In the infamous words of Nicki Minaj, “Let’s go to the beach, each, let’s go get away.” So when summer rolls around and you haven’t made your vacation plans or you just need a quick trip, look no further than our best beach escapes from New York City (NYC). We’ve kept some of these local, looking at you Rockaway and Orchard Beach, for convenience’s sake. But we’ve also added in a few further-flung destinations if you’re looking to really get out of town and escape the daily grind. Either way, don’t forget your sunscreen as you dive into our list of the best beach escapes from NYC, each one worth adding to your vacation calendar.
You can reach Rockaway from the subway, making it one of the most accessible beaches in NYC. Take the A to Beach 67th and hop off to enjoy the sunshine and positive vibes. You’ll find over 5 miles of boardwalk and plenty of sand to explore.
This stretch of Fire Island offers you plenty to do and fewer beach-goers to compete with for a spot on the sand. Surfing, picnic spots, and an 18-hole mini golf course await you here. Make sure you see the lighthouse in Field 5 as well.
Montauk offers both sandy and rocky beaches and famously high bluffs. Ditch Plains is the surfing spot while Hither Hills state park offers more family-friendly activities. South Edison beach is the closest to the area hotels. Take your pick and (swim)suit up!
You may not think of the Bronx as a beach destination, but its one and only beach is a hidden gem. You won’t find the crowds of Coney Island waiting here, but you won’t find as much space to spread out over either (1.1 miles). However, there are also basketball courts and a promenade to give you a break from baking in the sun.
On the southernmost tip of NJ sits Cape May. The destination offers old Victorian charm and a lighthouse with views across the Delaware Bay. This is a bit more of a journey out of NYC, but still accessible from the New Jersey transit bus.
Long Beach, since rebuilt after Superstorm Sandy, is located just a quick away trip from NYC. It’s the perfect oceanside playground with both beach and town. Its white sands can draw big crowds, so be sure to get there early to snag a spot.
If Vegas was seaside, it might look a little something like this. Beyond the beach, there’s dining, shopping, and endless entertainment to enjoy here. The city’s summer concert series is incredibly popular with big-name headliners like Demi Lovato and Sam Hunt as well.
Martha’s Vineyard’s sprawling seaside grounds and classic buildings offer a charming appeal that few can resist. Throw in a mix of top-notch seafood restaurants and bakeries; multiple towns to explore; and every surfside activity you can imagine, and your beach weekend just got sweeter.
For a quintessential New York experience, hop on the Staten Island ferry, and one or two busses. Get your fill of pizza, sunbathing, and kayaking at this family-friendly spot with sights of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.
Assistant Editor Ciara is a DC native and East Coast roamer with degrees in both English Professional Writing and Drama & Theatre Studies from Elon University. She's written for a variety of publications including Highway 64, Travel Writing at Elon, and Odyssey. More of her work can be found at ciaracorcoran.com.