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!

5. Take a Ferry Ride to the Jersey Shore

Located at the Northern tip of the Jersey Shore, Sandy Hook contains over 7 miles of ocean beaches, a biking/walking trail, a maritime forest and Historic Fort Hancock and Lighthouse. Sandy Hook is one of the most popular surf fishing areas and an annual fishing permit can be purchased at the Ranger Station for $50. There are designated grilling spots and picnic tables in the park, and new this summer - a variety of food trucks will service different areas along the beach.

For More Fun: Rent a bike at Ray’s Bike Rental near the ferry dock and explore the 7 mile loop around historic Fort Hancock.

Travel Time: 40 minutes on Seastreak Ferry or 1 hour drive.

Getting There: Hop on the Seastreak Ferry, which operates 7 days a week from Memorial Day to Labor Day, departing from East 35th St. at FDR Dr. and Pier 11 at Wall St.. It’s not cheap - round trip tickets cost $35 for adults and $17 for kids - but kids ride free Monday through Friday.

Photo courtesy of Daniel S. via


Share your favorite local beach spot in the Comments below.

-Ashly Grzyb