Amid the hustle and bustle of daily life, you might forget that New York City is surrounded by water, and even better, miles of gorgeous beaches from Long Island to the Jersey Shore. But don’t stress over choosing between the price tag of the Hamptons versus the Snookie-ness of Jersey, there are plenty of kid-friendly beaches accessible by public transportation and most no more than one hour away. The NYC Parks Department maintains 14 miles of beaches, all of which are open from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day with lifeguards are on duty daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. So what are you waiting for? Pack up the sand toys and sunscreen, grab the kids and hit the beach already!

1. A Beach for Culture Lovers

Brighton Beach on Brooklyn's southern tip is just up the road from Coney Island but offers a quieter scene on the bay. Explore the neighborhood known as “Little Odessa” for its Eastern European shops and restaurants or venture down the boardwalk to Nathan’s Hotdogs outside Coney Island Amusement Park. There’s a public comfort station on Brighton 2nd St. near the Brighton Playground (although manage expectations - it’s a public bathroom).

For More Fun: Nature lovers can get up close and personal with horseshoe crabs as they emerge from the Atlantic Ocean to lay their eggs on the beach every May and June. You’re also just 5 minutes away from the New York Aquarium.

Travel Time: 1 hour by subway from Penn Station.

Getting There: Take the B/Q subway to Brighton Beach station.

Photo courtesy of GarGuPi L. via


Share your favorite local beach spot in the Comments below.

-Ashly Grzyb