NYC beaches officially open on May 25th, making Memorial Day weekend the perfect time to break in your new swimsuit, relax, and enjoy the sun. New York becomes a different place when it’s warm out, and nowhere can the city’s carefree summer vibes be better appreciated than at one of its many great beaches. Here are some of our favorite NYC beaches to check out and enjoy this Memorial Day weekend.
Surf Avenue at West 12th Street, New York, NY 11224
As far as NYC beaches go, Coney Island (pictured above) is the package deal, offering more than a taste of the city’s history along with genuine natural splendor. Once you’ve explored the three miles of shoreline, consider hopping a ride on the famous Cyclone roller coaster in the beach’s beloved amusement park or grabbing a Nathan’s hot dog. Round out the day with a trip to the nearby New York Aquarium.
Getting there: Take the D, Q, N, or F train to Coney Island Terminal-Stillwell Avenue
Oriental Boulevard (between Ocean Avenue and Mackenzie Street), New York, NY 90266
A Brooklynite favorite, Manhattan Beach is the underappreciated cousin to Coney Island – smaller, more remote, and often overlooked. All of this makes it the perfect spot for some good old-fashioned family fun. The park features two enormous playgrounds, two baseball diamonds, and plenty of open courts for playing tennis, volleyball, basketball, and handball. Once you’ve exhausted your competitive streak, take some time for a stroll on the beach and appreciate the elegant mansions that line the shore.
Getting there: Take the B or Q train to Brighton Beach. Then hop a 5-minute ride on the B1 Bus to Oriental Boulevard.
1000 Ocean Parkway, Wantagh, NY 11793
With a strictly enforced “no radio” policy, Jones Beach protects your precious quiet, making it a great respite from a boisterous city. Of course, it’s not all silence and communing with nature: Jones Beach is famous for its amphitheater shows that draw huge crowds and top-tier musicians. The park also has mini golf, an Olympic-size pool, and four miles of picturesque bike trails. This Memorial Day weekend, don’t miss the 16th-annual Bethpage Air Show, featuring the US Air Force Thunderbirds—just be sure to get there early.
Getting there: Take the LIRR from Penn Station and get off at Freeport. From there, take the Jones Beach shuttle bus.
Park Drive, New York, NY 10464
Upon its creation in the 1930s, this beach was dubbed “The Riviera of New York.” Nearly a century later, this 15-acre, 1.1-mile long beach continues to provide endless summer fun for vacationers and locals alike. With picnic tables, playgrounds, and 26 courts for handball, basketball, and volleyball, there’s truly something for everyone. The beach has lifeguards on duty from 10AM-6PM, giving you plenty of time to wade and swim in the endless, sparkling ocean. And if you tire of the salt water, simply explore the surrounding 3,000 acre Pelham Bay Park, which has horse stables, a 19th-century mansion, and more.
Getting there: Take the 6 train to its final stop at Pelham Bay Park, then hop the Bx12, Bx29, Bx5, Bx52, or Westchester Line number 45.
8601 Shore Front Parkway, New York, NY 11694
This is one of New York City’s most beloved and classic beaches, known for its endless miles of shoreline. Each area of the beach has its own style, from the barbecue area at Beach 15 to the buzzing bar scene at Beach 97. If you’re looking for some alone time, explore 126th to 153rd, lined with beautiful beach houses and a quiet vibe perfect for exploring. If you feel like pushing your limits a little, try surf lessons at the highly regarded Locals Surf School at Beach 67.
Getting there: Take the A train or the OvR Rockaway Beach Bus
In New York City, there’s no shortage of fresh ocean air, sparkling water, and picturesque shoreline to enjoy as the weather warms up. All you need is a sense of adventure, the willingness to leave work behind, and, of course, sunscreen. Enjoy!