SUMMER IS OFFICIALLY HERE!
Put those sweaters away, stock up on sunscreen and get ready for a sand-packed summer because there are actually a bunch of great beaches less than 3 hours from the city! Here is our guide to a few of our favorites:
1. Jacob Riis Park Beach
1 hour, 45 minutes from Penn Station
Most people have been to (or at least heard of) Rockaway Beach, but Jacob Riis Park Beach still remains somewhat of a best-kept-secret for NYC beach lovers. It's less crowded than Coney Island and it's a totally do-able day trip with some bangin' food options.
- How to get there: You can take the 2 train downtown to Flatbush Ave and then hop on the Q35 bus towards Rockaway Park B. 116th Street, get off at the Rockaway Beach Bl/Neponsit Hosp stop and you're just a 10-minute walk from the beach. Depending on which part of Brooklyn you're coming from there are a couple of buses that connect to the Q35 as well.
- Where to eat: The Riis Park Beach Bazaar has really everything you could possibly ask for from seafood at the Rockaway Clam Bar to BBQ at Fletcher's to the Detriot-style diner Ed & Bev's. They also have a bunch of pop-up restaurants and food trucks every summer- some to look forward to this summer are Super Burrito, Pizza Moto, Oaxaca Taqueria, and Warung (a food truck offering an authentic Bangkok street-food experience). Oh, and you can't have a beach day without ice cream so don't forget to grab a cone from Ample Hills Creamery on your way out.
- What else can I do there?: If you're looking for more than your average beach day the Riis Park Bazaar is also home to all kinds of awesome events such as karaoke, a beach volleyball league, lobster boils every Friday night and a ton of concerts for every variety of music fan.
2. Midland Beach
Staten Island, NY
1 hour, 15 minutes from Penn Station
With an amazing view of the Verazzano Bridge Midland Beach is typically much less crowded than other beaches in the 5 boroughs and is known for its fishing pier and scenic bike path. Oh, and maybe the best part is that you get to enjoy the ride and the view from the Staten Island Ferry on the way over.
- How to get there: Head downtown to the White Hall Ferry Station and catch the Staten Island Ferry. From there you can grab an Uber or Lyft or take the S51 bus to Midland Av/Colony St. You can also grab the X1 bus from Rector St or near Prospect Park for those Brooklyn dwellers and take that all the way to Hylan Bl/Midland Av.
- Where to eat: If you're feeling adventurous and want to take a walk into the neighborhood Hook & Reel is an amazing cajun bowl spot whose motto is 'no plates, no forks, no rules' so you know you're in for an authentic experience. A little bit closer to the beach is How Greek Is It which has awesome gyros that you can take out and eat on the sand. Griff's Place is your classic neighborhood sports bar, but with great food- the burgers, steak, and corned beef sandwich are a must-try. We saved the best for last, Big Boys Pizzeria known for their BBQ chicken and buffalo chicken pizzas is just a 2-minute walk from the sand.
- What else can I do there?: There are also bocce courts, tennis courts, and shuffleboard courts if you need a break from the sand. Or take a walk on the boardwalk to work off all that buffalo chicken pizza.
3. Long Beach
Long Beach, NY
1 hour from Penn Station
Hurricane Sandy destroyed this seaside town back in 2012, but luckily they have fully rebounded and Long Beach was actually declared one of the cleanest beaches in the U.S. by The National Resources Defense Council so it is definitely worth a visit.
- How to get there: Time for the shameless Skedaddle plug! We are doing $10 rides to Long Beach every Saturday in July- that's right, you can go to this beautiful beach every Saturday in July for just $10! Grab a seat while you still can. Oh, and if you don't want to Skedaddle with us for some reason you can take the LIRR from Penn Station.
- Where to eat: This is our favorite question for Long Beach because just walking distance from the beach is Shoregasboard (we appreciate a good play on words) which is a beachy version of Smorgasburg and has food trucks offering everything from smoothies to lobster rolls. Stop by Sugo for some fish tacos and jerk chicken or Swingbellys for lobster rolls and pulled pork. If you're feeling something a little less indulgent, NY Acai and Tutti Frutti have some fresh acai bowls and smoothies.
- What else can I do there?: There is a beautiful 2-mile boardwalk where you can walk or bike and there is also a farmers' market and art festival on Saturdays in Kennedy Plaza which is just 6 blocks from the sand.
4. Brighton Beach
55 minutes from Penn Station
Every New Yorker should visit Coney Island at least once in their lives, but there's no need to brave those crowds when you're trying to have a relaxing beach day. Luckily, Brighton Beach, just a 22-minute walk from Coney Island Beach, is far less crowded and much closer to the famed Russian Boardwalk.
- How to get there: You can take the F/M to the B or the R/W to the Q and hop off at Brighton Beach.
- Where to eat: There are so many amazing Russian and Middle Eastern restaurants just steps off the sand it's really hard to choose. Definitely head over to Oceanview Cafe for some pelmeni (similar to a dumpling and usually filled with meat) and varenyky (most people know these by their Polish name pierogis). Skovorodka is another authentic favorite and has a great lunch special for only $12.99. Cafe Kashkar is a super unique experience, offering authentic Uighur cuisine which is technically Chinese with some tastes of the Middle East. If none of these is your thing, you can find some delicious tacos at Tacos El Ray.
- What else can I do there?: If you can move after all of that Russian food there are definitely some interesting sites to see up and down the boardwalk or if you do feel like braving the crowds and the lines you can head over and take a couple rides in Luna Park. We recommend the slingshot for any daredevils out there.
5. Rockaway Beach and Boardwalk
1 hour and 15 minutes from Penn Station
We saved the best for last with this one- 6 miles of beach only an hour outside of the city and the waves are big enough that you can actually surf. You know where to find us!
- How to get there: You can hitch a ride with Skedaddle to Rockaway Beach (okay, we just needed an excuse to reference the Ramone's song) or you can take the A all the way to Beach 90 St.
- Where to eat: We would never tell you to go to Rockaway Beach and not visit Tacoway Beach for fish tacos, they are amazing. The Rock is also a great spot for amazing tapas (get the burrata!) and wine after a long day in the sun. If you're in the mood for seafood Lobster Joint has amazing lobster rolls and Bungalow Bar & Restaurant has oysters, some great fried calamari, mussels and a tiki bar with a drink called the 'Pineapple Express' served in a pineapple. Of course, we also had to include a pizza recommendation so head over to Whit's End for their bacon and brussel sprout pizza. We've also heard great things about their bluefish dip.
- What else can I do there?: The Rockaway Beach Surf Club, home to Tacoway Beach, really awesome cocktails for just $9 and beautiful muraled-walls, is the perfect place to escape from the sand for a while.
There's nothing worse than getting to the beach and realizing you forgot the sunscreen (or the beer) so here is Skedaddle's essential beach packing list