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The best ways to get to NYC beaches this summer—without the MTA

Written by
Jennifer Picht

Out of all the wonderful parks and summer activities opening in the city this weekend, we’re most excited about filling our coolers and sunbathing on one of New York’s best beaches—which are now open!

Good news for beachgoers: DNAinfo recently reported that the MTA is extending the Rockaway Park shuttle service to Rockaway Boulevard station on the A line. The new weekend hours (9am to 9pm) will take effect on June 12. The transit service is also increasing its number of buses for the Q53 route on Saturdays and Sundays beginning July 3. Yes, MTA (a.k.a. old reliable) offers many ways to get to the shore, but wouldn’t you rather turn up to the ocean like a boss?

With Memorial Day weekend starting in less than two hours, we decided to share some fun ways you can travel to beaches like Jacob Riis and Sandy Hook this summer. From relaxing ferry cruises to bus rides with beer, here’s proof that the journey can be just as fun as the destination.

New York Beach Ferry
Before catching a wave (or some sand) at the ever-beautiful Jacob Riis Park Beach in Breezy Point, enjoy a stress-free ferry ride ($30 round-trip), which departs at Pier 11 (located at Wall St. and the East River). A note from the Captain: When the weather is nice, take the 9am ferry to Riis Landing and the 3pm return trip. If you’re traveling for MDW, take the 11:30am departure and the 5:30pm return.

Seastreak Ferry
When New York’s beaches become unbearably crowded, Sandy Hook in New Jersey is a great second choice. Thanks to Seastreak, New Yorkers can ditch all the traffic, hop on a ferry (departs at E. 35th St or Wall Street) and get there in a jiff. The service offers multiple rides daily and a complimentary shuttle bus that drops you off between each shore. Plus, a roundtrip ticket only sets you back $45!

NYC Beach Bus
Since 2013, NYC Beach Bus has been schlepping New Yorkers to and from Far Rockaway and Jacob Riis in an air-conditioned school bus, which includes music, candy, drinks, snacks and an awesome host to make the trip all the better. The bus departs from downtown Brooklyn, Williamsburg, and Union Square and picks you up from Beach 95 and Shore Front Parkway as well as Jacob Riis Park to take you back to the city. The travel time is only 30mins to each beach, and the schedule offers a range of morning and early afternoon departures (9am–1pm) and early evening return trips (4:30–7pm). Best of all? A ticket is only $15! 

Rockaway Beach Bus 
The folks behind Bushwick Beach Bus partner with OvRride to give sunbathers an unforgettable beach journey experience. The charter included plush seating, air conditioning, an on-board bathroom, plenty of storage for beach chairs, bicycles, picnic baskets and surf boards ($25 round-trip ticket). Plus, the journey comes with a cold, delicious free beverage! Brooklyn pickup locations include Union Pool (Williamsburg) Pearl’s Social & Billy Club (Bushwick), and the bus drops you off at Rockaway stops include Rippers (Beach 86th), Surf beach at Beach 67th, Fort Tilden and Jacob Riis Park.


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