After years of being eclipsed by popular-kid neighbor Rockaway Beach, this expanse is enjoying a renaissance. Riis boasts a markedly wider beach than nearby Fort Tilden and Rockaway and its eastern edge is popular hangout spot for LGBTQ+ crowds. And here’s a history lesson: notorious city planner Robert Moses, who developed a lot of ocean coasts in and around NYC, dubbed it “the people’s beach” because of its access to public transit.
Get ready for another summer of fun in the sun! New York City beaches are opening for swimming and sunbathing starting Memorial Day weekend!
A visit to one—if not all—of the best beaches NYC has to offer is needed when temperatures become hot and sticky. Whether you’re planning weekend getaways, a camping trip, a stay at an oceanfront Airbnb or just looking for ways to cool off or with friends, these beaches in New York are a quick subway, ferry or bus trip away.
If you have a car and want to venture further out, we’ve also included off-the-beaten-track sandy shores that are less than two hours away and you can check out NYC's hidden beaches here. But first, some answers:
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What is the best beach in NYC?
That depends on what makes a beach worth visiting. Want pristine sand and fewer crowds, the best beach is Fort Tilden Beach. If you like a more iconic beach experience with a bit of crowding, the best beach is Rockaway Beach.
What are the best non-crowded beaches in NYC?
Fort Tilden is still less crowded than other beaches in NYC.