Take a seaside staycation.
Mon Aug 8 2011
There's more than enough to keep you occupied during a daylong getaway to this refuge. Rent a two-wheeler from the island's Bike and Roll stand ($15--$45) and cruise to Picnic Point, where you can relax in a hammock or Adirondack chair. Peep steel sculptures by Mark di Suvero, before hitting some balls at Figment's insect-themed minigolf course. End the day at the Beach at Governors Island, where you can sample suds from craft breweries while listening to tunes during the Brews, Blues & BBQ series (Sat 13, Sept 10, 17 noon--6pm; free); on Saturday 13, try a selection of beers from Cooperstown's Ommegang Brewery. Governors Island (212-440-2200, govisland.com). Through Sept 25.
Beekman Beer Garden Beach Club
The former Water Taxi Beach is still a shorefront haven, with 300 tons of sand and hammocks galore. Order one of four draft beers, such as Blue Point Toasted Lager ($7), before settling in for a free game of pool, Ping-Pong or foosball (get there early—tables are first-come, first-served). You can also chow down on beach fare like hot dogs ($4), fish-and-chips ($14) or a slice of watermelon ($4) from chef Jason Mayer, formerly of Buddakan. South Street Seaport, Pier 17, 89 South St near Beekman St (beekmanbeergarden.com)
Slather on sunscreen and make the trek to this Queens peninsula, where beach-based pursuits such as volleyball and swimming await. Make like Johnny Utah and bring a board to the area's two designated surfing areas (67th to 69th Street for beginners and 88th to 92nd Street for advanced surfers). If you're feeling patient, queue up to try the namesake fish dish ($3) at Rockaway Taco (95-19 Rockaway Beach Blvd at 96th St; 347-213-7466, rockawaytaco.com; through Sept 26), and wash it down with a refreshing paleta ice pop ($3--$4) supplied by La Newyorkina. Beach 9th St to Beach 149th St, Rockaway Beach, Queens (nyc.gov/parks). Through Sept 5.
It is possible to visit a quaint coastal town without leaving the five boroughs. Stroll along City Island Avenue, this Bronx isle's mile-and-a-half-long main thoroughfare, which is lined with shops. Pop into the City Island Historical Society and Nautical Museum (190 Fordham St at King Ave; 718-885-0008, cityislandmuseum.org; Sat, Sun 1--5pm, donations suggested) to see local maritime artifacts, like boating paraphernalia and vintage maps of the island. Then, settle in at one of the picnic tables at Johnny's Famous Reef Restaurant (2 City Island Ave near Beldon St; 718-885-2086), where you can sample fried calamari ($10) as you gaze out over Long Island Sound.
For the full seaside-resort experience, head to Coney, where three miles of surf are open to swimmers and sunners alike. Sate your hunger with a classic hot dog ($2.49) from Nathan's Famous (1310 Surf Ave at Stillwell Ave; 718-946-2705, nathansfamous.com). But don't eat too much—you don't want to get sick when you take a spin on the anachronistic, but still thrilling, Cyclone roller coaster (834 Surf Ave at 8th St; 718-373-5862, lunaparknyc.com; $8). On Fridays through Labor Day, a free fireworks display lights up the night sky (9:30pm).