6/15/12

NYC Beaches


I've lived 18 years of my life in Florida, 3 years in Hawaii, and 5 years in California--always minutes away from the best beaches in the world. Its made me have unrealistic expectations that every coastal city should include an award winning beach.

The thing is--I'm not even a huge beach goer.  I've never even been thin enough to comfortably wear a bikini, and that's the whole reason for going, right? To show off a hot bod? It's on my bucket list. Someday! Until then, I'm shamelessly buying Spanx swimwear.  I found one on sale at TJMaxx for only $30. I'm 95% certain it magically makes me look exactly like this model when I wear it. Bra-lleluiah!?

The fact that NYC beaches are horrible shouldn't bum me out because there's so many other things do in the city, but it does. Grated I've only been to two out of the seven: Coney Island (love the boardwalk!) and now Orchid (pictured). I have a lot more to test out before I make the sweeping decision that NYC beaches are bleak, but so far the outlook doesn't look good.

My impression: They are over crowded, the water looks murky, and/or there's broken glass bottles in the sand. When I went on a field trip (again? I can't stop myself) with Oscar's class to Orchid Beach, his teacher said, "Ok parents! Let's walk around this area and look for broken glass so the kids don't get hurt." I found three pieces. 

Despite the risk of slicing my kid's foot, before the summer's out, I'd like to test the other five NYC beaches listed here. After all, I've got my hot Spanx bod to show off! 



Hope you have a good weekend! Go to the beach for me, please! Shout out to my favorites: Siesta Key, FL! Waimea, HI! Santa Cruz, CA! Anyone lucky enough to be going to one of these beaches this weekend?

40 comments:

  1. You should definitely take a trip out to a Long Island beach! Fire Island is really fun (no cars allowed, lots of red wagons, a fun ferry ride over). People rave about Jones Beach but Robert Moses is quieter and not as touristy. If you take the LIRR it's not a bad trip. I think it's worth it. City beaches really are the pits :/

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    1. thanks for the tips. i've heard great things about Long Island Beach--i'll have to check it out.

      Fire Island is on the calendar for a week in August!!!

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    2. awesome! I hope you and the crew have an great time!

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  2. It's not technically a NYC beach but we had a great time taking the Seastreak ferry to Sandy Hook (NJ). You can see the city skyline in the distance and it's fun standing on the ferry deck as it crosses under the Varrazano.

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  3. Siesta Key, I've never even heard of that one! The beaches in the keys are gorgeous, best snorkeling ever down there. Since I live on the East Coast of Florida, are beaches are OK, the surf is really good if you are into that, but the beach is often murky and really really wavy. But it just depends on the day, some days have been downright gorgeous! Although now that we are in the rainy season I haven't been going as much. I actually really miss the beaches I grew up by in Lake Michigan, prettier than the ocean I think. But maybe everyone is just nostalgic for their youth?

    Either way, have a great weekend!

    Shannon

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    1. Siesta Key is on the Gulf Coast near Sarasota, about 1 hour south of Tampa.

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  4. I'll be spending a couple of weeks in Florida this summer before moving to California! so I'll try hard to check out those two you mentioned!!!! I compare my beaches with the "windows-background" Caribbean beaches that I grew up close to, so it has been hard for me to find Beaches I like in FL or CA. But after spending 5 years in Illinois/New Mexico I think I'll be able to really appreciate these.

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  5. Yes, the east coast beaches are never the greatest. I love the beaches off of the carribean islands, so dreamy and perfect!

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  6. We live on the Upper East, do not have a car and have a baby. Best, easiest NYC beach day trip: we jump in a cab to Penn Station, take the LIRR to Long Beach (about 45 minutes), then walk two blocks to a lovely, clean beach. There is a huge Waldbaums right next to the train station in Long Beach and we stop there to quickly pick up sandwiches, fruit and drinks. There are many restaurants, ice cream shops, starbucks, etc. next to station too.

    Long Beach is a private beach and there is a entrance fee (so the beach is clean and not as crowded). However, the train ride includes the beach pass! Great deal, fast and it doesn't break the bank. I know you have three kids so beach passes for five can be expensive but they probably have free or cheaper tickets for kids.

    Sometimes, if my parents are in town we'd rent a smart car and drive to Jones Beach (no beach pass fee per each person), just a parking fee. It's quieter, no town like Long Beach but again, pristine beaches.

    We want to do Fire Island for a several-day trip, hubby says it is beautiful.
    But, for a quick day trip to beach, nothing beats Long Beach! Hubby loves the relaxing train ride and that he doesn't have to drive and look for parking.

    You have a sweet family and a cute blog. :)

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  7. http://www.mta.info/lirr/getaways/Beach/LongBeach.htm
    http://www.mta.info/lirr/getaways/Beach/JonesBeach.htm

    Turns out children under 5 are free on LIRR and there are also bus rides to Jones Beach (didn't try that yet). "Children ages 5-11 ride for $1.50 round-trip with the LIRR Family Fare (up to 4 children per adult)".

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  8. Rockaway! It's not any more picturesque than the others, but there's a super cool surf-style taco shack (Rockaway Taco) with the best fish tacos ever, and amazing fresh juices and lemonade. And, the boardwalk food shacks (that usually sell sodas and hot dogs) were taken over by awesome restaurants from the city like Caracas and Blue Bottle Coffee. It's a fun mix of beach and NYC :)

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    1. Third that! You can't say all NYC beaches are bad until you've been to the Rockaways. I personally think its prettier than tbe others mentioned too.

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  9. I was in Waimea two weeks ago! Unfortunately, the closest we're getting to a beach this weekend is taking the pup to dog beach in Prospect Park. Womp Womp.

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  10. And Orchard Beach has long been known as one of NYC's worst beaches. My dad grew up here and even then, it was called "Horses--t Beach"

    Rockaway is supposed to be good - and I recommend the LIRR to Long Beach.

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  11. I need to go to Santa Cruz this year. My son is 2.5 and has still never set foot on a beach : ( I work full time.

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  12. I grew up in Hawaii and Waimea is my favorite place in the world! The water is so, so clear. I miss it!

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  13. I love going to the beach ONLY if I have my beach umbrella. The kids and I spend hours there.I plan to naturally highlight my hair next time we go. I found a homemade highlighting recipe I want to try. We are going to Siesta in a few weeks:) I'll pick up a shell for ya:)xo
    ~C

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  14. Coney Island's the worst! Love the boardwalk, but the beach itself is gross and slightly scary. Definitely check out Brighton, just a little ways down the road. It's a lot nicer without going too far. You have to pay to join, but if you really want to go to the beach it's worth joining Breezy or Silver Gull beach clubs. They're clean, private and a lot nicer than any of the other beaches in the area!

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  15. I'm not going to the beach this weekend because it's going to be 50 degrees and raining! Welcome to a Scottish summer!!

    But there are some truly amazing beaches in Scotland - just not sure you'd want to sit on them for long (cold) or swim (even colder).
    Take a look at the ones here http://www.scotland.org.uk/best-of-scotland/scotlands-best-beaches or these ones http://caledonianmercury.com/2011/07/19/sun-sand-and-shipwrecks-five-great-scottish-beaches/002882 - empty, beautiful white sand, blue blue water - and freezing cold and raining most of the time! That's why they look so lovely!

    Have a great weekend!

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  16. We live in MN...but dd lives in the city and we are visiting over the 4th and staying near Rockaway...I can't wait! I think we are going to a couple others too!

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  17. Immediate NYC beaches are the pits. We went once and said never again. My son playing in the shore and cig butts and broken bottles wash up next to him, whole lot of other crap on the sand--no, thank you. We left after 45 mins.; couldn't take it anymore.

    But I'm bookmarking this for (near) future reference. We're planning on a little Long Island (or maybe Jersey?) beach getaway, and the comments are quite helpful.

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  18. I live in Santa Cruz & work at the beach. It is pretty, but I'm the same as you, I've never been a beach person. I think its because I've lived here all my life, the thrill is gone. Here's hoping to you visiting a pretty beach soon! :)

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  19. I'm from Long Island, if NYC beaches were any good the Hamptons wouldn't be so popular with Manhattanites. Hop the Peter Pan like the rest of the city for a day trip. East Coast beaches are beautiful, you just have to get to the right ones. I can picture the soft dune grass now...

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  20. I'm so similar! For the past 8 years I've lived near beautiful beaches, and now I live in Sydney, Australia, which has got to be HOME to beautiful beaches! And I love being near them, yet I never go to them. In Vancouver I lived three blocks away from a great beach, and only ever went a handful of times. And never swam. Lol

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  21. Yeah, 16mm of rain to be expected shortly here in Bristol, not a chance... That's an English summer.

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  22. It's funny how one's childhood shapes things. I used to live in Australia where the beaches are glorious. Still, I couldn't really appreciate them in the way that I do a good, thick forest (I grew up in Canada). My boyfriend is Italian, and although I love love love Italy and the extensive time I've spent there (and there are forests and national parks there), generally I'm missing the trees of home when I'm there. Good luck finding a satisfying summer beach. PS Curves are lovely in a bikini!

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  23. Take the LIRR out to Long Beach! A 50 minute train ride and you are in a great set of beaches! It's a little expensive (10 bucks I think) to get onto the beach, but it will surely be a great experience! There's lots of shops to stop for lunch or ice cream, and then you just get on the train and ride back in!

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  24. Orchard beach? I've lived in NYC for 16 years and never heard of it. Some of the best beaches in the COUNTRY are in NY so I'm not exactly sure why you are going to dirt pits like Coney Island. The Hamptons and Fire Island are amazing beaches. Sandy Hook, in NJ, is pretty good too, but Fire Island is my favorite. I like to go to Sunken Forest. It's NEVER crowded and you can look as far as the eye can see and you might catch a glimpse of maybe 8 other people scattered across the beach. There is no boardwalk or stores or touristy stuff to get in the way of the beach experience. There is one small shop when you get off the ferry with a place to get some food and drinks, but it's not on the actual beach. There is also a great winding, wooden path where you can take a fun guided tour of Sunken Forest. I've seen plenty of deer and beautiful birds there. Going to Coney Island and saying you've been to a NY beach is like going to Pizza Hut in Times Square and saying you've eaten NYC pizza.

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    1. Btw, here is what I mean when I say it's never crowded... You literally have the beach to yourself.

      http://imanygirl.blogspot.com/2012/06/fire-island-sunken-forest.html

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  25. I really don't like going to the beach with my kids. They have fun but the amount of work and stress it ends up being for me isn't worth it. Kinda like field trips for you- ha!

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  26. We go to The Delaware Seashore State Park every year....twice! In my dream life I live walking distance to the beach.....and snow. IMPOSSIBLE, but they are my two favorite things.
    I have never been to a NY beach, but love Cape May, NJ.

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  27. We go to The Delaware Seashore State Park every year....twice! In my dream life I live walking distance to the beach.....and snow. IMPOSSIBLE, but they are my two favorite things.
    I have never been to a NY beach, but love Cape May, NJ.

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  28. Try Spring Lake NJ or Sandy hook NJ. Sandy hook is our favorite but make sure you go to North Beach, the least crowded and has an amazing view of the city. I find NJ beaches beautiful though but we've moved from rainy UK so we're pleased with clean sand and sunshine! One thing to bear in mind about Spring Lake is that no eating is allowed on the beach, that's why we avoid it (plus it's on the expensive side). We want to go to Fire island, will check it out this summer.

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  29. from penn station, long beach is 50 minutes non stop. there's an entrance fee, but it really helps with crowd control. THe sand is soft and white, and they had the quicksilver pro surfing competition last year. There are a ton of restaurants, and it's a very short walk from the train to the beach. THere are hordes of manhattanites coming in on weekends. would highly recommend. A lot of my NY native friends said that they didn't even know that Long Beach existed.

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  30. Just an FYI...Spanx sells swimsuits at Target too! =)

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    1. oh! awesome!! i haven't been to Target it years (really hard to get to without a car from my 'hood) sounds like i need to make the trip!

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  31. I grew up in the Bronx with Orchard beach as the local beach. The Long Island options were there but it took too long to get to and they were usually crowded when you got there. That said I was never a big fan of Orchard because there were no waves and the beach was typically dirty. Luckily it was there for so many locals to blow off summer steam though. One of NYC's best features is the park system. Beautifully managed for the number of people and limited space.

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  32. A few weeks ago I was in Anna Maria Island, Florida with my boyfriend's family and we made a stop to Siesta Keys. I, too, am not really a beach person, I can appreciate the beauty but after a while I can move on to something else, but I was so surprised by the Siesta Keys sand! It's so gorgeous. We loved the beach a lot!

    Hopefully your future experiences with East Coast beaches are better! :)

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  33. I just went on vacation and was staying in Santa Cruz this past week. We had a bonfire at the beach it was so lovely!

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