Best Beaches in New York for Families

Top 6 New York Beaches 2023

However much the tourist authorities try to encourage visitors, the large and rambling state of New York stands inevitably in the shadow of America’s most celebrated city.

The words “New York” bring to mind soaring skyscrapers and congested streets.

But when you’re in the depths of Manhattan‘s concrete canyons, it’s easy to forget that beyond the city’s wall of skyscrapers lie miles and miles of Atlantic beaches.

There are city beaches in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx, as well as some very accessible spots on Long Island.

New York beaches:

Coney Island

Accessible to anyone for the price of a subway ride, the beachfront amusement spot of Coney Island has long given working-class New Yorkers the kind of holiday they just couldn’t get otherwise.

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It brings to mind old black-and-white photos from the earlier part of the nineteenth century. Find out for yourself by taking the subway to Stillwell Avenue (last stop on the #F, #M, #Q or #W train).

These days, the music blares louder than it once did, the language of choice on the boardwalk is Spanish or Russian as often as English, and the rides look a bit worse for the wear.

The beach can be overwhelmingly crowded on hot days, and it’s never the cleanest place in or out of the water. But show up for the annual Mermaid Parade on the first Saturday of summer and you’ll get caught up in the fun of what’s got to be one of the oddest – certainly glitziest – small-town festivals in the country, where paraders dress in King Neptune and mermaid attire.

The amusement area comprises several parks, none of which offers a deal that makes a lot of sense – unless you have kids (nearly all the children’s rides are in Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park) or plan on riding one ride more than four times.

Further down the boardwalk, halfway to Brighton Beach is the seashell-shaped New York Aquarium. It is worth a visit if you have the time, especially the dolphin shows or during the seals’ feeding hours.

Jones Beach

Jones Beach is the most popular site in the Long Island, averaging nearly seven million visitors a year.

Jones Beach State Park’s top attraction has always been swimming. The park offers fine surf bathing along 6.5 miles of ocean beach, one-half mile of bay beach for stillwater bathing, and two swimming pools.

The west end of the park provides wonderful surf fishing, a boat basin and undeveloped areas that are home to a variety of migratory birds and native plants.

Jones Beach has a two mile boardwalk and a “Castles in the Sand” photo collection at the East Bathhouse which depicts the development of the Long Island State Park and parkway systems.

Additional attractions include deck games and miniature golf.

Long Island

Just east of New York City, Long Island unfurls for 125 miles of lush farmland and broad sandy beaches, and is perhaps best explored as an excursion of a few days from the metropolis.

Its western end abuts the urban boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens, and for a while continues as a suburban sprawl of shopping malls and fast-food outlets; but further east, the settlements begin to thin out and the countryside can get surprisingly remote.

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The north and south shores differ greatly – the former more immediately beautiful, its cliffs topped with luxurious mansions and estates, while the South Shore is fringed by almost continuous sand, interspersed with holiday resorts such as Jones Beach and Fire Island.

At its far end Long Island splits in two, the North Fork retaining a marked rural aspect while the South Fork, much of which is known as The Hamptons , sets itself apart as an enclave of New York’s richest and most famous.

Orchard Beach

At the turn of the century, this was a popular bathing spot for the affluent residents of Pelham Manor. A large, luxurious stand of trees skirts the beach, creating a lovely backdrop.

Consisting of about 115 acres at a 1.1 mile long stretch, this sandy stretch is visited by tens of thousands Bronx residents and others during the summer months.

Nearby of course is Pelham Bay Park which is loaded with plenty of activities for all. From golf, tennis, and horseback riding to plenty of playgrounds for the kids and picnic areas for the family.

At the beach itself their are connected numbered sections (existing as such simply for the sake of identification) to swim off of and picnic within (with lifeguards there during the Summer days).

As well are Summer Concerts for which information will be posted on New Yorkled’s Events Pages.

Robert Moses State Park

Robert Moses State Park is located partly on the mainland and partly on Barnhart Island. Visitors reach the park through a tunnel under the Eisenhower Lock.

Despite an influx of tourist attention, the island has changed little in the last century. Cedar-shingled cottages are hemmed in by pines and bayberry; everyone gets around by biking and walking.

Robert Moses State Park
Robert Moses State Park

The park is spacious, home to a large variety of flora and fauna and offers a multitude of recreational opportunities, including wooded campsites and cabins, a marina and boat launch, some of the best fishing in the Northeast, picnic areas, a swimming beach, tennis courts and a nature museum.

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The park’s nature, hiking and cross-country skiing trails wind through fields, forests and wetlands, with overlooks showcasing spectacular views.

In winter, the park also welcomes snowmobilers.

Rockaway Beach

Although its reign as a summer resort destination has long since ended, this area on the south shore of Long Island in Queens still provides New Yorkers with a nice beach that is accessible by subway.

Rockaway Beach New York
Rockaway Beach

A popular family destination in the 50s and 60s, it offers a glimpse into the New York City of days gone by.

The boardwalk provides a good opportunity for a lovely ocean stroll.

The beautiful old buildings, nearby hotels and ornate subway station have a kind of wind-swept, sunburned grandeur, and the fact that it’s accessible only by bridge gives it the aura of adventure and isolatio

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