New York boasts an array of landscapes from the Adirondack Mountains to its 127 miles of coastline. While Upstate New York is landlocked, with Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Vermont on its east side, there are a number of beaches to discover in the southeast by New York City. The Empire State also has miles of lakeside beaches on its western side by two Great Lakes: Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.
Even though New York is known for its fast-paced city and the Adirondack Mountains in the north, many people need to remember that the Empire State has some great beach real estate. Thousands of locals and tourists flock to these highly-rated beach towns every summer for a classic American experience on the Atlantic Coast. Most …
Top Beaches and Coastal Towns in NY
As the 4th most populated state with around 20 million residents, nearly half of which live in NYC, but only 27th by landmass, there are a lot of folks looking to experience its nearby beaches. All of these happen to be close to the Big Apple and can be reached within an hour or two (or three) hours’ drive depending on traffic. The most popular spots are on Long Island, such as The Hamptons, along with Staten Island and Brooklyn’s Coney Island.
Guide to Visiting the Beaches in New York
While New York State may not be the first destination that springs to mind when planning a day at the beach, the state boasts 127 miles of shore (2,625 according to the NOAA) along the Atlantic Ocean. It’s almost the same amount of coastline as the famed Jersey Shore next door, 3 miles less measured by CRS, but 833 miles more if counting every zip and zag of the coast.
Most of the Empire State is inland, but the New York City area boasts several beach communities and places to reside near the ocean. It’s easy to forget that you’re surrounded by seashores when you live in the urban jungle and feel cut off from the natural world.
The Big Apple’s beaches are beautiful and provide a lot of fun things to do, like surfing, boating, sand volleyball, SUP, sea kayaking, and other water sports. Favorites include Manhatten Beach and Coney Island Beach, as well as a slew of spots on Long Island.
For years, Coney Island has been known across the globe for its vintage amusements, surf ‘n’ sand, and the original Nathan’s Famous hot dog restaurant. Others love beach hopping on Long Island, which offers everything from quiet coastal communities to The Hamptons’ glitter and splendor.
Even people who don’t live in New York tend to know about Staten Island, which is a prime place to live for people of all ages and backgrounds. Rockaway Beach is a seaside neighborhood with many places to dine, shop, and even locate a lovely apartment to rent.
New York Coastal Climate
The ideal months to visit New York City beaches are April, May, June, and September when the weather is warmer, but not sweltering, and the people are fewer. Depending on your intended activities and budget, summer and winter are also acceptable seasons to visit. In terms of things to do, summer is the best time to go to the beach and enjoy all it has to offer.
The rainy season in New York generally begins in April and lasts through June. The average high/low temperature in July is 85°/69°, while in December, it is 44°/31°. Many summer tourists will spend at least one day at the beach to refresh themselves.
It’s vital to remember that these New York coastal treasures may become quite crowded and hot throughout the summer. However, specific beaches are closed to swimming in the winter. Most New York City beaches are usually open from Memorial Day until about Labor Day. However, some beaches are open throughout the winter months as well.
Many of the standard coastal and water activities found in a typical beach town are available on New York’s beaches. Surfing, swimming, paddleboarding, sunbathing, and sea kayaking are well-known activities.
Some seaside towns include a boardwalk, commercial areas, and street food to help you get into the coastal spirit. Because New York City is just a short distance away, the possibilities for activities on and off the sea are limitless.
Sharks are common in New York’s waters, particularly off Long Island. Some of the most frequent species seen near shore are great whites, sandbars, sand tigers, and dusky sharks. However, New York state has only reported 13 shark attacks in the previous century or so, so your chances of a bad encounter are slim.
Because NYC is just a short distance away, most tourists to the state’s beaches stay in hotels or bed & breakfast inns located across the city. There are a few waterfront lodges in certain regions, such as Long Island. While more affordable alternatives may be found near most beaches, those seeking the height of luxury might consider staying at one of Montauk’s three- or four-star resorts.
Short-term rentals and camping are also possible. Airbnb and VRBO properties are scattered all around the coast and city, but travelers who want to camp by the beach can check out the Camp Gateway campground on Staten Island.
Don’t miss the opportunity to see everything New York offers in a single trip. When you’re done checking out Times Square or the Statue of Liberty, grab a towel and hit one of the state’s fantastic beaches.