Despite its skyscrapers, subways, and pedestrian-packed avenues, New York City is actually home to numerous green spaces and parks, from the meadows in Central Park to the elevated, urban High Line greenway. To help you find an oasis in the bustling city, here are our picks of New York's best parks.
90-14 Rockaway Beach Blvd, Far Rockaway, New York
As one of New York's sandy Atlantic-side beaches, the Rockaways’ boardwalks are lined with apparel vendors and beachside concessions selling everything from frozen yogurt to fish tacos. Nearby surf shops sell beachwear, rent surfboards, and provide surf lessons to beginners. A great way to see the Rockaways is by water—guided or independent Jet Ski adventures typically take you to the nearby Jamaica Bay. Jet Ski rentals are often available in the Rockaways.
Things to Know Before You Go
Surfers should check out New York's favorite surfing beaches—between 67-69 Street, and 87-92 Street.
If you plan on hitting the beach, bring a swimsuit, sunblock, sunglasses, and a hat.
Ocean swimming is only allowed if there are lifeguards on duty.
Gourmands should consider packing burgers and grilling at one of the sanctioned barbecue areas.
How to Get There
You can visit Rockaway Beach on a day trip, by public transportation, or by car via the Belt Parkway. Public transit options include the A subway train with stops at Beach 67 Street, Beach 90th Street-Holland, and Beach 98 Street. The most fun way to travel is by ferry from Pier 11 in Manhattan; the boat stops at Beach 108th Street and Beach Channel Drive following about one hour of cruising time.
When to Get There
Rockaway Beach is most lively in June, July, and August, New York's summer months. You can expect daytime, weekend, and summer holiday crowds, particularly on Labor Day, Memorial Day, and the Fourth of July. During the week, you'll find more room on the beach though some food vendors may be closed.
How to Visit Jacob Riis Beach
The People's Beach at Jacob Riis Park—situated just west of Belle Harbor—is a fun and family-friendly oceanfront destination. You'll find ample paid parking, an art deco bathhouse, basketball courts, outdoor grills, food trucks, and boardwalk bars. This is the perfect place to meet friends and stretch out for a day of sunshine and swimming.
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