What to know about visiting NYC beaches this summer

May 23, 2024

Rockaway Beach, the only legal surf spot in NYC.  Photo by Hayley Pfitzer on Unsplash

New York City’s 14 miles of public beaches are set to open for swimming this Memorial Day weekend, welcoming in a summer season of fun in the sun. The city’s public beaches are free and open for the season starting Saturday, May 25 through September 8. Swimming hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, with swimming only permitted when lifeguards are on duty and not allowed in closed sections of the beach. Ahead, find everything you need to know about visiting a beach in the five boroughs this summer.

Photo by Manon on Pexels

Due to the ongoing lifeguard shortage, certain sections of some beaches will be closed during Memorial Day weekend. Only 230 of the 600 lifeguards needed to staff the beaches fully have been hired so far, according to the New York Post.

Currently, 550 lifeguards are enrolled in the city’s training program, up from just 375 trainees at this time last year. City officials have credited this growth partly to the lifeguard hourly wage being raised from $21 to $22, along with an additional $1,000 bonus for lifeguards who stay through the entire season.

Officials expect to have approximately 900 lifeguards working by the end of June when city pools open. To fully patrol both beaches and pools, over 1,500 lifeguards are required.

Additionally, the U.S. Army Corps’ ongoing work on the Atlantic Shorefront Resiliency Project will temporarily close sections of Rockaway Beach throughout the summer. About 10 to 15 blocks of beach will be closed on a rolling basis, moving westward from Beach 116 and moving eastward from Beach 143. However, the entire Rockaway boardwalk will stay open.

Visit one of the city’s beaches, listed below:


Brighton Beach
From Ocean Parkway to Corbin Place

Coney Island and Coney Island Boardwalk
From West 37th Street to Ocean Parkway

Manhattan Beach
Oriental Boulevard, from Ocean Avenue to Mackenzie Street

Jacob Riis Park via Padraic/Flickr


Rockaway Beach and Boardwalk
From Beach 9th Street, Far Rockaway, to Beach 149th Street, Neponsit

Fort Tilden
169 State Road, Breezy Point

Jacob Riis Park
157 Rockaway Beach Boulevard, Far Rockaway

Staten Island

Cedar Grove Beach
Ebbitts Street and Cedar Grove Avenue

Franklin D. Roosevelt Boardwalk and Beach
From Fort Wadsworth to Miller Field

South Beach
From Fort Wadsworth to Miller Field

Wolfe’s Pond Beach
From Holton to Cornelia Avenues

The Bronx

Orchard Beach and Promenade
On Long Island Sound in Pelham Bay Park


While no swimming is permitted here, Manhattan’s first public “beach” opened last fall at Little West 12th Street and 13th Avenue at Hudson River Park. Gansevoort Peninsula is a 5.5-acre waterfront public park in the Meatpacking District with a sandy beach, umbrellas, chairs, misting features, places to picnic, kayak access, and a rocky seating edge.

Rockway Line NYC Ferry. Benjamin Kanter/Mayoral Photo Office on Flickr 

Getting to the beach

You can get to the Coney Island Beach and Boardwalk by taking the Coney Island-bound D, F, N, and Q trains to Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue, or the Coney Island-bound F and Q trains to West 8th Street-NY Aquarium. To get to Brighton Beach, take the B or Q train to the beach, or the B1 or B68 buses. For Manhattan Beach, take the B1 or B49 buses.

To travel to Rockaway Beach on public transit, take the Far Rockaway-bound A train or the Rockaway Park-bound S train. All stations on the S line between Beach 90th Street and Rockaway Park-Beach 116th Street are a short walk from the beach. On the A, get off at any station between Beach 67th Street and Beach 36th Street.

By bus, take the Q22 toward Rockaway Beach Boulevard, the Q35 or Q53 SBS toward Rockaway Park-Beach 116th Street, or the Q52 SBS toward Arverne. You can also take the NYC Ferry’s Rockaway route to the beach.

For the beach at Jacob Riis Park, take the Q22 toward Rockaway Beach Boulevard or the Q35 toward Rockaway Park-Beach 116th Street and get off at Jacob Riis Park Road/Bath House. Fort Tilden is located a brief walk west of Jacob Riis Park.

By bus, take the B36 towards Coney Island-West 37th Street, the B64 or the B68 towards Coney Island-Mermaid Avenue, or the B82 towards Mermaid Avenue-Stillwell Avenue.

To get to Orchard Beach, take the 6 train to Pelham Bay Park, then transfer to a City Island-bound Bx29 bus, or on weekends during the summer, the Bx12 to Orchard Beach. To get to Wolfe’s Pond Beach, take the Staten Island Railway to Prince’s Bay, or take the S55 or S56 buses. To get to Cedar Grove Beach, take the S76 or S86 buses.

Learn more about taking public transit to the beach here.


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