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BEST BEACHES ON LONG ISLAND FOR FAMILIES

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by Melanie Baker; Research by Maureen Ramirez

Related: beaches, beach, long island, new york, ny, north shore, south shore, nassau county, suffolk county, family, kids, children, summer, ocean, swimming, bays, lakes,


UPDATED JUNE 2014: 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 to beaches on Long Island, including Nassau County and Suffolk County's North Shore and South Shore sandy reprieves, will keep your summer plans ocean-sprayed. 

kids at the beach; children playing in the ocean

 

 

Nassau County North Shore Beaches

 

City of Glen Cove Beaches

Crescent Beach, Morgan Memorial Park Beach and Pryibil Beach, Glen Cove
516-676-3766
Attractions: Overlooks the Long Island Sound. Morgan Memorial Park Beach offers a picnic area, food concession, and hiking trails.
Hours: 9am-6pm (or dusk) daily
Cost: FREE; Glen Cove residents only. Morgan Memorial Park Beach: Glen Cove and Locust Valley residents only.

North Hempstead Beach Park

Port Washington
516-869-6311
Attractions: Long Island Sound beach with basketball and shuffleboard courts, horseshoe pits, shuffleboard, picnic areas, shelter pavilions, and a playground.
Hours: 9am to dusk Memorial Day through Labor Day
Cost: Parking: $15 Nassau County residents; $20 non-residents. $40 season parking pass available to residents.

The Town of Oyster Bay (North Shore) Beaches

Centre Island Beach, Bayville: 516-624-6124
Charles E. Ransom Beach, Bayville: 516-624-6160
Attractions: Centre Island overlooks Oyster Bay Harbor and Long Island Sound and offers a food stand, turf field, and basketball court. Charles E. Ransom Beach also overlooks the Sound and offers outdoor showers and a playground.
Hours: 8:30am-6pm daily
Cost: $15 Oyster Bay residents; $50 non-residents. $60 annual pass available to residents.

Nassau County South Shore Beaches


Village of Atlantic Beach

516-371-4600
Attractions: Ocean beach community featuring a boardwalk overlooking the ocean
Hours: Lifeguards on duty 10am-6pm
Cost: FREE to Atlantic Beach residents only and their guests.

Town of Hempstead Beaches

Hewlett Point Park, Bay Park: 516-599-4064
Lido Beach Town Park: 516-431-6650
Lido West Town Park: 516-432-0940
Town Park at Point Lookout: 516-431-3900
Town Park at Sands, Lido Beach: 516-6910
Attractions: Hewlett Point Park overlooks Hewlett Bay; the rest are ocean beaches. Many offer sports facilities including basketball, tennis, and volleyball courts, as well as picnic areas.
Hours: 10am-6pm at Hewlett Point Park; 7am-5pm for ocean beaches; lifeguards on duty 10am-6pm weekends and holidays until June 17 and daily from June 18 through Sept. 3;11am-7pm pool hours.
Cost: Hewlett Point Park: $5; $2.50 seniors, veterans, and children ages 5-9. Non-district residents: $6; $3 seniors, veterans, and children ages 5-9. All other beaches: $8 parking fee for residents; $25 for non-residents.

Jones Beach State Park

Wantagh
516-785-1600
Attractions:
Ocean beach, showers, recreation programs, pool, playground, picnic tables, performing arts theater, museum/visitor center, marina, golf, gift shop, food, fishing (Note: No pets allowed.)
Hours:
Open year-round. Zach’s Bay swimming area is open daily through Aug. 10. Call regarding hours for the West End Ocean swimming beach.
Cost:
$10 parking

The City of Long Beach       

516-431-1000
Attractions:
2.2-mile boardwalk and 3.5 to 4-mile beach on the Atlantic Ocean; playground on Magnolia Boulevard in front of boardwalk; beach concerts and events are held twice a week (see website for schedule of events) during the summer
Hours:
Opens June 21 full-time until Labor Day. Lifeguards on duty 9am-6pm. See website for schedule of events.
Cost:
Beach admission: $12 (daily); free for children younger than 13. Seasonal passes resident available at the rec center; residents receive discount with proof of address ($60 for residents; $160 for non-residents).

Nickerson Park Beach, Lido Beach

Between Long Beach and Point Lookout
516-571-7701
Attractions:
Ocean beach. Family “Fun Zone” with a skate park, basketball courts, tennis court, nautical-themed playground and another playground with climbing apparatus and puzzles. Also offers baseball field, beach volleyball courts, dog run, campgrounds, cabana areas, food stands, two picnic areas with benches and grills, and parking areas. There are pools at either end of the park, along with small “kiddie” pools (fees apply).
Hours:
Beach open sunrise to sunset daily. Pools open from Memorial Day through Labor Day, 10am-6pm weekdays; 11am-7pm weekends and holidays.
Cost:
Parking: $30; $8 with Leisure Pass.

The Town of Oyster Bay (South Shore Beach)

Tobay Beach, Massapequa
516-679-3900
Attractions:
Beaches on the Great South Bay or the ocean, surfboarding areas, miniature golf, spray park playground, pavilions, refreshment stands including Singleton’s Seafood Shack and a Salsa Shack
Hours:
8am-4pm daily; ocean beach is open on weekends only to Oyster Bay residents
Cost:
Open to Oyster Bay residents only on weekends with a permit; non-residents can visit on weekdays for $50

For more information about Town of Oyster Beaches or about obtaining a beach pass, town residents should call the Town of Oyster Bay Parks Department Beach Division at 516-797-4110 or visit the town’s website.

 

                                                    Suffolk County North Shore Beaches


Governor Alfred E. Smith/Sunken Meadow State Park

Kings Park
631-269-4333
Attractions:
Beach, biking, bridle path, fishing, food, golf, hiking, nature trail, picnic tables, playground, playing field, recreation programs, showers (Note: Leashed dogs are allowed only in undeveloped areas of the park.)
Hours:
Sunrise to sunset daily
Cost:
Parking: $10 (8am-4pm weekdays and 7am-6pm weekends and holidays)

The Town of Brookhaven (North Shore) Beaches

Cedar Beach, Mount Sinai
Shoreham Beach, Shoreham
Stony Brook Beach, Stony Brook
West Meadow Beach, Stony Brook
631-451-8696
Attractions:
Overlooks the Long Island Sound; Cedar Beach offers a fishing pier, nature center, walking trails, and a snack bar. West Meadow Beach offers nature crafts and a variety of family programs.
Hours:
11am-6pm daily, Monday-Friday; 10:30am-6pm, Saturday-Sunday
Cost:
Free for Town of Brookhaven residents with season pass ($15 for a residents season pass; $5 for senior, handicap, and veteran residents season pass. $5 daily); $20 daily parking fee for non- residents.

The Town of Huntington Beaches

631-351-3089
Asharoken and Crabmeadow Beach, Northport
Centerport and Fleets Cove Beach, Centerport
Crescent Beach and Gold Star Battalion Beach, Huntington
Hobart Beach, Eaton’s Neck
West Neck Beach, Lloyd Harbor
631-261-7574
Attractions:
Overlooks The Long Island Sound. Many offer playgrounds. Crab Meadow Beach and Centerport Beach have picnic areas and Crab Meadow Beach also offers a boardwalk. Crab meadow is best for young children; it has restaurants, an outdoor vending area, as well as a camp called Camp Soundview offered to children in first through seventh grades (call 631-351-3089 for more information). Other beaches have vending trucks.
Hours:
8am-8pm daily. Lifeguards on duty 10am-6pm.
Cost:
Town of Huntington Residents: $35 for the season or $20 daily. Non-residents: $30 daily.

The Town of Riverhead Beaches

Iron Pier Beach, Jamesport
Reeves Park Beach, Riverhead
South Jamesport Beach, South Jamesport
Wading River Beach, Wading River
631-727-5744
Attractions:
All overlook The Long Island Sound, except for South Jamesport, which overlooks the Peconic Bay. Basketball/tennis courts at South Jamesport; playground at each beach except for Reeves; fishing pier at Iron Pier; concession stands at South Jamesport and Iron Pier.
Hours:
Sunrise to 10pm daily
Cost:
$15 yearly permit for Town of Riverhead residents; $5 for residents older than 60 and veteran residents. $200 yearly permit for non-residents or $35 daily.

The Town of Shelter Island Beaches

Crescent Beach, Wades Beach, Menhadden Lane, Fresh Pond, and Shell Beach
631-749-0291
Attractions:
Beaches overlooking Shelter Island Sound. Wades Beach overlooks West Neck Harbor.
Hours:
Open 24 hours, lifeguards on duty 10am-5pm.
Cost:
Free for residents. Non-residents: $35 per week; $75 monthly; or $200 for the season.

The Town of Smithtown Beaches

Callahans Beach, Fort Salonga
Long Beach, Nissequogue
Schubert’s Beach, Nissequogue
Short Beach, Nissequogue
631-269-1122
Attractions:
All beaches overlook the Long Island Sound.
Hours:
Lifeguards on duty 9am-5pm daily
Cost:
FREE for Town of Smithtown residents only

The Town of Southold Beaches

New Suffolk Beach, New Suffolk
Norman Klipp Park, Greenport
Southold Town Beach, Southold
631-765-1800
Attractions:
New Suffolk overlooks the Peconic Bay, Norman Klipp Park faces the Peconic Bay/Shelter Island Sound and Southold Town Beach overlooks The Long Island Sound. All offer playgrounds and boat ramps.
Hours:
Open dawn to dusk Memorial Day through Labor Day; lifeguards on duty 10am-5pm daily starting June 22.
Cost:
Town of Southold residents: $10 for the year. Non-residents: $150 for the year or $25 daily.

Orient Beach State Park

Orient
631-323-2440
Attractions:
Beach overlooking Gardeners Bay, biking (no rentals), fishing, food, hiking, kayaking (rentals), nature trail, pavilions, picnic tables, playground, playing field, showers (Note: No pets allowed.)
Hours:
Year round, 8am to sunset. Swimming season is late June through Labor Day, 10:30am-6pm to swim.
Cost:
Parking: $8 Memorial Day weekend to late June and Labor Day to Columbus Day; $10 July through Labor Day.

Wildwood State Park

Wading River
631-929-4314
Attractions:
Beach overlooking The Long Island Sound, biking, camper recreation, campsites, fishing, food stands, hiking, nature trails, picnic tables, playground, recreation programs, showers (Note: No pets allowed.)
Hours:
Open sunrise to sunset daily. Camping season ends Columbus Day; call for reservations: 800-456-2267
Cost:
Parking: $8 preseason; $10 June 25 through Labor Day

 

Suffolk County South Shore Beaches

 

Camp Hero State Park

Montauk
631-668-3781
Attractions:
Ocean beach (no lifeguards), biking, bridle path, fishing, hiking (Leashed dogs are allowed.)
Hours:
Sunrise to sunset daily; open 24 hours a day to fishermen with permits.
Cost:
$8 parking

Town of Babylon Beaches

Cedar Beach, Babylon
Gilgo Beach, Babylon
Overlook Beach, Babylon
Tanner Park, Copiague
Venetian Shores, Lindenhurst
631-893-2100
Attractions:
All ocean beaches, except for Tanner Park and Venetian Shores, which overlook The Great South Bay. Most feature picnic areas and playgrounds, and Tanner Park offers fishing piers. In addition, Cedar Beach offers the Cedar Beach Marina and trailer campsites, Tanner Park offers tennis courts and a spray park for kids, and Venetian Shores offers ball fields and a spray ground. The Gilgo Beach Inn also offers food and live music.
Hours:
8am-8pm daily during the summer; spray parks open 10am-6pm. Lifeguards on duty 10am-6pm weekdays, 9am-7pm weekends and holidays.
Cost:
Town Of Babylon permit is $40 for the season. Non-residents: Cedar Beach: $20 weekdays; $30 weekends and holidays. Tanner Park: $15 weekdays; $25 weekends and holidays. Gilgo Beach: $30 weekdays; $40 weekends and holidays. Overlook Beach and Venetian Shores are open to Town of Babylon residents with permit only.

Town of Brookhaven (South Shore) Beaches

Corey Beach, Blue Point
Great Gun, Fire Island (across from Center Moriches)
Shirley Beach, Shirley
631-451-8696
Attractions:
Fire Island beaches overlook the ocean; the rest overlook The Great South Bay. Corey Beach and Davis Park offer playgrounds. Great Gun also has a marina and picnic areas. Corey Beach has concession stands and a fishing pier.
Hours:
Generally 11am-6pm
Cost:
Free for Town of Brookhaven residents with season pass; $20 daily for non-residents

Cupsogue Beach County Park

Westhampton
631-852-8111
Attractions:
Overlooks the ocean, fishing area, food concession, camping, scuba diving. Live music offered in the summer.
Hours:
8:30am-8pm Memorial Day through Labor Day
Cost:
$8 Suffolk residents with Green Key cards; $15 for non-Suffolk residents

East Hampton Village Beaches

Egypt Beach, Georgica Beach, Main Beach, Two Mile Hollow Beach, Wiborg Beach
631-324-4150
Attractions:
All ocean beaches. Main Beach was named the #4 beach in America’s Top 10 Beaches List by Florida International University’s Laboratory for Coastal Research.
Hours:
Lifeguards on duty 10am-5pm at Georgica, Main, and Two Mile Hollow beaches
Cost:
Parking: $25 weekdays at Main Beach and Two Mile Hollow Beach. First 40 cars can pay to park on the weekends and holidays at Main Beach and Two Mile Hollow Beach, otherwise you must be an East Hampton Village resident or have a non-resident season permit.

Town of East Hampton

631-324- 2417
Atlantic Avenue Beach, Big Albert’s Landing Beach, Indian Wells Beach, Amagansett
Ditch Plain Beach, East Lake Beach, Esssex Beach, Kirk Park Beach, South Lake Beach, Montauk
Maidstone Park, East Hampton
Attractions:
All ocean beaches except East Lake, which is on Block Island Sound, and Maidstone Beach on Gardiners Bay. Many offer food stands.
Hours:
Lifeguards on duty 9am-6pm daily from end of June to Labor Day.
Cost:
$20 parking at Atlantic Avenue Beach; some free parking at Kirk Park in Montauk. All other beaches require a permit: Free for Town of East Hampton residents and $375 a year for non-residents.

Heckscher State Park

East Islip/Great River
631-581-2100
Attractions:
Beach on the Great South Bay, biking, boat launch sites, fishing, food stands, hiking, nature trails, pavilions, picnic tables, playground, playing field, recreation programs, showers. Leashed dogs only allowed in undeveloped areas (field 5). Pool and campgrounds are not open this year. Lifeguards on duty end of June to Labor Day.
Hours:
Year-round, 7am to sunset daily
Cost:
$8 parking until the end of June; $10 parking from end of June to Labor Day.


Hither Hills State Park

Montauk
631-668-2554
Attractions:
Ocean beach, biking, bridle path, camper recreation, campsites, dumping station, fishing, food, hiking, hunting, nature trails, picnic tables, playground, playing field, recreation programs, showers, tent/trailer sites. Dogs are allowed only in undeveloped areas, and must be on a leash not more than six feet long. Dogs not allowed in campground area.
Hours:
Year round, sunrise to sunset. Beach open Memorial Day through Labor Day; Campgrounds open through Nov. 23
Cost:
$10 parking (see website for other fees)

Town of Islip Beaches

631-224-5403
Atlantique Beach and Marina, Fire Island: 631-583-8610
Bayport Beach, Bayport
Benjamin Beach, Bay Shore: 631-224-5778
Islip Beach, Islip: 631-224-5413
Ronkonkoma Beach, Lake Ronkonkoma: 631-451-6100
Sayville Beach, Sayville
Attractions:
All are on the Great South Bay, except for Benjamin Beach (on the ocean) and Ronkonkoma Beach (on Lake Ronkonkoma). All feature playgrounds and picnic benches, some offer basketball, volleyball, tennis, handball, and BBQ sites; check website for details. Food pavilions only at Islip and Atlantique Beach. Spray park at Benjamin Beach.
Hours:
8am–9pm from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Lifeguards on duty 10am-6pm daily; Bayport Beach closed Monday – Friday
Cost:
Free for Town of Islip residents with Recreation Card; $7 residents without rec card. $10 daily for everyone else.

Meschutt Beach County Park

Hampton Bays
631-852-8205
Attractions:
Still-water bathing beach on Great Peconic Bay, picnic areas, windsurfing and sailing areas, playground, The Meschutt Beach Hut Raw Bar & Grill
Hours:
Daily, Memorial Day through Labor Day; lifeguard on duty 10am-5:30pm June 21–Sept. 1
Cost:
$8 parking with green key; $15 without

Robert Moses State Park

Parking Field 2 (western end of Fire Island)
631-669-0470
Attractions:
Five miles of ocean beach, fishing, food, golf, marina, picnic tables, playground, recreation programs, showers. (No pets allowed.)
Hours:
Year-round, sunrise to sunset. Lifeguards on duty Memorial Day through Labor Day: 10am-6pm weekdays, 9am-7pm weekends.
Cost:
$10 parking

Sailors Haven Beach

Fire Island; take Ferry from Sayville
631-597-6171
Attractions:
The Sunken Forest (a maritime environment with guided tours and a hiking trail), large ocean beach for swimming, picnic areas, boardwalk with trails for bird watching, nature exhibits, snack bar. The Sailors Haven Visitor Center offers children’s programs in which kids discover marine life and participate in nature crafts.
Hours:
Memorial Day through Columbus Day; First ferry is at 9:30am ferry, last ferry is 5:30pm.
Cost:
FREE beach admission. Sayville Ferry: Call 631-589-8980 or visit sayvilleferry.com for prices.

Shadmoor State Park

Montauk
631-668-3781
Attractions:
Ocean beach, biking, fishing, hiking. Leashed dogs allowed. Platform available for photography.
Hours:
Year round; call for daily hours
Cost:
FREE

Smith Point County Park

Shirley, on Fire Island
631-852-1313
Attractions:
The county’s largest oceanfront park offers swimming, camping, surfing, scuba diving, salt-water fishing, outer beach access, snack bar, and playgrounds.
Hours:
Open Memorial Day through Labor Day. Swimming is allowed only when lifeguards are on duty 10am-5:30pm
Cost:
Parking: $15 for non-residents; $8 for residents with Green Key pass

Village of Southampton Beaches

Coopers Beach, Southampton (Village Beach)
631-283-2066
Cost:
Local non-resident fees: $225 seasonal, $175 seniors and veterans; $350 for Summer Pass; $40 daily.

Town of Southampton Beaches

Flying Point Beach, Water Mill
Foster Memorial Beach, Sag Harbor
Mecox Beach, Bridgehampton
Pikes Beach, Westhampton
Ponquogue Beach, Hampton Bays
Sagg Main Beach, Sagaponack
Tiana Beach, Hampton Bays
W. Scott Cameron Beach, Bridgehampton (residents only)
631-728-8585
Attractions:
All are ocean beaches, except for Foster Memorial Beach, which overlooks the Peconic Bay. Many offer picnic tables, volleyball courts, and food concessions.
Hours:
Open Memorial Day through Labor Day. Swimming is allowed only when lifeguards are on duty 9:30am-4:30pm
Cost:
$30 resident seasonal parking permit; $20 seniors; $300 non-resident seasonal permit or $20 daily at some beaches ($35 for Old Ponquogue Bridge Marine Park)

Watch Hill

Fire Island (take the ferry from Patchogue)
631-597-3109
Attractions:
Ocean beaches for swimming and surfing, campgrounds, hiking trails, bird watching, a marina, and The Pier Restaurant and Snack Bar. The Watch Hill Visitor Center offers children’s programs, in which kids can walk along the nature trail, go canoeing, participate in nature crafts, and explore marine life.
Hours:
Closed mid-October to mid-May. Sunrise to sunset daily. Swimming is permitted only when lifeguards are on duty.
Cost:
FREE. Call the Davis Park Ferry Terminal (631-475-1665) for ferry schedule and prices from Patchogue to Watch Hill.
 


Also see our complete guide to the Best Beaches for Families in the New York Metro Area

 

 



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Nassau

Nassau cont.

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Suffolk cont.

Westchester

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Fairfield

Rockland

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Queens

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