Monday, July 29, 2013

Make it a Beach Day in New York City.

Clear Summer Day at Brighton Beach
Before paying full fare on the Long Island Rail Road, plus entrance fees, to get to the coveted sandy shores of Long Island, consider the beaches you can enjoy right in the outer boroughs of New York City.

Cleaner than Coney Island and more convenient than the Rockaways, Brighton Beach is extremely
accessible and a relaxing way to enjoy a summer day in the city. Take the B or Q train to the last stop in Brooklyn and then walk straight down Brighton 4th or 6th Streets to the free, large, open beach (check subway schedules, as the B doesn't run at all times). Though all are welcome here, it is dubbed "Little Odessa" for its Eastern European flair, and the experience isn't complete without a stop for brunch at Tatiana Grill or a night cap and Russian cabaret show at Tatiana Restaurant & Nightclub. The famed Coney Island Boardwalk ends at Brighton Beach, and you're a short walk or subway ride away from all that Coney Island offers, without having to play in the broken glass-covered sand there. If you do choose to venture towards Coney Island, a visit to the original Totonno's for some coal-fired pizza should be in order.

A little further out, with the great wide Atlantic looming before it, and no obstructions for miles, Rockaway Beach and Boardwalk has light, fine sand, and great waves, and is especially popular with surfers (this may also have something to do with the fact that it's the only beach area in NYC that allows surfing...). The entire beach area spans nearly 8 miles, though most people prefer the area around Jacob Riis Park, and surfing is allowed only between Beach 67-69 Streets and 87-90 Streets. Check the Rockaway Beach Summer 2013 Map to see what areas of the beach and boardwalk are open due to ongoing repairs and latent erosion leftover from Sandy. Though a car is helpful to get to the Rockaways, there are a number of ways for pedestrians to get to the beach. If you insist on being shuttled there, try the New York Beach Ferry, NYC RockabusBeach Bus (roughly $30, $15, and $12 roundtrip, respectively). For the penny pincher, take the Q35 bus or the A train to the S (transfer at Broad Channel).

Also worth a lounge are the more calm, secluded shores of Manhattan Beach in Brooklyn and Orchard Beach in the Bronx. Despite popular lore, you can get to both of these beaches via public transportation. The B1 bus goes to Manhattan Beach from the B/Q stop at Brighton, and the Bx12 bus goes to Orchard Beach, connecting from the 6 at Pelham Bay.

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