long

Jacob Riis Park Beach can be found next to Rockaway, and it’s becoming a trendy seaside location in New York. This beach is wider and more spacious than its neighbors. Jacob Riis is also really easy to access by public transport.

While the sandy shores draw crowds of people in summer, the area also boasts the Riis Park Beach Bazaar. This place has an amazing food court, as well as many live music performances on offer. There’s even a golf course that can be found at this beach.

Jacob Riis Park Beach has a unique atmosphere – making it feel like you’ve stepped away from the big city and into a seaside retreat. This New York beach is always a popular choice for a fun day in the sun.

Planning a trip? See our list of the best things to see in New York!

#7 – Manhattan Beach

A Classic City Beach

Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach (Photo credit – nycgo.com)

  • A central New York beach with great swimming
  • Two miles long

Manhattan Beach is found along the Brooklyn peninsula and offers a different experience to its more popular neighboring beaches.

It’s not the busiest destination, but it’s definitely worth visiting! Besides the cold Atlantic waters, this is one of the best NYC beaches for swimming. The waters are calm and shallow – perfect for cooling off on hot days.

This beach can fill up on the weekends and is a popular spot for picnics and barbeques. This is a classic beach in New York that can easily be accessed from the city via public transport.

Editor’s Tip: Break up your action-packed trip with a visit to famous museums in New York!

#8 – Jones Beach

A Great Beach to Visit With Kids

Jones Beach

Jones Beach (Photo credit – iloveny.com)

  • A fun beach with many activities on offer
  • Six and a half miles long

This is one of the biggest and best beaches in NY. Beyond the whopping six and a half-mile stretch of sand, Jones Beach has loads of activities on offer. There are two swimming pools, a two-mile boardwalk, a miniature golf course, and the popular Jones Beach Theater.

You can also find the Theodore Roosevelt Nature Center here that has different educational tours on offer. You could make a whole day out of all that there is to see here.

There is a water tower at the entrance of the park designed to replicate St. Marks Campanile in Venice, as well as some fun art-deco bathhouses. This is one of the best New York beaches for a family day out in the sun!

You won’t believe this… Here are 31 facts about the history of New York!

#9 – Midland Beach

A Staten Island Favorite

Midland Beach

Midland Beach (Photo credit – eportfolios.macaulay.cuny.edu)

  • A local beach with a great boardwalk
  • Two and a half miles long

Midland Beach is a favorite amongst Staten Island locals. Locals enjoy this beach despite the fact that it’snot too easily accessible via public transport. However, this helps to keep the crowds away for those that want some space to themselves.

There is an attractive boardwalk that runs along Midland Beach. This is ideal for cyclists and joggers. There are also a few charming pavilions that you can enjoy along the beachfront.

Midland Beach is where Staten Island locals come to meet up and hang out. Whether this is through a game of shuffleboard, handball, or a walk along the coast, this charming beach serves the community well.

Tired of making plans? Our favorite tours in New York remove stress from the equation!

#10 – Main Beach

A Sophisticated Beach in the Hamptons

Main Beach

Main Beach (Photo credit – 123rf.com)

  • The most popular beach in the lush Hamptons
  • Six miles long

You can’t list the best beaches near New York without including the Hamptons! Main Beach on East Hampton is the place to be if you’re looking for a grand beach affair. This area is known for its luxurious appeal and Main Beach makes sure to keep in line with this.

There are lifeguards, excellent food choices, and clean facilities (including bathrooms). The soft sands here are immaculate, as are the inviting swimming areas.

The Hamptons are where the rich and famous like to spend their summers, so any trip here will make you feel like a VIP. For those wanting a sophisticated beach experience, this has got to be the place to go!

Insider tip – Use our expert guide to see when the best time to visit New York is!

#11 – Long Beach

A Beautiful Beach in New York

Long Beach

Long Beach (Photo credit – trip101.com)

  • A beautifully maintained beach
  • Four miles long

Not to be confused with Long Beach in California, this coastal gem can be found in Nassau County. It’s characterized by its recently refurbished boardwalk which stretches for over two miles.

The surf here is also pretty good. If surfing isn’t for you, then simply enjoying the pristine sand is worth the visit. This is one of the cleanest and beaches in the US. However, this means that an entrance fee is required for a day visit.

Beyond the sand and sea, there is a fun area called Shoregasboard. Here you can find all kinds of delicious food stalls, as well as frequent events. Long Beach is a hub of activity!

#12 – Orchard Beach

A Popular City Beach

Orchard Beach

Orchard Beach (Photo credit – timeout.com)

  • A busy public beach in the Bronx
  • One mile long

Orchard Beach is the only public beach in the Bronx. This incredibly popular destination has been attracting New Yorkers since the shore was created in the 1930s. It always manages to attract a crowd during a hot day, so prepare for some buzz when visiting.

This beach doesn’t have the most attractive beachfront promenade, but the place has a personality. There are a couple of concession stands and picnic areas for hungry visitors.

The beach is also a recreational hotspot. There are courts for basketball, handball, and volleyball. Any sunny day in New York will certainly bring plenty of activity to this area.

#13 – Montauk Island

A Beautiful Place to Visit Around New York This Weekend

Montauk Island

Montauk Island (Photo credit – pinterest.com)

  • A stunning natural escape from the city
  • An 862-acre state park

Montauk Island offers the best beach near NYC for nature lovers. This island is found on the very far end of Long Island, so it’s not that easily accessible. However, if you’re looking to escape the city and enjoy the outdoors, then this is the perfect place to do it.

Beyond having a beautiful coastline, Montauk also offers great accommodation for a weekend getaway. This place is a popular destination for surfers, as well as anyone just wanting to get out and explore nature for a while.

#14 – Robert Moses State Park

A Large and Secluded Beach

Robert Moses State Park

Robert Moses State Park (Photo credit – en.wikipedia.org)

  • A beautiful coastline with a famous lighthouse
  • Five miles long

Fire Island is one of the best coastal escapes around New York, with beaches that offer an unforgettable experience. The wonderful beachfront spans five miles, allowing for plenty of seclusion and privacy.

While you may feel distant from the world while at Robert Moses State Park, there are still some excellent and well-managed facilities here. Find private showers, grills, picnic tables, and first aid facilities.

The beautiful stretch of beach is also home to a historic lighthouse. Visitors can climb to the top of this to get sweeping views across the Fire Island coastline. Camping facilities are also available.

#15 – Gunnison Beach

A Nudist Beach in New York

Gunnison Beach

Gunnison Beach (Photo credit – pinterest.com)

  • Most famous for being New Yorks naturalist destination
  • Two miles long

Gunnison Beach is one of the best beaches close to NYC for a number of reasons. Be aware that this is a nudist beach, and so clothing is optional! The two-mile stretch of sand is clean and inviting, offering some great swimming and suntanning opportunities.

You also get an unbelievable view of the Manhattan skyline. Gunnison Beach allows you to enjoy pristine natural surroundings, while still feeling a part of the city.

This beach is also a popular spot for bird watching. While people may flock to Gunnison Beach in the summer, you still manage to get a sense of seclusion while you’re here.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for the best beaches around NYC you might be surprised at how much is on offer! There are all kinds of amazing beaches that can be reached from the big city.

NYC beaches come in all kinds of different forms. There are family-friendly beaches, complete nature escapes, and everything in between. So when the sun comes out and you need a break from the streets, be sure to visit one of these wonderful beaches around New York!

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About the Author Nicola Smart

Gin lover. Coffee addict. Nicola has traveled the world for 7 years and is a staff writer for Hotel Jules. Born in London, Nicola first got the taste of travel studying abroad in Barcelona. Since then she's been hooked - traveling the world non-stop. Passionate about green travel and vegan lifestyle, Nicola spends more of her free time staring at maps wondering where she will head to next!