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Beach Days and Summer Haze

Jun 17th 2014

Beat the heat with New York’s ultra-cool beaches!

Now that Memorial Day Weekend is behind us, the summer beach season has officially arrived! The city offers a whopping 14 miles of public beach and numerous public pools for visitors to take advantage of.

Here are our favorite places to take a dip!

As “America’s Playground”, Coney Island boasts some of the best beachfront attractions in the city! The island features three miles of sandy beaches, a boardwalk lined with fun attractions for the whole family, the world’s oldest aquarium, the New York City Aquarium and more. If you have to pick just one beach, this is ‘the beach’ to visit.

Orchard Beach has a history dating back to the 1930’s when it was the Bronx’s only public beach. Today the beach encompasses 115 acres and spans 1.1 miles. It features 26 sports courts making it a popular summer destination amongst locals. There are also miles of hiking trails for those who want to work up a sweat before jumping in the cool ocean waters.

South Beach on Staten Island, completely unlike the well-known popular South Beach in Miami, is more of a secret spot New Yorkers like to keep to themselves. This beach features the iconic Dolphin Fountain as well as a great fishing pier.

Known by locals as Little Odessa, Brighton Beach right next to Coney Island is an area heavily influenced by Ukrainian and Russian culture. Authentic restaurants and shops are abundant in this oceanside Brooklyn neighborhood. The beach has served as a backdrop in several TV shows, movies and has been reference in notable songs over the years, but today it is mostly known as a great family spot to enjoy the sunshine.  

Last but certainly not least, there is Rockaway Beach; the city’s most popular surf destination. Made up of more than 170 acres, this sandy oasis attracts New Yorkers from all over the city. Featuring seven playgrounds it is an extremely family friendly attraction for those wishing to bask in the sun and play in the cool Atlantic.

One of the best parts about Rockaway Beach is the nycbeachbus. For just $12 round-trip you can head to Rockaway Beach for some fun in the sun and not only that, the price includes a complimentary beverage, either a sixpoint or runa tea, on a first come first serve basis on your way to the beach!

Beach bums can catch the bus at two locations:

  • Williamsburg – Metropolitan Avenue at Marcy Avenue
  • Downtown Brooklyn – Flatbush Avenue at Atlantic Avenue

Alternatively if you aren’t a fan of beach sand, then stay cool in an NYC pool! While it may be difficult to gain access to the coveted rooftop pools in the city, there are over 60 public pools across the 5 boroughs to help you cool down during the summer scorchers.

Our favorite free pools in the city are:

  • Astoria Pool

Astoria Park, 19th St at 23rd Ave, Astoria, Queens

  • The Floating Pool

Barretto Point Park, Intersection of Tiffany St and Viele Ave

  • Hamilton Fish Pool

Pitt St between E Houston and Stanton Sts

  • Jay Jay Pool

FDR Dr between 76th and 78th Sts

  • McCarren Park Pool

Lorimer St between Bayard St and Driggs Ave, Greenpoint, Brooklyn

  • Red Hook Recreation Area

Red Hook Park, Bay St between Clinton and Henry Sts, Red Hook, Brooklyn

  • Tony Dapolito Recreation Center
  3 Clarkson St at Seventh Ave South

Outdoor city pools will be open the end of June through to the Labor Day weekend. For more information, visit