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5 Beaches You Can Easily Access from New York City

Gabrielle Porcaro

There are so many wonderful things about living in New York City, but being stuck in the city on a hot, humid summer day makes you forget them all. It can be unbearable, and besides sitting in front of your AC unit all day there is no real relief. Luckily, there are beach options just a hop, skip, and jump away. Or better said: a taxi, bus, or subway ride away.

Pack your beach bag with some SPF, towel, and favorite swimsuit to enjoy a full day or weekend outside in sun, sand, and water. Here are the spots we suggest for all New Yorkers looking to escape.

Montauk, NY

Image Courtesy of Unsplash // Bridget Shevlin

Distance from Manhattan: Three hours by Jitney or Long Island Rail Road.

The popular cool-kid location is a bit of a hike from Manhattan, but it’s worth it. Book a room for the weekend at the Surf Lodge, if you plan on having more of a party weekend. Or, stay at Ruschmeyers, if you want more of a summer camp aesthetic. There are of course lots of Airbnb options walkable to any of the beaches. When the day switches to night, grab a drink and that perfect Instagram shot at The Crows Nest.

Long Beach, NY

Image Courtesy of Pixabay // Thebeardedyogi

Distance from Manhattan: An hour by train.

An area hit hard by Hurricane Sandy is back up and running and easily accessible from Long Island Rail Road. Make sure you buy a round-trip ticket that includes a beach pass to save time on lines when you get there. Once the train stops, you will pass the downtown strip with delis and restaurants. Note that there are no food options along the beach, so either bring your lunch or plan to stop downtown near the train station to grab a sandwich or drink when you arrive. The nice, quiet beach is just a short 10-minute walk from there.

Asbury Park, NJ

Image Courtesy of Unsplash // Ryan Loughlin

Distance from Manhattan: An hour 45 mins on New Jersey Transit.

For a possible overnight escape, head to Asbury Park, NJ. From the train, you can easily walk to the beach passing very Brooklyn-esque restaurants. (Stop at Bonney Read for a spectacular Bloody Mary). Take a break from the midday sun by grabbing a frozen drink on the pier or check out the pinball museum. If you are planning to stay for the night book a room at the Asbury and check out the rooftop bar will a killer sunset view.

Rockaway, NY

Image Courtesy of Unsplash // Alistair MacRobert

Distance from Manhattan: One hour 15 minutes on the subway or bus.

Surfers located near New York know that this is the place for the best waves. Plan to rent a board out there so you don’t have to bring it on the subway or bus. The best access to beaches is off Rockaway Blvd between 80th and 100th street. Fun food options can be found at any number of concession stands along the boardwalk, but the tacos are what is the area is generally known for. No one leaves the area without getting a fish taco from the Rockaway Surf Club.

Jacob Riis Beach, NY

Image Courtesy of Flickr // Smith

Accessible by subway, bus, or ferry, this Queen’s beach is in the Far Rockaways next to Fort Tilden. If you don’t pack your own food and drinks, grab lunch at Beach Bazaar. Bathrooms with showers are also available so you can rinse off before heading back. There are even public BBQs for you to BYOM (bring your own meat) and grill and watch the sunset.

There is no excuse to cooped up in the sticky city all summer. Make it your goal to cool off at one of these hot spots.