The Best Beaches in New York

Step in the sand for an East Coast getaway at one of these New York beaches. 

Alexis Mucci

September 3, 2023

It's almost time to slather on the sunscreen and take a trip down to the shore for a day by the sea! There's no better way to have some fun in the sun than swimming in the waves and spending time by the water. You may not think of sandy shores when you think of New York, but you'd be surprised at just how many you'll find when you visit, and many are much closer to New York City than you would think. Whether you're in the Big Apple or taking a trip to Long Island, you're sure to find a stretch of sand that will help you get the perfect tan and unwind on a summer afternoon away from NYC. Click through to see some of our favorite New York beaches!

Rockaway Beach

You might be someone who likes to get moving on the beach rather than sit back and relax. If that's the case, Rockaway Beach is the place for you. This hot spot in Queens has been making a comeback in recent years after it was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. Now that it's been restored, you can find plenty of outdoor fun waiting for you on its shore.

This is the only shore in New York City that allows surfing, so make sure you bring your board so you can hit the waves. You can also try kayaking or paddle boarding if you want a calmer way to enjoy the water.

There are other ways on land that you can get active in the sand, like their nearby handball court, skate park and "Cardio Punch" classes offered on Saturday mornings. Rockaway Beach will help you be New York Strong in more ways than one.

Rockaway Beach (©Engel9)

Rockaway Beach (©Engel9)

Franklin D. Roosevelt Boardwalk and Beach

When you visit Staten Island, you can have two beaches for the price of one! Franklin D. Roosevelt Boardwalk and Beach provide beachside fun for all ages thanks to the two stretches of sand along the shore of this borough.

South Beach gives you the best of both worlds when it comes to the city and the beach, as you have a perfect view of the Verrazano Bridge while you lay in the sand. You'll also find outdoor sports courts and a fishing pier that you can use to get the full seaside experience.

Midland Beach is a great place to take the kids, thanks to the nearby playgrounds and fountain shaped like a sea turtle that everyone can enjoy. You won't have to worry about choosing where to go when you visit these spots. 

Jones Beach

One of the more popular shores you'll hear about in New York is Jones Beach. This spot on Long Island is a hotspot for locals and visitors alike in the summertime, as there's plenty of activity to go around. Its island location and surrounding wildlife set it apart from the surrounding suburbs, so you're sure to get the peace and quiet you've been looking for.

You can spend the day in the water, be it swimming or surfing, or you can walk along the sand and nearby Boardwalk. The fun doesn't have to stop when the sun goes down, though. Jones Beach also offers nighttime entertainment throughout the year, like fireworks and live concerts, so you can hear the sounds of your favorite songs besides the waves.

Jones Beach (©Bernd Dittrich)

Jones Beach (©Bernd Dittrich)

Main Beach

If you're looking for a more quiet day on the sand, look no further than Main Beach. This spot is located in East Hampton, so you can get a taste of the high life when you step onto its shores. It's one of the locations in the area that's lifeguard-protected, allowing you to swim in the waves as much as you want. You'll also find a snack bar on its shore that can give you a taste of everything this stylish village has to offer.

If you're visiting during July, be sure to check out the annual fireworks show. Once your day at Main Beach is through, visit some of the other local spots in the Hamptons, like the Hook Windmill or the sculpture garden at LongHouse Reserve.

Ditch Plains Beach

Montauk is a village at the tip of Long Island that offers plenty of seaside fun for all ages. If a beach day is what you're looking for, head on down to Ditch Plains Beach. It's become a popular East Coast spot in recent years thanks to being known for its ideal surfing waves.

Be sure to bring your surfboard with you when you visit so you can get a taste of these perfect waters. Ditch Plains Beach also has a nearby concession stand for you to snack on throughout the day, but the fun doesn't stop here.

Montauk offers the perfect getaway from city life thanks to the number of local shops, seaside restaurants and parks you can visit that will feel like a breath of fresh air. Make your next beach trip at Ditch Plains Beach if you're looking for the perfect summer afternoon.

Ditch Plains Beach (©Clay Leconey)

Ditch Plains Beach (©Clay Leconey)

Manhattan Beach

Brooklyn holds some of New York City's most well-known shores, and each one is just a couple of steps away from the other. If you want to get away from the activity and crowds of Brighton Beach, spend your day at Manhattan Beach instead.

This spot was originally built as part of a resort in the area, but it's open for anyone who wants to take a beachside getaway. Its calm waters provide the perfect backdrop for a beach barbecue, and its surrounding sports courts and playgrounds can help all ages work off the food while getting a tan.

Manhattan Beach is also near Coney Island, so you can top off your day in the sand with a visit to a classic seaside amusement park. Whether you want a more peaceful day or some fun in the sand, you'll find it all at Manhattan Beach.