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Seaside NYC neighborhoods to explore this summer

Sometimes you just need to get away but you're strapped for cash — your mind says "go" but your wallet says "no."

While New York City may not offer the respite you'd get from a trip to Miami Beach, it does have its own seaside neighborhoods that offer a bit of fresh air, access to the ocean and some much-needed perspective.

Hiking it to one of the city's best beaches is definitely a must, but don't forget to explore and take advantage of the following city seaside neighborhoods and all they have to offer:

City Island, Bronx

City Island is a 1.5-mile-long island that juts
Photo Credit: Linda Rosier

City Island is a 1.5-mile-long island that juts out into the Long Island Sound, making for a beachy day trip destination. Easily walkable, the neighborhood has that island vibe that can lull you into relaxation. Its quaint New England-like homes, small kitschy stores like 239 Play and Early Ruth, and the fresh seafood found at its restaurants, including Sammy's Fish Box and City Island Lobster House, can make you forget you're in New York City. And if you want to spend some time in the water, the ocean is accessible by boat, which can be rented at Jack's Bait & Tackle. Learn more on how to spend a day there with our guide to City Island.

How to get there: Take the No. 6 train north to Pelham Bay Park and transfer to City Bus BX29 towards City Island.

South Street Seaport, Manhattan

On the opposite end of the city, the
Photo Credit: Shaye Weaver

On the opposite end of the city, the South Street Seaport, which technically faces the East River, offers a trendy seaside town vibe with hip restaurants like 10 Corso Como and Jean George Vongerichten's The Fulton at Pier 17, high-end stores like Sarah Jessica Parker's SJP, and views of the Brooklyn Bridge. You can also board different ships at Pier 16 that will take you on the harbor. The area also has 400 years of history, from its start as a Dutch West India outpost to its rebranding as the upscale Seaport District, some of which you can learn about at the South Street Seaport Museum. So with so much to check out, it can be an easy place to escape to while staying in the city. Find out what our best hangout picks are in our Seaport District guide.

How to get there: Take the A, C, 2, 3, J, Z, 4, or 5 train to Fulton Street and head to Front Street.

Rockaway Beach, Queens

Located on the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens, Rockaway
Photo Credit: Getty Images/Spencer Platt

Located on the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens, Rockaway Beach is the ultimate seaside destination in New York City. The neighborhood, which runs from Beach 79th Street and Beach 108th Street, has always attracted surfers because it has the city's only legal surfing beach, but it is also full of young entrepreneurs, artists and families. That said, it has a slew of good restaurants like Tacoway Beach, Lobster Joint and Uma's, fun bars, including The Rock, Low Tide Bar and Sayra's Wine Bar, and a number of attractions (aside from the beach) like the shopping at Riis Park Beach Bazaar, viewing wildlife at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, and sifting through discarded treasures at Dead Horse Bay. 

How to get there: Take the A to the Broadchannel station, then switch to the shuttle train that will take you to Rockaway Park-Beach 116th Street. You can also take the NYC Ferry to Beach 108th Street and Beach Channel Drive from Sunset Park and downtown Manhattan. There are a couple of shuttles that run there, including the OvR Rockaway Beach Bus, Alexis Van Lines and The Rockaway Brewing Co., which is offering $20 bus rides from Long Island City to the Rockaways over the summer.

Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn

Hugged to the south and east by the
Photo Credit: Yeong-Ung Yang

Bounded to the south and east by the Atlantic Ocean and to the north by the Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach is a small, wealthy neighborhood that can be tricky to get to via public transit. But when you get there, enjoy the usually pristine beach and don't miss out on dining at the Hot Potato House or the Chillax Manhattan Beach Cafe. If you want to go for a long walk, take a stroll down Shore Boulevard, which wraps around Sheepshead Bay.

How to get there: Take the B train to Sheepshead Bay and hop onto a B49 bus at East 16th Street/Sheepshead Bay Road. Get off at Oriental Boulevard/Hastings Street and walk about two minutes. You can also take the N train to the 86th Street station and catch the B1 bus there. Take it to Oriental Boulevard and the beach is a quick walk.

Brighton Beach, Brooklyn

Located just east of Coney Island, Brighton Beach
Photo Credit: Jeff Bachner

Located just east of Coney Island, Brighton Beach has been known for the Russian enclave affectionately called "Little Odessa" for years. The neighborhood has its own section of boardwalk along the ocean but also has a number of great restaurants like Ocean View Cafe and Georgian House, watering holes including Wine Espresso Bar and Wheeler's, and fun like shopping at the Brighton Bazaar or Russian karaoke at the Velvet Rope Lounge. Find out our favorites in our Brighton Beach guide.

How to get there: Take the B to Brighton Beach or the Q to Ocean Parkway and Brighton Beach or hop on buses: B1, B4, B36, B68.

Coney Island, Brooklyn

This seaside neighborhood guide could not be complete
Photo Credit: Getty Images/Mario Tama

This seaside neighborhood guide could not be complete without Coney Island. The quintessential beach town has all you could need for a vacation from the stresses of everyday life in the big city. Yes, the beach is waiting for you there, but Coney Island also has numerous thrilling rides, from the Cyclone to the Thunderbolt, a wide range of food options, including Nathan's Famous to what some say is the best pizza at Totonno's, and other kinds of fun found at the New York Aquarium, a baseball game at MCU Park, and beer tastings at Coney Island Brewery. We have more ideas for fun in our Coney Island guide.

How to get there: Take the D, N, F or Q to the Brighton Beach station and walk about two minutes to the shore. You can take the B but you'll have to get off in Sheepshead Bay and walk to the B36 bus station at Avenue Z and East 15th Street.


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