Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and Long Island Sound, New York City easily beats the heat at shore beaches and getaways that make a hot city summer fun and memorable.
The beaches are clean and swimming is tied for the top activity with soaking up the rays for that great beach tan.
A few surfers find spots with decent waves, but many of the beaches on Long Island Sound are protected and the waves are fine for family fun.
The Subway to the Sand:
Directions to NYC area beaches:
• Orchard Beach
to Pelham Bay Park, then take the Bx5 or Bx12 bus to Orchard Beach.
• Rockaway Beach
to Howard Beach, then take the Q22 bus to 90th - 116th Street.
• Coney Island & Brighton Beach
to Stillwell Avenue.
• Jones Beach
LIRR Babylon line from Jamaica to Freeport, then take the N88 bus to Jones Beach.
Music is part of the traditional beach experience in New York. You can find anything from your neighbors heating up the air waves with top 40, hip hop, salsa or country beats to beach bands playing on the sand and summer concerts that draw big name performers and thousands of fans.
Up in the Bronx, Orchard Beach is the place to be from Memorial to Labor Day as seemingly the entire community comes out to play. Nearby City Island, meanwhile, surprises visitors with it's small town atmosphere and top restaurants where seafood is fresh and plentiful.
A day at the beach is not just a dip in the ocean in New York City. You'll find boardwalks, rides, typical beach food, and top restaurants catering to the beach crowds.
Speaking of crowds, a day of sun and sand and a beach picnic is a favorite of many New Yorkers, so plan to get to the beach early to pick a spot for your umbrella before the main crowds arrive. That includes Jones Beach (on Long Island), the Rockaways (Queens) Coney Island and Brighton Beach (Brooklyn) and Orchard Beach (in the Bronx).
Early morning bird's eye view of Luna Park and Coney Island beach.
Or, arrive in the late afternoon when everyone is packing up to go home and claim your spot for a spectacular New York summer sunset.
Also watch for more access to the Hudson River around New York City. The water is cleaner than it has been in years with fishing and boating already on the upswing, and swimming is probably not far behind.
The East River in New York City has also been getting plenty of attention. While swimming is still not an option, there are plenty of places to fish, bike trails, green spaces, and parks to beat the heat with cool river breezes.
Check out how to get there by car or subway, along with pictures and a bit of background behind New Yorkers' favorites, like historic Coney Island which is currently undergoing a major makeover ...
Coney Island Tourism FAQ - With directions by train or car together with info on the Aquarium, Astroland Amusement Park, Nathan's Famous Hot Dog stand; and tool
around for more on the park's history, an event calendar and the annual Mermaid Parade.
Jones Beach State Park - In New York City's backyard and easily accessible from the Long Island Railroad; history and description, list of amenities, contact info, seasons/hours, directions, map.