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Best (Fake) Urban Beaches

Summer’s here and the time is right for packing your towel and sunscreen, hailing a cab to the heart of town, and hitting the beach. Four of our favorite (faux) city beaches:
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Paris-Plage, a network of three sandy oases set up every July and August along the Seine’s Right Bank, complete with chaises longues, boules courts, and palm trees.

Copenhagen’s Havnebadet (“harbor baths”), an industrial pier in Islandsbrygge converted into a beach club and park with space for 600. Barbecue pits, a volleyball lawn, and great city views add to the scene—and you can actually swim in the newly cleaned-up harbor.

Istanbul’s Suada, a chic swimming club by day and bar/disco/sushi restaurant by night with an Olympic size pool—floating in the middle of the Bosphorus.

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And, not least, the latest incarnation of New York’s Water Taxi Beach, this one on Pier 17 next to South Street Seaport, in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge (the original WTB, pitctured above, is across the East River in Queens). The new location, which opened Memorial Day weekend, has the same trucked-in beach sand, picnic tables, and DJ’s after dark, but it also offers an expanded menu that adds fish tacos to the usual burgers and dogs, plus—wait for it—mini-golf and skeeball. If that doesn’t release your inner 10-year-old, who knows what will.

(For the best real city beaches, check out this slideshow.)

Peter Jon Lindberg is Travel + Leisure's editor at large.


Photos courtesy of Rui Pereira (Paris-Plage) and Isuru Seneviratne (Water Taxi Beach, Queens)


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