Top 11 New York Beaches To Explore – Locating the Best Beaches In New York

By: ROS Team

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There are many incredible beaches in and around NYC. The city is surrounded by two of the Great Lakes: “Lake Erie to the west and Lake Ontario to the northwest,” but often when we think of New York, we don’t think of its beaches.

Best Beaches In New York:

1) Rockaways Beach
2) Orchard Beach
3) Coney Island Beach
4) Brighton Beach
5) Fort Tilden Beach
6) Manhattan Beach
7) Midland Beach
8) Jacob Riis Park
9) Plumb Beach
10) New Dorp Beach
11) South Beach

1. The Rockaways

Rockaway Beach is a must-visit if you want to try surfing in NYC. There is nowhere else in the NYC metropolitan area where you can legally ride a surfboard – it’s a paradise for surfing enthusiasts.

Located on the western end of Queens, it is one of the most popular beaches in New York and has been rated 4.5 by Tripadvisor

Rockaway Beach

New York surfing is best experienced between September and April. In those conditions, a south-southeast swell combines with a northwest offshore wind.

There is a famous boardwalk on the beach, and you can also go fishing, boating, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, and much more on the water.

Rockaway Beach is a must-visit if you want to try out surfing in NYC. There is nowhere else in the NYC metropolitan area where you can legally ride a surfboard – it’s a paradise for surfing enthusiasts.

2. The Orchard Beach

The Orchard beach is also known as “The Riviera of New York City. It is the best beach in NYC for a day trip. It might not be as popular as some other beaches in the area, but it’s one of those hidden gems that can’t be missed.

Orchard Beach is located in Pelham Bay Park and offers a beautiful view of Long Island. It has been awarded the Blue Wave Award three times in a row as the cleanest beach in NYC.

Orchard Beach

It is an unpaved beach with plenty of parking spots and no admission fee, so it’s great for families on a budget. The lifeguards are present from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and swimming is prohibited when they are not on duty.

Beach amenities include an open-air pavilion with food trucks, parking, restrooms, picnic tables, and a playground for children. Additionally, it has a concession stand that sells food such as hot dogs, hamburgers, fries, pizza slices, pretzels, etc.

It is, therefore, a popular tourist and local destination.

3. Coney Island Beach

Coney Island Beach is a popular destination in New York. For many, it is the best beach in NYC, thanks to its location and the number of amenities.

It is a public beach on the Atlantic Ocean located on Mermaid Avenue, just off Neptune Avenue, in Brooklyn, NYC.

Coney Island Beach

Coney Island Beach has a long history and is also home to Luna Park.

Coney Island Beach hosts an amusement park, restaurants, shops, and a boardwalk as one of the best beaches in NY. Compared to other nearby beaches, children enjoy Coney Island Beach because the water is calm and shallow. The sand is soft and not too hot to walk on.

Water temperatures usually range from 66-72 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer to 49-51 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter.

The beach hosts a lifeguard from 10 am to 6 pm in the summertime, but only until 5 pm in winter.

4. Brighton Beach – Best Beach in NYC

Brighton Beach is a gem and is one of the best beaches in NYC, located on the southern coast of Brooklyn. The neighborhood is bounded by Sheepshead Bay and Manhattan Beach to the north, Coney Island Creek to the east, Jamaica Bay to the south, and Gravesend Bay to the west.

Brighton Beach

It is a popular summer destination for people from New York City and other Northeastern cities. It boasts an excellent boardwalk, several great restaurants, and an active nightlife scene.

Brighton Beach was named one of the top 10 beaches in America by Dr. Stephen Leatherman, aka Dr. Beach, who has been called “The Nation’s Top Expert on Recreational Water Quality” by The Wall Street Journal.

Brighton Beach is also home to a large Russian community and has served as a backdrop for numerous films and TV shows, including Brighton Beach Memoirs starring Robin Williams.

5. Fort Tilden Beach

Fort Tilden was once a military base famous for its dunes, beach, and maritime forests. It is located in the Rockaway area of Queens, about 30 minutes from Manhattan.

It is a small beach but can be crowned as the best beach in NYC. That’s because of its history and the exciting features it has to offer to its visitors.

Fort Tilden Beach

The beach has an observatory tower, which can be climbed up to get a great view of the area. It boasts beautiful views, great surf, and clean water.

The Fort Tilden beach has many activities, which include surfing, fishing, and picnics on the sand. There are some free concerts in the summer that you can enjoy!

The best time to visit is during low tide when you can explore the rock formations.

The lifeguards are present daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and parking fees apply during peak hours.

6. Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach is located on the southern tip of Brooklyn and is a popular destination for people from all over NYC. It is perfect for those seeking solace and avoiding Coney Island’s crowds.

Manhattan Beach

The beach is also famous among families because of its calm water, baseball pitches, bicycling, skate paths, and various other activities, including a barbeque area.

If you are interested in swimming, the lifeguards are on duty daily, from 10 am to 6 pm. For obvious reasons, swimming is not permitted when they are not around.

You can easily find Manhattan Beach parking by taking exit eight off Belt Parkway and following the signs. Parking and Beach admissions will cost $7.00 from Monday through Friday and $22.00 on weekends and holidays.

7. Midland Beach

Midland Beach is located in the neighborhood of Staten Island in New York City. It lies towards the east-central coast adjacent to the more crowded South Beach.

However, Midland is not crowded, making it ideal for those who wish to be at peace with themselves for the weekend.

Midland Beach

It is one of the few best beaches in New York, with a sea turtle fountain that kids can run through all day. There is a playground, handball, shuffleboard court, and a veterans memorial honoring Staten Island.

Other Amenities Include:

  • A barbeque facility.
  • A bicycle and skating path.
  • A boardwalk.
  • A mobile charging station.

Lifeguards are on duty daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and free parking is available at the beach.

8. Jacob Riis Park

Jacob Riis Park is a seaside beach on the southwestern portion of the Rockaway Peninsula in New York City. It is one of the oldest beaches in the city and is accessible to the public from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.

Jacob Riis Park Beach

The beach has an iconic bathhouse built in the 1930s and a tall four-faced clock on the boardwalk. These form significant attractions for tourists and visitors alike.

The food is available in Bay 9 at the Riis Beach Bathhouse. If you want to drive up there,  the parking fee is $20, which is charged between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.

9. Plumb Beach

Plumb Beach is located near the north shore of the Rockaway inlet. It has been voted as one of New York City’s best beaches.

Plumb Beach

The beach is extremely popular among locals and tourists because it’s an escape from city life, with a serene atmosphere and lots of activities to enjoy, such as kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, fishing, or just relaxing on the shoreline.

The beach has a playground, a volleyball court, and a small bar with food and drinks.

Take the eastbound Belt Parkway lane to get there. There is no Exit 10; it is after Exit 9 and before Exit 11. Take the B-44 or B-4 bus to Knapp Street/Shore Parkway. Plum Beach is a short walk away.

The beach remains open from 6 am to 9 pm every day.

10. The New Dorp Beach

New Dorp is a beautiful beach on Staten Island in New York City. It has a beautiful view of the New York City skyline and is a great place to go for picnics and family outings.

The beach became popular because of its views. It has a beautiful view of Upper New York Bay and Lower Manhattan. You can also see Governors Island from this beach, which is why many people come here for sightseeing.

New Dorp Beach

Its attractions include the New Dorp Lighthouse, the Ocean Breeze Fishing Pier, and the South Beach Nature Preserve.

There are swings, benches, and picnic tables available for visitors. Swimming is not permitted in this beach area due to steep drop-offs close to shore.

The parking situation at New Dorp Beach is excellent, with plenty of parking spaces available on weekdays and weekends, which makes it easy to find a spot near the shoreline.

New Dorp Beach is open daily from 10 am to 6 pm.

11. The South Beach, Staten Island

South Beach is a beautiful beach located on the East Shore of Staten Island, New York City. It is close to some of New York’s best attractions, like Coney Island, Staten Island Ferry, and Rockaway Beach, making it a great attraction.

South Beach has two sections, one for swimming and the other for sunbathing. Restrooms and changing rooms are available, along with activities such as baseball, handball, shuffleboard, and roller hockey.

South Beach, Staten Island

You can visit the beach from 10 am to 6 pm, which makes it perfect for people who want to spend their whole day at the beach without worrying about any time constraints. The best months to visit South Beach is from May – September, as it gets too cold during the winters.

It is accessible by car or public transportation. Due to limited parking spaces, it might be better to park elsewhere and walk to South Beach instead.

Finding the Best Beach in NYC: The Quest

Although it’s a challenge to single out the best beach in NYC, we can be assured that the above-listed beaches have a combination of solace, surfing, adventure, and fun. Pick up your swimwear and surfboard, and drive to your favorite beach for a perfect weekend.

Best Beach in NY, FAQ

Does New York have a Beach?

Yes, there are many beaches in New York, and the closest beach is the Rockaways, which is about half an hour’s drive by car from Manhattan. Some other nearest beaches are in Brooklyn and Queens, about an hour from Manhattan, NY.

Does New York have Good Beaches?

Yes, New York has some beautiful beaches. Queens is host to the best beach in NYC – The Rockaway. It has received brilliant ratings from multiple travel websites and is a must-visit for surfing enthusiasts.

Another great beach is “The Orchard Beach,” which is the cleanest beach in NYC and has received the Blue Wave Award for cleanliness three times in a row.

Can you Swim in NYC Beaches?

Yes, you can swim on NYC beaches. Many New York beaches have lifeguards on duty at certain times. Due to safety and liability concerns, New York prohibits swimming when lifeguards are absent.

How Close is NYC to the Beach?

Almost all beaches in New York City’s boroughs are 30 30-minute to 1.30 hrs drive by car. The closest is the Rockaways in Queens and Coney Island Beach in Brooklyn. The city has a 520-mile-long coastline with 14 miles of beautiful beaches.

Are the Beaches in New York Cold?

The beaches in New York are not cold. In the summer, the temperature is usually in the mid-70s (°F) and can reach 90 °F (32 °C). In the winter, it’s generally in the low 40s (°F) and can get as low as 0 °F (-18 °C).