Ahhhh summer in the city; is there anything else quite like it? Whether you’ve got the top dropped on your New York City car rental or are spending your afternoon soaking up some rays on a patio, summer certainly is a season of excitement here in the Big Apple. So forget about California, and skip the Mexican getaway for the time being. When it comes to beautiful beaches and long, lazy summer evenings, New York City has everything you need for fun in the sun.
An Unlikely Beach Destination
While New York City is best known for its skyscrapers and dense population, it’s worth noting that the city is also surrounded by water – lots of water. And with water comes coastline and miles upon miles of beaches. And while many of these beautiful areas were ravaged by Hurricane Sandy back in 2012, robust rebuilding efforts have ensured that many of these iconic tourist attractions are back up and functioning. So what are you waiting for? Grab some sunscreen and a surfboard, it’s time to hit the beach!
New York City is a sweltering place to be in during the summer. Getting away to the welcoming ocean breezes of the local beaches is a definite must-do.
The South Fork of Long Island compromises the towns of West Hampton, South Hampton, Bridgehampton, East Hampton, Amagansett, and Montauk which collectively are called The Hamptons. Each town has one or more beaches to relax on. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, this area fills up with party-minded summer shares, rich celebrities, and many city residents escaping for the weekend. Because of this exclusivity, it is an expensive place to visit in the summer. The beaches also almost require pre-paid parking passes, but some do have day parking. The nicest beaches are on the Atlantic Oceanside. The movie Jaws was filmed off Montauk.
- Getting there by car: Driving from the city will take around four hours depending on the traffic.
- By train: taking the Long Island Railroad or LIRR from Penn Station is a good option but can be crowded during holiday weekends.
- By bus: the Hamptons Jitney picks up and drops off at several Manhattan locations to and from several Hamptons locations.
Only an hour away by train, this is one of the popular beaches for day trips from Manhattan. There is a long wooden boardwalk where people jog or bike down the length. The beach is also very long with several roped off swimming areas staffed by lifeguards. This beach requires a beach pass which costs $10 per person and can be purchased off the boardwalk before entering the beach.
- Getting there by train: on the LIRR there are trains to and from every hour starting around 8 am from Penn Station, cost $13.50. It’s a quick walk from the train station down some residential blocks before hitting the beach. If you’re not sure which way to go, just follow the crowd.
Also much like The Hamptons, the Jersey Shore attracts partying share houses, and weekenders, but without the notoriety of rich celebrities and pretentiousness that comes with it. Beaches abound up and down the shore sometimes in quaint Victorian towns. Some of the famous beaches are Bradley, Point Pleasant, Bayhead, Seaside Heights, and Surf City. Beaches here require beach passes. There is also a casino at Atlantic City for people who want to gamble après beach.
- Getting there by car: several of the closest beaches are a couple of hours’ drive from Manhattan.
- By train: all of the towns are served by the New Jersey Transit trains from and to Penn Station.
Has a beach, boardwalk, amusement park, museum, and aquarium. They’re famous for holding the July 4th Nathan’s hotdog eating contest. Every Friday this summer they shoot off fireworks at 9:30pm.
- Getting there by subway: take the D, Q, N, F train to the last stop Stillwell Ave.
The Best Beaches In and Around New York City
The boroughs are home to some of the best beaches on the east coast? Don’t believe us? Here’s a rundown of some of the best places for you to visit during your New York City car rental vacation.
Rockaway Beach, Queens
The pounding surf at this popular New York beach destination is the reason behind its common moniker “Rockapulco”. A beautiful slice of island life is waiting for you on this busy stretch of coastline, thanks to a handful of popular beaches and watersport services. Warm sand, strong surf, and plenty of beachside amenities (think snack shacks, playgrounds, and surf shops) are waiting for you here, so make sure to visit early and often in your New York City car rental. New to the wild world of surfing? Then you might want to stop by one of the new surf schools before taking a dip.
When it comes to parking, New York City car rental travelers will find free parking lots at B. 11th B. 15th Street and B. 95th Street. There is also some free street parking in the area. Beach access points are located from 9th Street all the way to 149th Street.
South Beach, Staten Island
If you’re looking for a beach with a view, may we suggest State Island’s sophisticated South Beach location? New York City car rental travelers will have the chance to snap plenty of great pictures of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge as they relax on this surprisingly well-maintained beach. Quiet and clean, this beach is home to a number of exceptional attractions, including the 1.7-mile Franklin D. Roosevelt boardwalk and a popular fishing pier. New York City car rental travelers can also catch a number of annual events including fireworks celebrations and outdoor concerts.
As you might remember, Staten Island was one of the locations hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy. While most of the beaches in the area are open, some access points may no longer be available. Closed sections are marked with signs and/or red flags.
Fire Island, Long Island
Who says you have to go far in order to enjoy an island getaway? This barrier island is located off the south shore of Long Island and offers New York City car rental travelers a unique mix of urban and natural amenities. From a boisterous nightlife scene to the mysterious Sunken Forest, Fire Island is definitely a destination worth discovering during your New York City car rental vacation. The best beaches to visit in the area include Watch Hill, as well as various secluded locations along the Fire Island National Seashore. To get to the island, you’ll have to hop on a ferry at Patchogue, Sayville, and Bay Shore. The boat ride over from Long Island is roughly 20 minutes
Don’t Forget About New Jersey
If you’ve got a little extra time on your hands during your upcoming New York City car rental vacation, we highly recommend heading out to New Jersey to check out the sights and the surf. The two best places to hit up? Sandy Hook and Long Branch.
The Sandy Beaches of Sandy Hook
Located on a slender peninsula at the northern tip of the Jersey Shore, Sandy Hook is one of the absolute best East Coast beaches. That being said, it’s not just about sun and sand. New York City car rental travelers can also brush up on their local history at Fort Hancock and the Sandy Hook Lighthouse. Hiking and biking trails round out the long list of local amenities.
Fall in Love with Long Branch
Don’t be fooled by the rumors – not every beach in Jersey is overflowing with spray tans and bulging muscles. Long Branch offers a serene place to kick back, relax, and enjoy the summer sunshine. And the best part? There’s a gourmet ice cream shop just a few steps from the water!
Make the most of your summer with a little help from Action. Reserve your New York City car rental from our fleet of dependable rentals today!