New York City beaches offer more than just sand and surf

There's still time to make your way to Rockaway Beach  this summer.
There’s still time to make your way to Rockaway Beach this summer. Photo Credit: Gotham Whale / Artie Raslich

There’s more than one way to enjoy a day at the beach in New York City.

Sunbathing and swimming are just the start — you can catch a movie, enjoy a cocktail and take a yoga class without leaving the boardwalk or sand.

“In New York City, summer isn’t summer without our 14 miles of public beaches,” city Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver said. “There are still three weeks left to enjoy our waterfront.”

Here’s how to spend the remaining season:


There are nine beaches throughout the five boroughs. Brooklyn is home to three beaches — Brighton Beach, Coney Island and Manhattan Beach — while Staten Island boasts four: Cedar Grove, Midland Beach, South Beach and Wolfe’s Pond. Queens and the Bronx each have one: Rockaway and Orchard Beach, respectively. The only beach that does not face the ocean is Orchard Beach; the 1.1-mile shoreline opens into the Long Island Sound.


New Yorkers are getting more beach time this year, with the season extended an extra week past Labor Day. That means all public beaches will be open through Sept. 10 — save for Cedar Grove and Wolfe’s Pond, which will still close on Labor Day. Lifeguards are on duty from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and people should only venture into the water under their watch.


Take a break from the water and sand and explore the concessions. Rockaway is known for its wide variety of food stands — from arepas and burgers to handcrafted ice pops.

Bustling Coney Island offers a world of amusements and food, including world famous Nathan’s hot dogs. But if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle, opt for nearby Manhattan Beach.

Find some zen with a yoga class; Saturday mornings through Sept. 2, yogis can lay out their towels or mats for a hatha yoga class in Rockaway Beach.

After the sun goes down, many beaches are transformed into outdoor movie theaters with free screenings. On Sunday, “Rock ’n’ Roll High School,” the campy 1979 film featuring the Ramones, will be shown on Rockaway Beach. Coney Island will close out the yearly “Flicks on the Beach” series with a showing of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” on Aug. 28.