With all of the hustle and bustle in the big city, we sometimes forget that New York is home to several beaches. Although they may not have white sand and crystal clear water, New York’s beaches offer the opportunity to escape the city to somewhere more relaxing and quiet. And the best part? Most of New York’s beaches are accessible by public transportation and you can learn new words in English outside of the classroom!
If you take the D/F/N/Q train to the end of the line in Brooklyn, you will end up in the famous Coney Island. Coney Island has been attracting visitors since the 1830’s, with a large increase in popularity in 1903 with the opening of Luna Park amusement park. Although it has suffered hurricanes, neglect, and lack of funding, the neighborhood and beaches are always bustling with people all hours of the day and night. To get the most out of the day, arrive early and go to the beach for a few hours. After you’ve had enough lounging, take a stroll on the boardwalk (and eat the famous Nathan’s hot dogs, of course!) and then go to Luna Park in the evening. The park is open until around midnight most nights, and is a quick ride from Manhattan on the D/F/N/Q trains. More information: http://lunaparknyc.com/
Just up the shore from Coney Island is Brighton Beach, located in South Brooklyn on the B/Q trains. Brighton Beach is incredibly unique because of the large flock of Russian speaking immigrants that made Brighton Beach home during the 40’s and 50’s. The streets are full of Russian bookstores, restaurants, nightclubs, grocery stores, and other Russian influenced hot spots. For a particularly memorable day, start by splashing in the waves at the beach, then walk the boardwalk and sample the various pelmenis. Tatiana’s is arguably the most famous Russian night club in the neighborhood. If you decide to go, make sure you bring comfortable dancing shoes!
Manhattan Beach has really improved over the past decade in an effort to clean up the area. This beach is ideal for families with children because there are many recreational facilities available, like a BBQ area, basketball courts, baseball diamonds, and volleyball setups. You can get to Manhattan Beach by taking the B/Q train to Brighton Beach, then a quick walk to the shore.
After a long and tedious recovery from Hurricane Sandy, Rockaway Beach is once again alive and safe! Rockaway Beach is a known haven for surfers because of the excellent waves during the late summer through early fall. There are also lots of fun restaurants, including the famous Rockaway Taco truck. Located in south Queens, Rockaway Beach is easy to get to by subway. Take the A train in the direction of Rockaway Park, and get off at any stop along the Rockaway Freeway.
Long Beach is not only a beautiful clean beach, but the actual town of Long Beach hosts great seafood restaurants, bars, and funky beachy boutiques. Although you cannot get to Long Beach via subway, you can take the Long Island Railroad into town. From the train station, there are shuttles and taxis to take you to the actual beach.