Get ready for the smell of sunscreen and the feel of sand between your toes. Gather up the whole family for a day at the beach to catch some waves and get back to relaxation. Our guide covers beaches in the New York City area, including Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, Staten Island, New Jersey, and Westchester and Rockland Counties.
Also see our guide to the Best Beaches for Families on Long Island and in Connecticut
Brighton Beach, Coney Island and Coney Island Boardwalk
718-946-1350 or 212-NEW-YORK
Attractions: Two-mile long boardwalk, New York Aquarium, rides (including the Cyclone rollercoaster), eateries, outdoor spray showers.
Hours: Beach and boardwalk open daily 10am-6pm. New York Aquarium open 10am-6pm weekdays, 10am-7pm weekends.
Cost: Boardwalk: free. Luna Park and Cyclone rollercoaster: $8 (must be 54 inches to ride). New York Aquarium: $18.95; $15.95 seniors; $14.95 children ages 3-12; free kids ages 2 and under.
Attractions: Beach and boardwalk, two playgrounds, one large baseball diamond, tennis, basketball, and handball courts.
Hours: Open sunrise to sunset (7am-8pm) daily.
Cost: Free beach admission. Parking: $10 Monday-Friday, $20 weekends and holidays.
Orchard Beach and Promenade
Pelham Bay Park
Attractions: 1.1-mile sandy beach, promenade, changing areas, showers, food stores, specialty shops, playgrounds, picnic areas, basketball, volleyball, and handball courts.
Hours: Open year-round; swimming allowed Memorial Day through Labor Day, hours are 10am-6pm.
Cost: Free. Parking is $6 weekdays, $8 weekends and holidays.
Rockaway Beach and Boardwalk
Far Rockaway to Neponsit (Beach 9th to Beach 149th)
Attractions: Basketball and handball courts, roller hockey rinks, beach tennis, skate park, and surfing, plus sitting areas and playgrounds along the boardwalk and adjoining areas.
Hours: Open sunrise to sunset. Lifeguards on duty 10am-6pm.
Midland Beach and Franklin D. Roosevelt Boardwalk
Attractions: Sprinklers and playground, handball and shuffleboard courts, seasonal concession stands, changing stations. Site of the annual Back to the Beach Celebration (August 18-19) with food, games, sandcastle building, boardwalk vendors, live music, and fireworks.
Hours: Open daily 10am to 6pm. Boardwalk closes at dusk.
Attractions: Children’s playground, handball and shuffleboard courts, bocce courts, roller hockey rink, ball fields, fishing pier, and newly renovated picnic and changing areas.
Hours: Open 10am-6pm daily.
Wolfe's Pond Beach
On Raritan Bay and Prince's Bay
Attractions: Swimming, daytime freshwater fishing, picnic grounds, outdoor fireplaces. Restrooms available.
Hours: Open sunrise to sunset.
Passaic County, New Jersey
Wawayanda State Park
Attractions: The quiet charm of Wawayanda appeals to hikers, campers, swimmers, and boaters. Forested hills surround Lake Wawayanda, creating a restful backdrop for canoeists, boaters, and fisherman, while steep mountains challenge casual as well as serious hikers. A 20-mile stretch of the Appalachian Trail runs through the park, while the top of Wawayanda Mountain offers sensational views. More than 40 miles of trails are marked in the park. Group campsites are open April through October.
Hours: Open 8am-8pm daily.
Cost: Memorial Day to Labor Day: parking fee per vehicle is $5 on weekdays and $10 on weekends and holidays. Non-resident admission: $10 weekdays; $20 weekends.
Harriman State Park
Bear Mountain, NY
845-786-2701 or 845-947-2444 (Lake Welch office)
Attractions: 31 lakes and reservoirs, 200 miles of hiking trails, three beaches, and two public camping areas, plus miles of streams and scenic roads and scores of wildlife species, vistas, and vantage points. Bear Mountain also has a small zoo with animals native to the area.
Hours: Vary by area.
Cost: $8 parking per vehicle, some additional pool fees apply.
Croton Point Park
Attractions: This 508-acre park on a peninsula on the east shore of the Hudson River offers a beach, boating, fishing, picnic grounds, hiking, a playground, and nature center.
Hours: Beach open 10am-6pm weekends in May and June, Wednesday-Sunday July through Labor Day. Park open 8am to dusk daily.
Cost: Free beach admission; $4 parking with Westchester County Parks pass, $8 without.
Glen Island Park/Beach
New Rochelle, NY
Attractions: Swimming, beach, fishing, picnic grounds, playground, hiking, boat ramp, and refreshments.
Hours: Open 11am-6:30pm Wednesday-Friday; 10am-5:30pm Saturday and Sunday.
Cost: Must be Westchester residents and purchase a Westchester County Park pass for $50 (valid for three years). Daily parking fee is $5. Beach admission: $4; $3 children under 12; free kids under 5.
Harbor Island Park Beach/Steven E. Johnston Beach
Attractions: Swimming, beach, Spray Park, baseball, soccer, tennis (private club), boating, and fishing.
Hours: Sprinkler grounds are open 9:30am-5pm daily after June 23.
Cost: $6 parking on weekdays, $8 on weekends and holidays. Beach admission: $5; $3 children 6-12; free kids under 6.
Oakland Beach/Rye Town (Municipal Beach)
Attractions: Beach, swimming, campgrounds, and golf.
Hours: Beach is open 9am-6pm daily.
Cost: Non-residents: $10 weekday parking fee, $15 weekends; $9 beach admission on weekdays, $10 on weekends. Residents: $8 weekday parking fee, $9 on weekends; $7 beach admission on weekdays, $8 on weekends. Children under 13 are always free.
Rye Playland Pool and Beach
Attractions: Beach, pool, boardwalk, rides, boating, arcade, and mini-golf.
Hours: Open 11am-6:30pm daily June 25 through Labor Day.
Cost: Beach admission: $4; $3 children ages 5-11 and seniors with county ID; free kids under age 5. Pool: $6; $4 children ages 5-11; $3 seniors; free kids under age 5. Parking: $5 on weekdays, $7 on weekends and holidays. Lockers and umbrellas available for a small fee.