Best Beaches on Long Island for Families
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Wildwood State Park
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: $10
Suffolk County South Shore Beaches
Camp Hero State Park
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, 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.
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 $45 for the season. Non-residents: Cedar Beach: $20 weekdays; $40 weekends and holidays. Tanner Park: $15 weekdays; $25 weekends and holidays. Gilgo Beach: $30 weekdays; $50 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.
Hours: Generally 11am-6pm
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 for non-residents
Cupsogue Beach County Park
Attractions: Overlooks the ocean, fishing area, food concession, camping, scuba diving. Live music offered in the summer.
Hours: 8:30am-5:30pm Memorial Day through Labor Day; lifeguards on duty 10am-5:30 weekends and holidays May 26-June 10; daily June 16 through Labor Day
Cost: $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.
Hours: Lifeguards on duty 10am-5pm at Georgica, Main, and Two Mile Hollow beaches
Cost: Parking: $30 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. Cottages opening soon this season. Lifeguards on duty end of June to Labor Day.
Hours: Year-round, 7am to sunset daily
Cost: $8 parking; $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.
Hours: Year round, sunrise to sunset. Beach open Memorial Day through September 11; Campgrounds open through Nov. 20
Cost: $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.
Hours: 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
Cost: Free for Town of Islip residents with Recreation Card; $5 residents without rec card. $10 daily for everyone else.
Meschutt Beach County Park
Attractions: Still-water bathing beach on Great Peconic Bay, picnic areas, windsurfing and sailing areas, playground, The Meschutt Beach Hut Raw Bar & Grill
Hours: Lifeguard on duty May 27-June 18, weekends, 10am-5:30pm; June 24 through Labor Day, daily, 10am-5:30pm
Cost: $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.)
Hours: Year-round, sunrise to sunset. Lifeguards on duty Memorial Day through early September: 9am-7pm daily, times may vary
Cost: $10 parking
Sailors Haven Beach
Fire Island; take Ferry from Sayville
Attractions: The Sunken Forest (a globally rare maritime forest 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; Visit sayvilleferry.com for hours. Swimming only permitted when lifeguards are on duty: weekends Memorial Day-July 4; daily July 4-Labor Day.
Cost: FREE beach admission and park ranger programs. Sayville Ferry: Call 631-589-0810 or visit sayvilleferry.com for prices.
Shadmoor State Park
Attractions: Ocean beach, biking, fishing, surfing, hiking. Leashed dogs allowed.
Hours: 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.
Hours: Open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Swimming is allowed only when lifeguards are on duty 10am-5:30pm
Cost: 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
Cost: Local non-resident fees: $225 seasonal, $175 seniors and veterans; $350 for Summer Pass; $50 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.
Hours: Open weekends Memorial Day Weekend; daily June 24 through Labor Day. Swimming is allowed only when lifeguards are on duty 10am-5pm
Cost: $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)
Fire Island (take the ferry from Patchogue)
Attractions: Ocean beaches for swimming and surfing, campgrounds, hiking trails, bird watching, a 175-slip marina, restaurant, and snack bar. The Watch Hill Visitor Center offers children’s programs, in which kids can go on salt marsh nature walks, do surf- and net- fishing, and go on a free canoe tour.
Hours: Open mid-May to mid-October. Sunrise to sunset daily. Swimming is permitted only when lifeguards are on duty.
Cost: FREE. Call the Davis Park Ferry Company (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