New York City brings the traveler a lot to explore – the bustling city, people from all over the world, and endless possibilities. While Manhattan attracts majority of the visitors, the surrounding boroughs offer great weekend getaways, especially at the beaches during summertime. City life can include beach life on a few subway stops away. I spend much more time near the ocean than in Manhattan, especially in the summer month.
Photo via Photodropper
Follow the crowd and head to these five beaches near NYC where you can socialize, dance, and most of all, enjoy yourself with others:
This set of beaches in southern Queens has become more and more popular each year. Miles of beach are quickly accessible off the A train. Beach bars and restaurants line the streets and it is common to see live band performances near the boardwalk. Head down 86th street to the snack bar and grab $3 beers during the months of June-September. Bike or jog down the paths as you view new artwork or take a stroll to the marina for a jet skiing and boat rides. Hurricane Sandy did hit the Rockaways a few years ago; the locals have kept rebuilding and that does not stop others from coming.
The hype from the Hamptons has transferred to Montauk, set at the eastern end of New York. Its beaches are set behind sandy dunes and are open for bonfires! Surfing is a common sport as is enjoying the panoramic ocean views. You can see for endless miles to the east and west. On the weekends, local restaurants such as “The Sloppy Tuna” and “Gurney’s” offer a social atmosphere where drinks flow and new friends are made. Bike riding is recommended if you prefer a romantic escape to an uninhabited portion of a beach.
Long Beach, located in Nassau County of Long Island, extends for 4 miles. Hop off the Long Island Railroad and you are in the center of the strip which includes bars, restaurants, and shops. You can find many seafood options here for dining. All season passes to the beach can be a bit costly but is worth it if you’re a frequent beach visitor. Games are a big part of Long Beach and include frisbee, volleyball, and cornhole. Ask to join in! Also, bring your own cooler as drinking is allowed as long as you use a koozie.
Wishing for an upstate getaway? Head to Rye Beach where you can not only sunbathe but also enjoy the amusement park at Rye Playland! If you’re more of a foodie, you can barbeque on the beach with a permit. Don’t like salty water? Dip into the outdoor pool instead. The beach is not open to dogs, but there are many designated areas for dog walking right next to the beach. There are options for everyone.
The beach at Governor’s Island has been a new destination for summer concerts and events. Only a short ferry ride from lower Manhattan, the boat ride is one small portion of the fun. The island itself keeps a calendar accessible online so you have view the scheduled events throughout the summer which extend to fairs, art shows, and open studios. The trapeze school opens during the summer months too if you are feeling extra adventurous.
Fire Island is a barrier of multiple islands that parallels Long Island. Ocean Beach is considered the biggest “party” scene of all the islands and beaches. Try the famous “Rocket Fuel” drinks or take those flip flops off so you can roam through the bars, marina, and beach barefoot. Parties last all night and summer houses are available for rent. Fire Island does not allow any cars on the island (unless they’re there for construction purposes) and it is mostly forest. Being invited to house parties is a plus at Fire Island beaches.
Which are the best for parties in your opinion?