Though we only just recently entered true spring weather, it doesn’t mean it’s too early to start planning for summer getaways. When the heat rises, head to these New York waterfronts for outdoor fun in the sun.
Grab your beach set, call the kids, and prepare for a trip down memory lane. Coney Island and Brighton Beach are two of the oldest, most historically significant, and culturally-filled beach destinations in Brooklyn, New York. Coney Island’s boardwalk features an amusement park that’s seen generations of visitors and received a new facelift in recent years, attracting more families than ever. Plus, you can’t beat eating at the first Nathan’s Hot Dogs!
Not too far down the boardwalk is Brighton Beach located in what’s known as Little Russia, as it’s heavily populated by Eastern Europeans. If you’re looking for a more peaceful sunbathing time with international food as your afternoon snack, head to Brighton instead.
Wave riders take note: Rockaway Beach is open for business. New York City may not be known as surfers’ paradise, but Rockaway Beach is becoming the go-to spot for ocean lovers. With dive bars and taco stands attracting hungry beach bums, this Queens beach is a must for summer weekend hanging. You’ll find surfers trotting the boardwalk in search of the biggest waves, families playing in the sand, and ladies laying out for a tan. Take the A train out early on a Sunday morning and breeze through some views of the city you may not see elsewhere.
Way uptown there’s an island filled with yacht clubs, sailing schools, marinas, sail makers and some great seafood restaurants. Yet still mainly frequented by nearby residents from the Bronx and Upstate, New York. It’s about time everyone else catch on to City Island‘s hype. Enjoy the water, fresh air and art galleries on the island, plus some great crab dishes. For those interested in the history of Native Americans, a Siwanoy Indian burial ground can be found at the island’s highest point.
On the shores of Brooklyn, between two great New York City landmarks – the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges – lie 85 acres that have been transformed into one of the city’s best outdoor spaces. Brooklyn Bridge Park consists of four different sections, including Pier 1 and Pier 6 (both opened in summer 2010), the Main Street Lot and the Empire-Fulton Ferry area, all of which boast tremendous views of the Manhattan skyline and the New York City harbor. The park offers abundant opportunities for sunbathing, picnicking, walking and biking, as well as a wealth of activities both educational and fun. Kids of all ages can partake in this modern playground that includes rope swings, a “slide mountain” with two-story high slides, a water-play area, a climbing structure, and a “boulder mountain.” Head out and jump in!
For a full list to beach guides to New York City throughout the five boroughs, visit NileGuide’s Things to Do directory.