Trip Ideas outdoor grass sky water lighthouse tower Coast Sea Nature shore Ocean cove cape bay promontory cliff terrain hillside distance

8 Best Beaches Near New York City

People forget that New York City—with all its glossy skyscrapers and urban delights—is actually a beach town (the Empire State Building is just 19 miles from Brighton Beach's spraying surf). Here are our favorite shores near Manhattan—BYO Beach Chair.

See recent posts by Kathryn O'Shea-Evans

Trip Ideas sky outdoor Beach people shore Nature body of water Sea Coast Ocean group sand vacation cape bay crowd day
Trip Ideas water sky outdoor people Beach Sea body of water shore group Coast vacation Nature Ocean vehicle boating bay cape several
Trip Ideas sky outdoor water Beach Sea body of water vacation season sand Coast people spring photo shoot swimwear shore
Trip Ideas outdoor sky Beach ground people body of water Sea shore Nature Coast walkway boardwalk sand enjoying day several

Rockaway Beach, Queens

A $2.75, 59-minute frothy ferry ride from Wall Street deposits you in the crux of Hipsterville: Rockaway Beach. The beach itself (and its 5.5-mile boardwalk) is a veritable parade of vintage swimsuits, but that’s not why you came; you’re there to eat. Rockaway Beach Bakery makes blueberry oat crumble pie (and has La Colombe coffee on tap), Caracas Arepa Barbrings the Venezuelan-turned-East Village mainstay out into the sun, and Sayra’s Wine Bar offers a pebbled backyard respite—with throwback films (Jaws, Dirty Dancing) playing al fresco.

Trip Ideas sky outdoor body of water Sea Beach urban area boardwalk City walkway shore Coast residential area tower block condominium horizon sand building vacation real estate Downtown Ocean tourism

Brighton Beach, Brooklyn

Eastern Europe is hours (days?) away. Brighton Beach? Just a notch before Coney Island, yet almost as far-flung—they call it Little Odessa. Before you hit the sand, stop by Cafe At Your Mother-in-Law (don’t worry, they won’t judge you mercilessly) for Uzbek-Korean food, or Skovorodka, for Russian classics: blintzes with farmer cheese, escargot, or housemade lox. The beach itself is nearly as crowded as Coney, but tricked out: there’s a mobile charging stand and you can surf there.

Trip Ideas sky outdoor ground walkway boardwalk fair people vacation amusement park outdoor recreation park ferris wheel town square sunny
Trip Ideas sky amusement park roller coaster amusement ride outdoor park leisure nonbuilding structure recreation outdoor recreation Water park ride
Trip Ideas sky blue parachute sports windsports parachuting flower atmosphere of earth toy air sports several
Trip Ideas sky amusement park outdoor amusement ride park ferris wheel leisure fair roller coaster recreation outdoor recreation colorful nonbuilding structure tourist attraction Carousel festival ride

Coney Island, Brooklyn

Yes, it more than borders on seedy. Yes, it's a trek on the Q train (at least an hour from midtown Manhattan). But Coney Island is a bucket list New York destination for Americana obsessives for good reasons: Brooklyn Cyclone's baseball complete with sea mist, a 1927 wooden roller coaster (the original Cyclone) that’s more energizing than a triple cappuccino, and The New York Aquarium, home to penguins and sea otters. Walk out to the end of the wood pier to gawk at the suntanning hordes; if you squint, it could be 1976.

RELATED: 11 Things to Do In DUMBO

Trip Ideas table food plate dish indoor cuisine vegetarian food appetizer fried food recipe breakfast meal
Trip Ideas outdoor person canopy restaurant marketplace outdoor structure market recreation City tree coffeehouse vacation tourism
Trip Ideas plate food dish Seafood grilled food animal source foods shrimp brochette skewer satay scampi recipe souvlaki greek food cuisine mediterranean food kebab
Style + Design Trip Ideas sky outdoor Coast Sea shore Beach horizon Nature headland coastal and oceanic landforms promontory Ocean cloud terrain bay cape tree sand day sandy

Ditch Plains, Montauk, Long Island

Montauk isn’t the end of the earth—but it feels like it. Especially from the top of the 1796 Montauk Point Lighthouse, which was commissioned by none other than George Washington himself. Climb up to get a lay of the land (and rollicking sea) before hitting nearby Ditch Plains beach, where surfers collect from around the globe to take the waters. After: hit The Gigshack for blackened just-caught fish and mango tacos and live music.

Trip Ideas sky outdoor ground Beach Sea Nature shore horizon Coast cloud sand coastal and oceanic landforms Ocean people vacation bay sandy day

Fort Tilden, Queens

(Not) far from the madding crowds at The Rockaways, Fort Tilden is a must for history buffs: a former military fort built in 1917, and decommissioned in more than six decades later to become part of the National Parks Service. What’s left: hiking trails, fishing and a former gun storage turned panoramic viewing deck over Jamaica Bay (and resident hawks). Also stop by the Rockaway Artist Alliance, in onetime forts, to take classes in everything from screen-printing to cyanotypes (i.e. blue and white prints made in the sun).

Trip Ideas sky outdoor ground cloud Beach sand building shore Sea Coast horizon dune ecoregion vacation tourism Ocean aeolian landform meteorological phenomenon landscape sandy day
Trip Ideas table floor indoor café furniture interior design coffeehouse
Trip Ideas food dish plate cuisine salad vegetarian food vegetable appetizer recipe side dish waldorf salad close several fresh
Trip Ideas chair brick wall interior design home window café restaurant brickwork furniture

Speakeatery images courtesy of Rob Warhurst

Trip Ideas food fried food indoor breakfast sandwich sausage gravy fast food dish finger food salmon burger american food breakfast slider vegetarian food buffalo burger biscuit hamburger chicken fried steak junk food sandwich baked goods snack food close
Trip Ideas outdoor sky ground body of water Beach sand Sea cloud shore Coast residential area Ocean real estate vacation tourism house City water sandy

Asbury Park, New Jersey

If Asbury Park sounds like a Springsteen album, that’s because it is: The Boss’s very first studio record, released in 1973, was Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. But it’s also up-and-came, with the new Asbury Hotel luring New Yorkers (it’s just over an hour away) with DJ’s spinning poolside and modernist guest rooms stocked with black-and-white images of Asbury Park’s rock heyday. In town, don’t tell anybody about the top-secret Speakeatery (kidding!), where sandwiches include The Bootlegger (buttermilk soaked and fried pork chops with gravy on a biscuit). Now, aren’t you ready to hit the sand? Mini golf on the boardwalk awaits.

RELATED: 10 Best Day Trips from NYC

Trip Ideas tree outdoor City neighbourhood urban area human settlement residential area Garden flower estate Downtown yard park people plant
Trip Ideas tree outdoor water feature park amusement park Water park fountain
Trip Ideas outdoor sky building landmark vacation tourism people River bridge walkway waterway tours travel

Pier 4 Beach, Brooklyn

Before you scoff and click elsewhere: yes, we’re recommending you go to a soft sand beach within New York City. For one thing, the commute to Pier 4 can’t be beat. For another, where else can you explore tidal pools within full view of both the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty? It helps that Ample Hills Creamery has a part-time outpost at neighboring Pier 5; order The Munchies flavor, which contains potato chips, pretzels and Ritz crackers.

Trip Ideas outdoor sky grass habitat natural environment landform geographical feature wilderness grassland ecosystem steppe horizon grass family aeolian landform prairie field badlands dune hill landscape soil sand Nature Desert Sea plateau Coast Lake mountain wetland valley plant day

Cooper’s Beach, Southampton, Long Island

If your version of a perfect beach day involves Ina Garten and lobster rolls, you’re going to have to hit the Hamptons (doable in a day trip, if hotels are booked). The $40 parking permit for Cooper’s Beach in Southampton is worth it for the scene alone; Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte and Samantha are there somewhere, fanning off in the white quartz sand. Don’t leave the area without stopping by Sip’n Soda for an extra thick malted milkshake; the family-owned diner was established in 1958 and the ice cream’s made on-site.

Want more?



All products are independently selected by our writers and editors. If you buy something through our links, Jetsetter may earn an affiliate commission.