Ferries are one of the top ways to get to the best beaches near NYC. Equipped with stellar boat bars and multi-deck seating, these floating fiestas will take you straight to gorgeous beaches like Fire Island, Sandy Hook and Martha’s Vineyard. And since some one-way tickets cost as little as $1, you won’t feel guilty splurging on a round of frozen rosé at the scenic waterfront restaurants and bars upon arrival.
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All the ferries you can take to beaches near NYC
The highly anticipated Rockaway ferry launched in spring 2017, allowing eager beachgoers to access Rockaway Beach from downtown Manhattan (at Wall Street’s Pier 11) and Sunset Park, Brooklyn. At just $2.75 each way, tickets cost no more than a subway ride, leaving you plenty of dough for fancy snacks and draft beers—that’s right, the ferry’s onboard New Stand sells concessions fit for King Neptune. (ferry.nyc)
No car? No problem. The multi-deck Seastreak connects Manhattan to Sandy Hook Beach in New Jersey, and Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket in Massachusetts. One-way fares range from $27 to $175, giving riders full access to each double-hulled catamaran’s onboard amenities which include plush seating, satellite TV and a cash bar overflowing with beer, wine, spirits, soft drinks and snacks. (seastreak.com)
American Princess is by far the fastest, most scenic way to travel from Manhattan to Fort Tilden and Riis Park Beach. On Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from Memorial Day through Labor Day, passengers can purchase a one-way $20 ticket at Wall Street’s Pier 11 for a 55-minute cruise that’ll provide spectacular panoramic views of the Statue of Liberty, Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, Coney Island Lighthouse, Breezy Point, Jamaica Bay and Marine Parkway-Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge before arriving at Riis Landing. Bonus: you’ll find snacks and a full bar onboard. (americanprincesscruises.com)
If a seaplane or private boat isn’t within your monthly budget, not to worry; North Ferry Co. operates affordable daily ferries from Long Island’s North Fork (Greenport) to Shelter Island year-round. For just $2 you can board a vessel, and 15 minutes later find yourself exploring the bucolic nature preserve that spans an entire third of the island. (northferry.com)
Since 1948, Fire Island Ferries has been transporting passengers from Bay Shore, Long Island, to the seven western towns of scenic and secluded Fire Island. Each adult one-way ticket will run you just $10 regardless of your beach destination, and kids aged 2 to 11 are only $5. The vessel itself is rather no-frills, so don’t expect a cash bar or restrooms—but no need to fret since it’s a quick 30-minute ride. (fireislandferries.com)
Affectionately known as the Riviera of New York City, Staten Island’s South Beach is a quick trip from downtown Manhattan. Operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, New York’s only free ferry takes beachgoers from Manhattan’s South Ferry Terminal straight to Staten Island’s St. George Terminal, where you can then transfer to the S51 bus to Father Capodanno Boulevard and Robin Road, which drops you right at the beach.
Servicing New York for over 100 years, Sayville Ferry Service connects Sayville, Long Island, to the tranquil beaches and wetlands of Fire Island, dropping anchor at Fire Island Pines, Cherry Grove, Sailors Haven, Sunken Forest and Water Island. Adult one-way trips range from $7.50 to $13.50 and only take about 20 minutes. (sayvilleferry.com)
Thanks to the South Ferry Company, adventurers can catch an easy 15-minute ferry ride from Southampton’s village of North Haven directly to the peaceful oceanside nature preserve on Long Island’s historic Shelter Island. Foot passengers pay just a buck each way, while cars are asked to shell out $14. Just be sure to bring enough singles—this boat’s cash-only. (southferry.com)
Owned and operated by the Sherman family for over 60 years, the Davis Park Ferry is Long Island’s go-to connection between Patchogue and Fire Island’s family-oriented Davis Park. Be sure to bring cash onboard, where adult one-way tickets cost $9 and credit cards are no good. (davisparkferry.com)