Ditch the car and head to the beach!
Summer has finally arrived and there is no better place to experience this treasured season than Long Island –home to some of the most iconic white sand beaches in the world - from Long Beach to Coopers Beach to Jones Beach, and more.
And did you know that many of Long Island’s pristine shorelines are accessible utilizing public transportation like the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR), intra-county bus systems, and rideshare services? Ditch the car and put your extra gas money towards an overnight stay at one of the region’s hottest hotels for the ultimate beach getaway. Check out Aqua by American Beach for an exclusive bayside beach vibe or The Allegria in Long Beach for a taste of luxe oceanfront living.
Listed below is your ultimate guide to a Long Island beach getaway and expert tips on how to live your best #LongIslandLife this summer.
Tips for visiting:
With dozens of public and private beaches, it’s easy to find your place in the sand. Here are a few tips for navigating peak season beach going:
State parks such as Jones Beach, Sunken Meadow, Montauk Point, and Robert Moses are open to all. Taking a LIRR package where available will save you a bunch of cash, and taking public transit in general will help you avoid the $10 per car fee during peak season.
Local and town beaches such as Long Beach, Coopers Beach, Main Beach, and Ditch Plains charge varying fees for non-residents of up to $50 for peak season access. To avoid a costly visit, we recommend:
You check the park’s website. Some beaches only charge a parking fee, so if you get dropped off by an Uber or walk-in, it’s free. Others may charge per person.
You plan ahead by choosing a LIRR package (includes discounted rail ticket and beach admission), a hotel that offers complimentary beach access* or arrive at the beaches when the fees are not in effect (either before 7 a.m. or after 6 p.m.).
Check the day’s tides before heading to the beach. The only thing worse than arriving at high tide and having to hike to the water is arriving at low tide and running for the hills when it comes in!
Remember to bring extra water and sun protection.
*In the list below, an asterisk denotes hotels that offer free beach passes to guests.
Experience the Iconic Jones Beach
Just an hour away from Midtown Manhattan, Jones Beach State Park offers 6.5 miles of stunning shoreline and plays host to over 6.1 million visitors each year. Swim and sunbathe by the crashing Atlantic surf or take a dip in the calm waters of Zach’s Bay as you admire the region’s only outdoor amphitheater—the 15,000-seat Jones Beach Theater. Walk, run, bike, and rollerblade on the four-mile-long boardwalk, try your best at mini golf or let loose on the boardwalk’s beachside playground, and anglers can fish from the pier at Field 10. Adventurers on the other hand, should head straight to the boardwalk to test their endurance at WildPlay Element Park Jones Beach which offers ziplining and multiple aerial adventure courses complete with rope swings, tightrope walking, and swinging logs. After you’ve worked up an appetite, head to the Boardwalk Café or Gatsby on the Ocean for your pick of classic seafood, traditional American favorites, cold drinks, and spectacular waterfront views.
HOW TO GET HERE: Take advantage of our Jones Beach Deal
10-15 minute n88 NICE Bus ride from Freeport
Catch Waves in Ditch Plains and Climb to the Top of the Montauk Lighthouse (Montauk)
Montauk Point State Park is home of one of the oldest lighthouses in New York State and the fourth oldest Lighthouse in the United States. Commissioned under President George Washington in 1792, visitors can climb the 132-steps to the top of Montauk Lighthouse for 360° views extending out from Block Island and over the Atlantic Ocean. The beach offers some of the best surf fishing in the world and during the off-season, crowds come out from all over for seal spotting and birdwatching. The shores are open to the public for fishing, hiking, paddleboarding, and windsurfing.
Each year, surfers flock to nearby Ditch Plains where waves reach record heights for the eastern seaboard. This town beach in Montauk offers incredible views of Montauk’s famous cliffs, dramatic and picturesque staircases that lead to the beach, and roaring waves.
HOW TO GET HERE: For a day trip, take a LIRR Escorted Tour; or take the LIRR to Montauk, then hail a cab or hop on a complimentary shuttle to your hotel.
Skip the traffic!
Visit the Pristine Shores of Robert Moses
Suffolk County’s Robert Moses State Park boasts 875-acres of radiant seaboard and protected preserve. Its stunning and rather secluded shoreline is home to clear waters, roaring waves, and it’s not uncommon for visitors to spot dolphins, deer, or even the federally endangered Piping Plover. While you’re here, hike towards the eastern end of the island to climb to the 182 steps to the top of the Fire Island Lighthouse. Visitors can alsoexplore its museum, paddleboard on the bayside, or listen to the roaring waves of the Atlantic on the south side of the park.
HOW TO GET HERE: Take advantage of our Robert Moses Deal
Meet the S47 bus at Babylon to get to the beach
Experience the ‘City by the Sea’ (Long Beach)
With mile after mile of inviting sands, Long Beach certainly lives up to its name. This barrier island community is just 45-minutes from midtown Manhattan. Long Beach is an upbeat coastal retreat with LGBTQ+ pride, a vibrant surfing community, regular beach volleyball, free summer concerts, food trucks, fishing piers and more. This bustling beach town is best known for its iconic 4.5-mile boardwalk rebuilt after Superstorm Sandy in 2012, which is once again teeming with quirky shops, unique and classic eateries, cyclists, runners, and more. Head to Skudin’ Surf for surf lessons, board rentals, and other cool gear or snap a picture in front of the Instagrammable Long Beach Osprey Wings. Don’t worry about toting heavy beach gear either, Beach Comfort will deliver rental equipment right on the beach. Stay overnight at The Allegria hotel, a chic boutique delivering a dose of Miami style that boasts a rooftop pool with breathtaking views of the Atlantic as well as the NYC skyline. While you’re here, why not grab a local brew at Bright Eye Beer Co. or a legendary clam bake from Peter’s Clam Bar?
HOW TO GET HERE: Take advantage of our Long Beach Deal
The beach is a short walk from Long Beach station
Stay Overnight in a Waterfront Cottage at Heckscher State Park (East Islip)
Heckscher State Park has more than a million visitors a year, and for good reason! Twenty miles of trails attract hikers, bikers, and cross-country skiers; and swimmers spend the days splashing in the tides of Great South Bay. In addition to its world-class recreational facilities, the park is home to campsites and unique waterfront cottages that make for an Instagram-worthy stay. Those looking to fish or paddleboard can rest easy knowing the park allows both.
HOW TO GET HERE: Take the Montauk Branch to Great River. From here, utilize rideshare services to complete the trip to your destination.
7 minute rideshare from Great River
Soak Up the Sun Like a Celebrity at Main Beach (East Hampton)
East Hampton’s Main Beach has also been rated as one of the Top Beaches in America by Dr. Beach. It’s known for its pristine white sand shores, shimmering waters, and regular celebrity sightings. Spend the day splashing around with Paddle Diva, a rental and lessons company that offers everything you need for a perfect day paddleboarding—including specialty yoga classes, lessons, and adventure tours. Or reach new heights at Hamptonsfly—theonly place offering fliteboard lessons through its exclusive Fliteschool. Experience the thrills of flying over the water with no wind or waves needed. Looking to take a break from the sea? Explore the 16-acre sculpture garden at LongHouse Reserveor modern art at the Pollock-Krasner House. And when it comes time to dine, culinary craftsmen of all tastes find a dish worth appreciating The Palm at The Huntting Inn. Visitors can also bar hop by boat at two Hampton Bays’ restaurants: Cowfish and RUMBA.
HOW TO GET HERE: Take the Montauk Branch to East Hampton and order a rideshare to your destination.
6 minute rideshare from East Hampton to Main Beach
Looking for a Dog-Friendly Shoreline? Foster Memorial Beach Is It (Sag Harbor)
Traveling with your furry friend? Head to Foster Memorial Beach in Sag Harbor (commonly referred to as “Long Beach” but don’t get it confused with the shores of southern Nassau County). Foster Memorial offers dog-friendly beach access, picnic areas, food trucks, benches, and a pebbly bayside shoreline of the Noyac Bay.
HOW TO GET HERE: Take the Montauk Branch to Bridgehampton and order a rideshare to your destination.
10 minute rideshare from Bridgehampton to Foster Memorial
Enjoy a Day at Anchor on Northport Harbor
Extreme watersport enthusiasts and sun worshippers alike will have a splashing good time visiting the adorable, historic Village of Northport. Over The Top Watersports offers private sunset cruises, wake surfing lessons, waterskiing, tubing, paddleboard rentals, and even a kids’ camp. You can even just enjoy a day at anchor and sunbath on the deck of the boat or pull up by boat to a local beach for the day. When you’re done having fun in the sun, head to Del Vino Vineyards for a taste of award-winning Long Island Wine Country or the John W. Engeman Theater for talented live performances.
HOW TO GET HERE: Take the Port Jefferson line to Northport Station. From there, utilize rideshare or taxi services to your desired destination.
7 minute rideshare from Northport to the shoreline
Visit One of the Top 10 Beaches in America: Coopers Beach (Southampton)
To say we saved the best for last may be a bit of an understatement Southampton’s Coopers Beach has consistently been named among the Top 10 Beaches in America by Dr. Beach—a world renowned American geoscientist, coastal ecologist, and author. Visitors can enjoy the white sandy shores with the backdrop of nature and historic mansions. Located on Dune Rd., full facilities including concession, bathhouse, and beach equipment rentals. While you’re in town, stop at Parrish Art Museum. Since the 1950s, this museum has showcased the artistic legacy of Long Island’s East End and is one of America’s most vital creative centers. For dinner, run—don’t walk—to Manna at Lobster Inn. This famed waterfront dining restaurant offers a spectacular spread of sustainable seafood dishes.
HOW TO GET HERE: Take the Montauk branch to Southampton. Utilize a rideshare service to your destination.
8 minute rideshare from Southampton to Coopers Beach