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A sandy beach. Many people are on the beach and there are colorful umbrellas and tents. The ocean is in the distance.
Coney Island.
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New York's best beaches to visit this summer

Pack a picnic and your swimsuit and hit one of New York City's public beaches

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Coney Island.
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The last days of summer are upon us, which means that beach season in New York City is officially winding down. The city's public beaches will close on September 8, so you have just a couple more weeks to make a beeline for Coney Island or the Rockaways (and you can hop on the NYC Ferry for a pleasant, if crowded, ride to the latter).

Don't feel like dealing with the crowds? Head to Staten Island to check out some of NYC's more off-the-beaten path beaches. And if going for a swim isn't your thing, don't fret—most beaches come with plenty of other outdoor activities.

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1. Orchard Beach

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The Bronx's only public beach (once known as "the Riviera of New York") is located within Pelham Bay Park, and stretches for more than a mile facing the Long Island Sound. Built as part of the Works Progress Administration, the beach retains some of that historic architecture like the Central Pavilion, which is due to get a renovation in the coming years. If you're looking for outdoor sports, this is definitely the beach to check out: It has a total of 26 courts for basketball, volleyball, and handball.

2. Coney Island Beach & Boardwalk

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Surf Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11224
(718) 594-7895
Visit Website

One of Brooklyn's top draws in the summertime, the Coney Island beach can get particularly crowded. If that gets to be overwhelming, walk along the iconic boardwalk or grab a hot dog at Nathan's—a visit to Coney Island isn’t complete without it. And for thrill seekers, there's always Luna Park and all its attractions, including the iconic Cyclone roller coaster.

In the foreground is a beach with beachgoers, and colorful umbrellas. In the distance are amusement park rides and apartment buildings. Shutterstock

3. Brighton Beach

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Though frequently overshadowed by its better known and more touristy neighbor, Brighton Beach is a worthwhile destination in its own right. It's particularly known for its large settlement of Russian-speaking immigrants and as a result the neighborhood is dotted with shops and restaurants serving Russian and Eastern European cuisines.

In the foreground is the ocean and a beach with sand. In the distance are city apartment buildings. Shutterstock.com

4. Manhattan Beach

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Located east of Brighton Beach, Manhattan Beach is usually considered the calmer version of its neighbor and nearby Coney Island. The beach is also a great spot for barbecuing and is known for its family-friendly vibe. Fun fact: the eponymous neighborhood surrounding Manhattan Beach was once home to the creator of Captain America, Jack Kirby.

A beach with sand. People are standing on the sand and in the ocean. In the distance are trees. Via NYC Parks

5. Fort Tilden Beach

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Bayshore Blvd W
Queens, NY 11697
(718) 318-4300
Visit Website

Once a United States Army base, Fort Tilden is now known as a great destination for fishing and bird-watching. There are a ton of decommissioned military structures to look at as well, and one of them, Battery Harris East, has an observation deck that provides 360 degree views of Jamaica Bay and New York Harbor. Fort Tilden is also known for its art installations.

A sandy beach with a driftwood fence. In the distance is the ocean. Shutterstock

6. Jacob Riis Beach

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Nicknamed "The People's Beach," Jacob Riis Beach is perhaps best known for its Art Deco boathouse, which first opened in 1932. During the summer, the beach and the park around it play host to a bunch of activities including a golf center, ball courts, and several food concession stands. Riis Park Beach Bazaar, now entering its fifth year, is one of the big attractions.

7. Rockaway Beach

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Rockaway Beach has exploded in popularity thanks to the plethora of markets, restaurants, and outdoor activities that have popped up there in the past few years. This year, a prime stretch of the Queens beach will reopen with the rest of the coastline this summer after its shrinking shore was replenished with mounds of sand. And yes, you'll likely leave with the eponymous Ramones tune about the beach stuck in your head, but just go with it.

In the foreground is a sandy beach. There are people laying and standing on the sand. Shutterstock

8. South Beach

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This Staten Island beach offers stunning views of the Verazzano Bridge, along with plenty of activities for visitors. Expect kayaking, fishing on one of the city's most popular piers, a scenic bike path, and tennis courts. Those who are less actively-inclined can take advantage of the chess tables, bocce courts, and benches. What's more, the beach also comes with a fountain named The Fountain of Dolphins.

A beach boardwalk. There are benches on one side of the boardwalk and trees on the other side of the boardwalk. In the distance is a bridge. Via NYC Parks

9. Midland Beach

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Midland Beach and the nearby South Beach are located just off of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Boardwalk on Staten Island's eastern shore. Midland Beach is considered the less crowded of the two, but has some pretty neat attractions like a playground and courts for tennis and shuffleboard. There's also a sea turtle fountain for kids.

10. Cedar Grove Beach

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Located on the eastern shore of Staten Island, the city's Parks Department says Cedar Grove Beach is New York's newest beach. Situated in Great Kills Park, the beach was once part of an oceanfront bungalow colony, but now it's a tranquil alternative to some of the other beaches in Staten Island.

A sandy beach with a view of the ocean in the distance. The sky is cloudy. By cribogs/flickr

11. Wolfe's Pond Park

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420 Cornelia Ave
Staten Island, NY 10312
(718) 984-8266
Visit Website

Located toward the southern end of Staten Island, Wolfe's Pond Beach is part of Wolfe's Pond Park, one of the largest parks in the borough. The city acquired the land in 1929, by which time it was already a popular recreational spot with several waterfront homes. In subsequent years, the buildings made way for a playground, a picnic area, a boathouse, and a bathhouse.

In the foreground is a beach. There is a body of water and trees in the distance. Via NYC Parks

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1. Orchard Beach

Bronx, NY 10464

The Bronx's only public beach (once known as "the Riviera of New York") is located within Pelham Bay Park, and stretches for more than a mile facing the Long Island Sound. Built as part of the Works Progress Administration, the beach retains some of that historic architecture like the Central Pavilion, which is due to get a renovation in the coming years. If you're looking for outdoor sports, this is definitely the beach to check out: It has a total of 26 courts for basketball, volleyball, and handball.

2. Coney Island Beach & Boardwalk

Surf Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11224
In the foreground is a beach with beachgoers, and colorful umbrellas. In the distance are amusement park rides and apartment buildings. Shutterstock

One of Brooklyn's top draws in the summertime, the Coney Island beach can get particularly crowded. If that gets to be overwhelming, walk along the iconic boardwalk or grab a hot dog at Nathan's—a visit to Coney Island isn’t complete without it. And for thrill seekers, there's always Luna Park and all its attractions, including the iconic Cyclone roller coaster.

Surf Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11224

3. Brighton Beach

Brooklyn, NY 11235
In the foreground is the ocean and a beach with sand. In the distance are city apartment buildings. Shutterstock.com

Though frequently overshadowed by its better known and more touristy neighbor, Brighton Beach is a worthwhile destination in its own right. It's particularly known for its large settlement of Russian-speaking immigrants and as a result the neighborhood is dotted with shops and restaurants serving Russian and Eastern European cuisines.

4. Manhattan Beach

Brooklyn, NY 11235
A beach with sand. People are standing on the sand and in the ocean. In the distance are trees. Via NYC Parks

Located east of Brighton Beach, Manhattan Beach is usually considered the calmer version of its neighbor and nearby Coney Island. The beach is also a great spot for barbecuing and is known for its family-friendly vibe. Fun fact: the eponymous neighborhood surrounding Manhattan Beach was once home to the creator of Captain America, Jack Kirby.

5. Fort Tilden Beach

Bayshore Blvd W, Queens, NY 11697
A sandy beach with a driftwood fence. In the distance is the ocean. Shutterstock

Once a United States Army base, Fort Tilden is now known as a great destination for fishing and bird-watching. There are a ton of decommissioned military structures to look at as well, and one of them, Battery Harris East, has an observation deck that provides 360 degree views of Jamaica Bay and New York Harbor. Fort Tilden is also known for its art installations.

Bayshore Blvd W
Queens, NY 11697

6. Jacob Riis Beach

Queens, NY 11697

Nicknamed "The People's Beach," Jacob Riis Beach is perhaps best known for its Art Deco boathouse, which first opened in 1932. During the summer, the beach and the park around it play host to a bunch of activities including a golf center, ball courts, and several food concession stands. Riis Park Beach Bazaar, now entering its fifth year, is one of the big attractions.

7. Rockaway Beach

Queens, NY 11693
In the foreground is a sandy beach. There are people laying and standing on the sand. Shutterstock

Rockaway Beach has exploded in popularity thanks to the plethora of markets, restaurants, and outdoor activities that have popped up there in the past few years. This year, a prime stretch of the Queens beach will reopen with the rest of the coastline this summer after its shrinking shore was replenished with mounds of sand. And yes, you'll likely leave with the eponymous Ramones tune about the beach stuck in your head, but just go with it.

8. South Beach

Staten Island, NY 10304
A beach boardwalk. There are benches on one side of the boardwalk and trees on the other side of the boardwalk. In the distance is a bridge. Via NYC Parks

This Staten Island beach offers stunning views of the Verazzano Bridge, along with plenty of activities for visitors. Expect kayaking, fishing on one of the city's most popular piers, a scenic bike path, and tennis courts. Those who are less actively-inclined can take advantage of the chess tables, bocce courts, and benches. What's more, the beach also comes with a fountain named The Fountain of Dolphins.

9. Midland Beach

Staten Island, NY 10305

Midland Beach and the nearby South Beach are located just off of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Boardwalk on Staten Island's eastern shore. Midland Beach is considered the less crowded of the two, but has some pretty neat attractions like a playground and courts for tennis and shuffleboard. There's also a sea turtle fountain for kids.

10. Cedar Grove Beach

New York
A sandy beach with a view of the ocean in the distance. The sky is cloudy. By cribogs/flickr

Located on the eastern shore of Staten Island, the city's Parks Department says Cedar Grove Beach is New York's newest beach. Situated in Great Kills Park, the beach was once part of an oceanfront bungalow colony, but now it's a tranquil alternative to some of the other beaches in Staten Island.

11. Wolfe's Pond Park

420 Cornelia Ave, Staten Island, NY 10312
In the foreground is a beach. There is a body of water and trees in the distance. Via NYC Parks

Located toward the southern end of Staten Island, Wolfe's Pond Beach is part of Wolfe's Pond Park, one of the largest parks in the borough. The city acquired the land in 1929, by which time it was already a popular recreational spot with several waterfront homes. In subsequent years, the buildings made way for a playground, a picnic area, a boathouse, and a bathhouse.

420 Cornelia Ave
Staten Island, NY 10312