6 Best Beaches Near NYC

These NYC beaches are perfect for your next day trip.

Some beach vacations require jetting off to a tropical island and shelling out major cash to soak up ocean breezes and sandy shores. While a trip to a far-flung beach destination sounds delightful, time and money constraints don't always permit it.

Long Beach New York - Best Beach New York
Nina Ruggiero

Local seaside getaways make doable day trips for both New York City residents and visitors. And while there are no beaches in Manhattan, you can find stretches of sand in every other New York City borough. Beaches in NYC offer most of the same pleasures as those of faraway shores, as long as you can do without the tropical palm trees. Nearby Long Island — just a short trip from the city — also boasts some of the best beaches in the U.S., as well as a sampling of quaint seaside towns.

We've rounded up some of the best beaches near New York City. These shoreside jaunts will meet the needs of any city dweller or visitor, whether it's for a day trip or weekend getaway.

Coney Island Beach

This is a view of the pier and waterfront in Coney Island on October 14, 2019 in New York
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Coney Island Beach in Brooklyn offers three miles of coastline and a lively atmosphere. After a dip in the ocean, or an afternoon of sunbathing, grab a famous Nathan's hot dog and stroll the boardwalk for some of the best people-watching in the borough. Or, head over to Luna Park to play carnival games and ride roller coasters and speedboats. And don't go home without taking at least one spin on the iconic Coney Island Cyclone, the park's historic (and thrilling) roller coaster.

Rockaway Beach

Set on the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens, this large urban stretch of sand is the city's only legal surfing beach. The popular New York destination is accessible by public transportation, so grab your board and go without worrying about traffic or parking. Snack bars and concession stands line the Rockaway boardwalk, offering city-centric beach fare; and barbecue pits, restrooms, and showers make your day trip comfortable. Stay at The Rockaway Hotel + Spa for a perfect weekend getaway that's easily accessible from Manhattan or Brooklyn via the NYC Ferry.

Orchard Beach

Orchard Beach in the Bronx, NY
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The only beach in the Bronx, Orchard Beach was once called "The Riviera of New York City." Set on the western end of the Long Island Sound, the water here lacks ocean waves and is calm enough for swimming. Orchard Beach is part of Pelham Bay Park (which is three times the size of Central Park, making it the city's largest park), complete with 13 miles of sandy shoreline, two golf courses, hiking trails, and the historic Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum. Other amenities include snack bars, playgrounds, picnic areas, restrooms, showers, and courts for basketball, volleyball, and handball.

Midland Beach

The free Staten Island Ferry takes Manhattanites to the borough of Staten Island, which is home to some of the best beaches in New York. Among them is family-friendly Midland Beach, with its playground, handball and shuffleboard courts, and sea turtle fountain for kids. Check out the veterans memorial, honoring local residents who served in World War I, World War II, and the Korean and Vietnam wars. This slice of seashore also provides views of the Verrazano Bridge, and is connected to neighboring South Beach (another popular NYC beach) by the Franklin D. Roosevelt Boardwalk. Seniors can enjoy a designated park of their own here, complete with chess tables, benches, and bocce courts, and the Midland Beach Fishing Pier welcomes anglers looking to catch snapper, fluke, and blue fish.

Brighton Beach

Brighton Beach on a spring day, Brooklyn, New York City
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Brooklyn's Brighton Beach is located in the southern part of the borough along the Atlantic Ocean and not far from Coney Island, Manhattan Beach, and Sheepshead Bay. The neighborhood is known as "Little Odessa," recognizing its tight-knit Eastern European and Russian community members. This wide beach can be quite crowded on hot summer weekends, but the vibe here is unparalleled. The shops, restaurants, bars, and clubs offer traditional fare, including borscht, caviar, Russian vodka, and dumplings. Serious swimmers can use this stretch of water for long-distance swims to Coney Island or beyond. Just make sure to tow a pull buoy to identify yourself to lifeguards.

Long Beach

Set on a peninsula south of Long Island in Nassau County sits Long Beach, one of the best beaches near New York City. This stretch of shoreline includes a two-mile-long boardwalk that was rebuilt after Hurricane Sandy, complete with benches overlooking the open ocean and powdery white sand. Walk or bike on the boardwalk, surf the waves, or relax on the beach (which has complimentary Wi-Fi). This reprieve is easy to access from the city, thanks to the Long Island Railroad, with a stop located just a few blocks away.

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