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!

7. A Family Beach Plus Amusement Park

If you’re looking for a day trip on the Long Island Sound, head to Rye Town Park and Beach in Westchester County where you’ll find a 1,200-foot long white sand beach located adjacent to a 62-acre park preserve (including a duck pond). Lifeguards are on duty 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the beach is open for swimming weather permitting. You'll love that the Sound is low on waves, so it's a perfect beach setting for small children. The town charges a $5 parking fee and $15 per person beach access fee (age 13 and up) for non-residents. But the fee gives you access to service stations, a picnic pavilion, a snack bar, and Seaside Johnnie’s restaurant.

For More Fun: Check out the neighboring Rye Playland, a kid-size amusement park offering rides, boardwalk, pool and access to the same beach.

Travel Time: 50 minutes by Metro North train from Grand Central Station.

Getting There: MTA sells a commuter package that includes round-trip train fare, a shuttle to the park, and Rye Playland admission. Take the Metro North New Haven line from Grand Central to the Harrison station then take a taxi to the park.

Photo courtesy of Town of Rye


Share your favorite local beach spot in the Comments below.

-Ashly Grzyb