A Great Big City

NYC's Free Public Beaches

Coney Island Boardwalk
Coney Island Boardwalk via John Gillespie on Flickr

When the summer heat hits, it's time to find a place to dip your toe in the ocean. Thankfully, a few slices of the city's 520-mile coastline have been set aside for public access, including at least one beach in each outer borough.

NYC's public beaches are open from Memorial Day to Labor Day each year, so grab your towel and head off to the sand (and maybe check the water quality alerts before you go!)

Lifeguards are on duty and swimming is allowed from 10am to 6pm each day.

Staten Island

Cedar Grove Beach

Ebbitts Street and Cedar Grove Avenue, Staten Island – (718) 351-6387 – Part of Great Hills Park, Cedar Grove Beach is the city's newest public beach, with a more tranquil atmosphere.

Midland Beach and Franklin D. Roosevelt Boardwalk

Fort Wadsworth to Miller Field, Staten Island – (718) 987-0709 – Midland Beach shares the FDR boardwalk with South Beach and features playgrounds and facilities for beach sports, and tends to be a laid-back beach.

South Beach and Franklin D. Roosevelt Boardwalk

Fort Wadsworth to Miller Field, Staten Island – Midland Beach's neighbor to the north, South Beach has a fantastic view of the iconic Verazzano Bridge and features both workout and leisure areas, including the Ocean Breeze Fishing Pier.

Wolfe's Pond Park

Holton to Cornelia Avenues, Staten Island – (718) 984-8266 – Wolfe's Pond Beach, within Wolfe's Pond Park, stretches nearly to the southern tip of Staten Island. It may have been the site of a quarantine station in the early 1900s, but today it's a popular recreation destination, for citydwellers of both the human and avian variety!

Brooklyn

Brighton Beach

Ocean Parkway to Corbin Place, Brooklyn – (718) 946-1350 – Located in the neighborhood that gives it its name, Brighton Beach can be reached via the B or Q train and is also within walking distance of Coney Island.

Coney Island Beach & Boardwalk

West 37th Street to Ocean Parkway, Brooklyn – (718) 946-1350 – The world-famous Coney Island Beach and Boardwalk has a bevy of beach activities and a full amusement park of attractions along the boardwalk. Take the D/F or N/Q Trains to the Coney Island stop.

Manhattan Beach

Oriental Boulevard from Ocean Avenue to Mackenzie Street, Brooklyn – (718) 946-1373 – Despite the name, Manhattan Beach is another Brooklyn beach, located east of Brighton Beach. The nearest subway is the B and Q in Brighton Beach.

The Bronx

Orchard Beach

Pelham Bay Park, Bronx – (718) 885-2275 – A large and historic beach, Orchard Beach has sports facilities, souvenir shops, and a promenade along its 1.1 mile length, and benefits from being within the even larger Pelham Bay Park. The Bx29 bus is the closest public transit stop.

Queens

Rockaway Beach and Boardwalk

Beach 9th Street to Beach 149th Street, Rockaways – (718) 318-4000 – Queens' only beach is also one of the busiest, with Rockaway Beach attracting hoards of visitors to its playgrounds and beachfront areas. The A Train and the Rockaway Shuttle both make stops along the beach, so plan your trip and the MTA will take you there!

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