When you think of New York, you think of pulsating life, action, fun and long sightseeing and shopping tours. Beach holidays, on the other hand, tend to be a shadowy existence in the minds of visitors. Completely wrong! Find the best beaches in and around New York City.
After all, there is nothing better than enjoying a cool swim in the Atlantic after a hard day in the city or using the other amenities of one of the beautiful sandy beaches around the city center, which are a worthwhile alternative to the swimming pools, which are often overcrowded in summer. In the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, on Staten Island or a little further away on Long Island, true dream beaches are waiting to be discovered by you. And to make it a little easier for you, we’ve put together the most beautiful beaches in and around New York City and the surrounding area for you.
Sun on bare skin, sand between your toes and a breathtaking view of the vast expanses of the blue ocean. A perfect beach vacation. But imagine that you forget half of it. To prevent that from happening, we’ve created a beach vacation checklist.
A dream for surfers – Rockaway Beach in Queens
Rockaway Beach in Queens is the largest city beach in the USA and stretches for around 16 kilometers through very different areas, which impressively show the diversity of New York. Here you meet very different groups of people. Families with children, young people, seniors and of course surfers, for whom special areas of the beach are reserved. While beginners can ride gentle waves here in summer, the professionals also get their money’s worth in the hurricane season in early autumn. In addition, visitors can look forward to a long promenade for a leisurely stroll, snack bars, playgrounds, bathing beaches and various sports facilities.
From the amusement park into the cool water – Coney Island in Brooklyn
Even if not quite as shabby as it used to be, Coney Island in Brooklyn is still a popular destination for young and old and by no means as shabby as it was a few years ago. Much, such as the beach promenade, has been renovated and brought up to date. On Coney Island you can sunbathe on the four-kilometer-long white sandy beach, go for a walk and of course visit the amusement park with the famous Cyclone roller coaster. But the sideshow, the museum there and the New York Aquarium are also worth a detour.
Off to the Bronx Riviera – Orchard Beach in the Bronx
The Bronx doesn’t have the best reputation, not least thanks to film and television. But despite all prejudices, there is also an artificially created beach there, which is in no way inferior to other bathing options in terms of safety. It is constructed in the shape of a crescent and extends over a length of almost two kilometers. There are many Latinos on the Bronx Riviera, and the atmosphere is accordingly lively. You can feel the Caribbean flair, no matter whether on the beach itself or on the promenade with its playgrounds, snack bars, concerts and sports facilities. The picturesque little island City Island with its charming fishing village and famous fish restaurants is also worth a visit, which is just a few minutes’ walk away.
Little Odessa in the USA – let’s go to Brighton Beach
Based on the Ukrainian port city of Odessa, Brighton Beach definitely has Eastern European flair. Similar to Littly Italy or Chinatown, many people with the same roots have come together here, which is what makes Little Odessa so special. A visit to one of the small shops or Russian restaurants is definitely worth it. Brighton Beach is a white sandy beach that is directly adjacent to Coney Island Beach and is bordered on the other side by Manhattan Beach, a small but fine, family-friendly, quiet beach that is great for picnicking.
More for those seeking peace and quiet – Great Kills Park in Staten Island
If you prefer it quiet, you might find your dream beach in Great Kills Park. Located right next to Franklin D. Roosevelt Beach with its famous promenade, this attractive beach enchants sun-seekers, which is hardly overcrowded and offers more privacy. While an idyllic harbor with small boats borders the beach in the south, there is a quiet beach in the east of the peninsula, where you can relax wonderfully. It’s worth the drive in and of itself, as the free ferry takes you through New York Harbor and has a breathtaking view of the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline.
For old and young – Cedar Grove, Midland and South Beach
The three neighboring beaches of Cedar Grove, Midland and South Beach offer something for everyone. The newest of these is Cedar Grove, a converted oceanfront bungalow colony with breathtaking views of the Manhattan Bridge. It is quieter there than on the other two beaches. Midland Beach shares Franklin-D.-Roosevelt-Promenade with neighboring South Beach and has playgrounds and a sea turtle station especially for children. In contrast, South Beach is more geared towards the older generation. Chess tables, benches and bocce fields invite those who are not swimming, enjoying the great view of the Verazzano Bridge, cycling, jogging, kayaking or playing tennis to pass the time.
The Sylt of the New Yorkers – Long Island
Anyone who talks about beaches in and around New York must also talk about New Yorkers’ Sylt, Long Island. White beach, great waves for surfing and magnificent sunsets over the Atlantic attract people from all over the world. There are several beaches on Long Island, of which Jones Beach, Fire Island, and Cooper Beach are the most famous. Some areas are specially geared towards families, others are perfectly tailored to the young generation and invite you to party with rock bands, clubs and more. But those interested in culture also get their money’s worth.
Jones Beach State Park is the most popular bathing beach on Long Island, where thousands of people enjoy the sun on the weekends, stroll along the huge promenade, visit the restaurants and shops or enjoy the cool water in one of the swimming pools with fresh and salt water. Cooper Beach was voted America’s Best Beach in 2010. Untouched white sand over 80 km offers plenty of beach fun and allows relaxation away from the hustle and bustle and noise, which is also appreciated by the beautiful and rich, many of whom spend the summer there. Fire Island is contemplative, with the remarkable lighthouse from 1857 and the picturesque towns. You won’t find any cars, shopping malls or the like there.