A neighborhood in the borough of Queens (that may just have the best name out there,) Rockaway Beach is a boardwalk, beach, and summer staple for New Yorkers of all ages. The beach runs along the Atlantic side of Long Island, extending out as a slim peninsula into the sea. Its clear and clean stretch of sand welcomes over a million visitors each year, particularly in the summer months.
As far as activities, there is something for everyone — from surfing to swimming and sunbathing. There are dozens of ways to enjoy the outdoors when the sun is shining, including volleyball, fishing, skating, baseball, and basketball. In fact it’s the only beach that allows for surfing in New York, with spots from 67th-69th and 87th-92nd Streets.
Rockaway Beach is also known for its food and concessions, with taco and burger stands alongside famous ice cream and cold drinks. A variety of facilities including showers, restrooms, barbecues, parks, and playgrounds, can be found throughout the area. Known as one of the best beaches in New York, it is the largest urban beach in the United States.
Rockaway Beach is a short day trip from the city. Travel time from Manhattan is just over an hour. The nearest Subway stops (on the A and S trains) are Beach and 90th St., Beach and 98th St., Beach and 105th St., and Rockaway Park-Beach and 116th St. There is also a QM16 Express bus to Manhattan. Street parking and paid parking are also both available nearby. Swimming is only permitted when lifeguards are on duty, every Memorial Day to Labor Day. If you plan to lounge on the beach, it is recommended to bring your own chairs or blankets and umbrella.