13 NYC Beaches You Can Get To Without A Car

The City can get pretty hot in the summer season and what better way to cool off than going to the beach and fighting with a seagull for your turkey sandwich? Pack a bag with all your essentials: sunscreen, flip-flops, towels and, of course, your Metrocard. You won’t need any gas money on this trip because MTA is going your way. 

1. Orchard Beach

For my Bronx natives, Orchard Beach is a bus ride away. This is the only public beach in the Bronx open since the 1930s. Orchard held a bad reputation for its polluted water and dirty sand but once the word got around, NYC Parks has really cleaned up their act. The beach is also known for its 26 sporting courts; you can enjoy some handball or watch a little street ball after your swim. 

2. Coney Island

For a more adventurous day, get on the D train and head straight to Coney Island. It’s an aged attraction that never seems to get old to us New Yorkers. An amusement park, boardwalk and sandy feet all wrapped in one.  Home of the infamous Cyclone and Nathan’s annual 4th of July hot dog eating contest, Coney Island holds enough history to become a national monument. It may sound over-the-top but just wait until you’ve seen the annual Mermaid Parade, only then will you be a believer.

Photo Credit: urbanomnibus.net

3. Brighton Beach

Alongside Coney Island is Brighton Beach. The Brighton area is filled with Russian speaking natives giving it the nickname, Little Odessa. Brighton is filled with live Russian culture and many Jewish immigrants as well. It is the home of the annual Brighton Jubilee Festival. The festival is a grand event with kiddie rides, diverse merchandise, international food and more. Brighton is the place to be to dip your feet into some diversity. 

4. Jacob Riis Park Beach

Hop on the A train and head over to the Rockaways. Jacob Riis Park Beach is a serene and quiet beach. It’s the perfect place to get away from the city life. There are few concession stands so a picnic is the best suggestion. Riis is known for its dangerous rip currents. It’s highly important that you read up on how to survive these currents before entering the water…or you can just spend your days building sand castles and soaking in the sun.

Photo Credit: www.flickr.com

5. Beekman Beer Garden Beach Club

(Please note: there is currently construction of the pier happening, so Beekman Beer Garden will be closed for the 2015 season.)  If you’re in love with the city life, you’ll enjoy the urban oasis, also known as The Beekman Beer Garden located near Pier 17.  This is a different kind of beach; no bathing suits allowed…(but don’t forget your clothes!) Enjoy the beautiful view of the city with a nice drink from the long bar and a delicious burger from the restaurant tent sitting on the couches with sand at your feet. With continuous music playing all day from 12 noon till 3am, Beekman is the best “beach” in the city. Perfect for a day out with the girls or even a game day with the guys. Equipped with ping-pong and pool tables, corn hold and chess. There’s much to choose from in this crazy city. Either way, your paradise is just a Metrocard swipe away.  

Photo Credit: http://www.beekmanbeergarden.com/

Honorable Mentions

6. Robert Moses Beach, Long Island | A $23 train and bus ride.

7. Fire Island |  Take the Long Island Railroad to Bayshore, where you can catch a 20-minute ferry ride.

8. Long Beach, Long Island | Take the Long Island Railroad to Long Beach, beach packages cost $22 and include a round-trip train ticket plus beach admission voucher.

9. Sandy Hook, New Jersey |  A 40 minute ride on the Seastreak, $45 for a round-trip ticket.

10. Shelter Island | Take the Long Island Railroad to Greenport, where you can catch a 10-minute ferry ride.

11. Jones Beach | Take the Long Island Railroad from Penn Station to Freeport then hop on the Jones Beach shuttle bus.

12. Long Branch, New Jersey | Catch the NJ Transit from Penn Station to Long Branch, which has $31.50 beach packages available, beach pass included.

13. Franklin D. Roosevelt Beach, Staten Island | Take the Staten Island Ferry to St. George Terminal before transferring to the S51 bus to FR Capodanno Blvd/Seaview Ave.

What’s your favorite NYC beach?

Original 2013 Reporting: Denise Pina // 2015 Update: Jessica Tiare Bowen

||Feature Photo Credit: 1||


  • Wow, the views from the Beekman Beer Garden! That’s going on my list for the next time I visit NYC. I’ve always fancied visiting Coney Island, too, it seems a bit like the old-fashioned seaside towns we have here in the UK!
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    • Used York City says:

      It really does have a stellar view of the city! And you’re right–Coney Island certainly retains a lot of its earlier charm!

  • Coney island is on my bucket list you know. And because we have a Brighton in the UK I would have to visit yours too.
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    • Used York City says:

      Yes it would definitely be fun to compare the 2 Brightons!:-) I’d love to visit yours, too!

  • I’ve always wanted to visit Coney Island. We didn’t get time when we last visited New York and now you’ve given me a whole extra list of must sees 😉 We have a Brighton beach in the UK too, the town is quite quirky
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  • Tamara says:

    Aren’t they just gorgeous? I’ve been to many Long Island beaches as well as Coney Island. My favorite beach in the tri-state area is actually Island Beach State Park in New Jersey. So gorgeous and private!
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  • Ooh great list I only knew about Coney Island!
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  • Salika Jay says:

    Oh how much I love the beach! I can spend the whole day and still go the next day again. Beekman Beer Garden Beach Club looks like an amazing place. Great place for a drink eh?
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  • Antoinette says:

    As someone who grew up in the Bronx, Orchard Beach has the worst reputation beach-wise in all of NYC that even if they said they cleaned it up, I still wouldn’t recommend people go there. It’s so ghetto! haha It’s nicknamed “Chocha Beach” and if you speak Spanish and have been there, you’ll know why 😉 I remember the last time I was there, there were these guys with a video camera taping every woman that walked on the boardwalk with their bathing suits on. Awful awful memories! I much prefer Long Beach or Fire Island, the Hamptons, or someone’s pool.
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    • Used York City says:

      Lol, I don’t speak Spanish but after the video comment have a PRETTY good idea what it means;-) Too funny…err, I mean, awful! xx

  • HI there
    I know where Pier 17 but I didn’t know they had the beer gardens.. unless it’s relatively new.. I haven’t been to NYC in about 5-6 years.. and I yet to hit a beach there.. but I sure find enough places that are fun to hang out. I have to hit Beekman!!
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    • Used York City says:

      It’s such a fun addition to the Pier during the summertime! Gives the illusion at least that you are having a fabulous Miami party on the beach…with a NYC skyline!:-)

  • Yana says:

    Although it’s along the outskirts of NYC, let’s not beautiful Long Beach… the LIRR takes you directly there.

    • Used York City says:

      Nice tip, Yana! It definitely is gorgeous out there, and also some fun beach-style restaurants from what I remember!

  • Janet says:

    This is a really great guide! These beaches in NYC look beautiful! Visitors should definitely take note and try to visit as many as they can. Thanks for sharing!

  • Doris Abreu says:

    FANtabulous article!!!! My favorite is the Jacobi Riss Beach Park. This weekend’s plans includes a good book, a picnic basket, a metro card and lots of serene relaxation time 🙂 Thanks for the info, used York city!

  • Theresav says:

    Thx for reminding us that we really don’t need a car in NYC. We sometimes forget… I will definitely plan with my family some these hotspots. Great article!

    • Used York City says:

      It’s great how many easy day trips there are for the price of a Metrocard swipe, right?!

  • LOL well, now I DO know where to go if I visity NYC in the summer! I’d never even considered there might BE a beach close
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  • Ycarol says:

    Usedyorkcity is the Best Tool to go AROUND NYC and be able to still have $$ to do some shopping. .Loved the ARTICLE, IT IS VERY INFORMATIVE!!!..Beautiful Pictures!!!Nobody can miss this Fun.!!
    Nyc is the place To be !!!
    ★★★★♥♥♥Thank you Usedyorkcity for always finding the best spots!!

    • Used York City says:

      Thanks for your kind words! We’re so happy to have fabulous readers like YOU!:-)

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