Best Beaches on Long Island for Families

Best Beaches on Long Island for Families

UPDATED JUNE 2017: 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

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 beginning May 27
Cost: FREE; Glen Cove residents only. Morgan Memorial Park Beach: Glen Cove and Locust Valley residents only.

North Hempstead Beach Park
Port Washington

Attractions: Long Island Sound beach with basketball and shuffleboard courts, horseshoe pits, shuffleboard, picnic areas, shelter pavilions, and a playground.
Hours: 9am-5pm Memorial Day through Labor Day
Cost: Parking: $15 Nassau County residents; $20 non-residents. $50 season parking pass available to residents.

The Town of Oyster Bay (North Shore) Beaches
Centre Island Beach, Bayville: 516-624-6123
Charles E. Ransom Beach, Bayville: 516-797-4128

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 a playground (no swimming).
Hours: 8am-6pm daily. Lifeguards on duty from 9am-5pm daily, June 24–Sept. 4. Centre Island is open weekends and holidays from May 27–June 18.
Cost: $20 Oyster Bay residents; $50 non-residents on weekdays. $60 seasonal pass available to residents.

RELATED: Find the best local sports programs. 

Nassau County South Shore Beaches

Village of Atlantic Beach

Attractions: Ocean beach community featuring a boardwalk overlooking the ocean
Hours: 10am-6pm weekends. Swimming is allowed beginning June 24, lifeguards on duty 10am-6pm each day. 
Cost: $10 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: 516-431-6910

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: Ocean beaches open May 27 through Labor Day; lifeguards on duty 10am-6pm weekends and holidays until June 18 and daily from June 19 through Labor Day. Special park district beaches open June 17 through Labor Day. Pool hours vary, open through Labor Day. 
Cost: $10 beach parking for residents, $25 non-residents ($20 for non-residents at Lido Beach Town Park).

Jones Beach State Park

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.)
Open year-round. Zach’s Bay swimming area is open daily through Sept. 4. Call regarding hours for the West End Ocean swimming beach.
$10 parking

The City of Long Beach

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
Opens June 24 full-time until Labor Day. Lifeguards on duty 9am-6pm. See website for schedule of events.
Beach admission: $12 (daily) for residents; $15 (daily) for non-residents; free for children younger than 12. Seasonal passes resident available at the rec center; residents receive discount with proof of address ($50 for residents (individual); $70 for resident families; $100 for non-residents (individual); $140 for non-resident families; $25 resident children ages 13-17; $50 non-resident children ages 13-17.

Nickerson Park Beach, Lido Beach
Between Long Beach and Point Lookout

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).
Beach open sunrise to sunset daily. Pools open from June 17 through Labor Day, 10am-6pm weekdays; 11am-7pm weekends and holidays.
Daily parking: $35; $12 with Leisure Pass. Seasonal parking: $100 for Leisure Pass holders, $250 for non-pass holders.

The Town of Oyster Bay (South Shore Beach)
Tobay Beach, Massapequa

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
9am-6pm daily from June 24–Sept. 4 (weekends and holidays from May 27–June 18); ocean beach is open on weekends only to Oyster Bay residents
Open to Oyster Bay residents only on weekends with a permit; non-residents can visit on weekdays for $50. $20 daily or $60 season for residents.

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

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.)
Sunrise to sunset daily. Beach open 10am-6pm daily from May 27–June 23; 10am-7pm dailly from June 24–Sept. 4.
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, Setauket

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.
 Memorial Day–July 4: 10:30am-6pm, weekends; July 4–Sept. 5: 11am-6pm daily, Monday-Friday; 10:30am-6pm, Saturday-Sunday
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
Asharoken and Crab Meadow 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

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.
8am-8pm daily. Crescent Beach lifeguards on duty 10am-6pm weekends and holidays, May 27–June 25; daily from June 26–Aug. 1.
Town of Huntington Residents: $40 for the season or $25 daily. Non-residents: $35 daily.

The Town of Riverhead Beaches
Iron Pier Beach, Jamesport
Reeves Park Beach, Riverhead
South Jamesport Beach, South Jamesport
Wading River Beach, Wading River

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; beach at Iron Pier; concession stands at South Jamesport and Iron Pier.
Sunrise to 10pm daily
$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

Attractions: Beaches overlooking Shelter Island Sound. Wades Beach overlooks West Neck Harbor.
Open 24 hours, lifeguards on duty 10am-5pm.
Free for residents. Non-residents: $25 per day; $40 per week; $85 monthly; or $225 for the season.

The Town of Smithtown Beaches
Callahans Beach, Fort Salonga
Long Beach, Nissequogue
Schubert’s Beach, Nissequogue
Short Beach, Nissequogue

Attractions: All beaches overlook the Long Island Sound.
Lifeguards on duty 9am-5pm daily starting July
FREE for Town of Smithtown residents only

The Town of Southold Beaches
New Suffolk Beach, New Suffolk
Norman Klipp Park, Greenport
Southold Town Beach, Southold631-765-1800

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.
Open dawn to dusk Memorial Day through Labor Day; lifeguards on duty 11am-5pm daily.
Town of Southold residents: $10 for the year. Non-residents: $150 for the year or $25 daily.

Orient Beach State Park

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.)
Year round, 8am to sunset. Swimming season is late June through Labor Day, 10:30am-6pm to swim.
Parking: $8 Memorial Day weekend to late June and Labor Day to Columbus Day; $10 July through Labor Day.

Wildwood State Park
Wading River

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.)
Open sunrise to sunset daily. Camping season ends Columbus Day; call for reservations: 800-456-2267
Parking: $10

Suffolk County South Shore Beaches 

Camp Hero State Park

Attractions: Ocean beach (no lifeguards), biking, bridle path, fishing, hiking (Leashed dogs are allowed.)
Sunrise to sunset daily; open 24 hours a day to fishermen with permits.
$8 parking, 8am-4pm

Town of Babylon Beaches
Cedar Beach, Babylon
Gilgo Beach, Babylon
Overlook Beach, Babylon
Tanner Park, Copiague
Venetian Shores, Lindenhurst

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. Cedar Beach and Overlook Beach also offer food and live music.
8am-8pm daily during the summer; spray parks open 10am-6pm. Lifeguards on duty 10am-6pm weekdays, 9am-7pm weekends and holidays.
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
Davis Park Beach, Fire Island at Trustees Walk
Great Gun, Fire Island (across from Center Moriches)
Shirley Beach, Shirley

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.
Generally 11am-6pm
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 for non-residents

Cupsogue Beach County Park

Attractions: Overlooks the ocean, fishing area, food concession, camping, scuba diving. Live music offered in the summer.
8:30am-5:30pm Memorial Day through Labor Day; lifeguards on duty 10am-5:30 weekends and holidays May 27–June 11; daily June 17 through Labor Day
$9 Suffolk residents with Green Key cards; $18 for non-Suffolk residents

East Hampton Village Beaches
Egypt Beach, Georgica Beach, Main Beach, Two Mile Hollow Beach, Wiborg Beach

Attractions: All ocean beaches.
Lifeguards on duty 10am-5pm at Georgica, Main, and Two Mile Hollow beaches
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
Atlantic Avenue Beach, Big Albert’s Landing Beach, Indian Wells Beach
Ditch Plains Beach, East Lake Beach, Esssex Beach, Kirk Park Beach, South Lake Beach, 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 at Atlantic Avenue Beach, Big Albert's Landing Beach, Indian Wells Beach, Ditch Plains Beach9am-5pm daily from June 18 to Labor Day.
Cost: $25 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

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.
Year-round, 7am to sunset daily
 $10 parking from June to Labor Day.

Hither Hills State Park

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.
Year round, sunrise to sunset. Beach open Memorial Day through September 11; Campgrounds open through Nov. 20
$10 parking (see website for other fees)

Town of Islip Beaches

Atlantique Beach and Marina, Fire Island: 631-583-8610
Bayport Beach, Bayport
Benjamin Beach, Bay Shore: 631-224-5778
East Islip Beach, East Islip
Islip Beach, Islip: 631-224-5413
Ronkonkoma Beach, Lake Ronkonkoma: 631-451-6100
Marina Park, Sayville
West Islip Beach, West Islip

Attractions: All are on the Great South Bay, except for Atlantique 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.
10am–6pm weekends from Memorial Day to June 18. Lifeguards on duty 10am-6pm from June 24–September 4; Bayport Beach and Atlantique Beach 11am-5pm, Monday–Friday
Free for Town of Islip residents with Recreation Card; $5 residents without rec card. $10 daily for everyone else.

Meschutt Beach County Park
Hampton Bays

Attractions: Still-water bathing beach on Great Peconic Bay, picnic areas, windsurfing and sailing areas, playground, The Meschutt Beach Hut Raw Bar & Grill
 Lifeguard on duty May 27-June 18, weekends, 10am-5:30pm; June 24 through Labor Day, daily, 10am-5:30pm
$9 parking with green key; $18 without

Robert Moses State Park
Fire Island (western end)

Attractions: Five miles of ocean beach, fishing, food, golf, marina, picnic tables, playground, recreation programs, showers. (No pets allowed.)
Year-round, sunrise to sunset. Lifeguards on duty Memorial Day through early September: 9am-7pm daily, times may vary
$10 parking

Sailors Haven Beach
Fire Island; take Ferry from Sayville

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. The marina, visitor center, bathrooms, and family tent campgrounds will be closed September 19, 2016 for the remainder of the season. The Watch Hill Marina will be closed to ferry service and private boats through late summer 2017.
Memorial Day through Columbus Day; Visit for hours.
FREE beach admission. Sayville Ferry: Call 631-589-8980 or visit for prices.

Shadmoor State Park

Attractions: Ocean beach, biking, fishing, hiking. Leashed dogs allowed. Platform available for photography.
Year round; call for daily hours

Smith Point County Park
Shirley, on Fire Island

Attractions: The county’s largest oceanfront park offers swimming, camping, surfing, scuba diving, salt-water fishing, outer beach access, snack bar, and playgrounds.
Open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Swimming is allowed only when lifeguards are on duty 10am-5:30pm
Parking: $16 for non-residents; $9 for residents with Green Key pass

Village of Southampton Beaches
Coopers Beach, Southampton (Village Beach)

Attractions: Ocean beach with chair and umbrella rentals, concession stand, restrooms, and showers
Hours: Sunrise to sunset daily
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)

Attractions: All are ocean beaches, except for Foster Memorial Beach, which overlooks the Peconic Bay. Many offer picnic tables, volleyball courts, and food concessions.
Open weekends Memorial Day Weekend; daily June 24 through Labor Day. Swimming is allowed only when lifeguards are on duty 10am-5pm
$40 resident seasonal parking permit; $25 seniors; $375 non-resident seasonal permit or $25 daily at some beaches ($90 season pass for Old Ponquogue Bridge Marine Park)

Watch Hill
Fire Island (take the ferry from Patchogue)

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 go on salt marsh nature walks, make seashore-themed crafts, do surf- and net- fishing, and go on a free canoe tour.
Open mid-May to mid-October. Sunrise to sunset daily. Swimming is permitted only when lifeguards are on duty.
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