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  • Writer's pictureRebecca B.

Beach Time in NYC!

I've been waiting for this week since the start of the pandemic. The anticipation is what has gotten me through. The end of this work day marks the start of my vacation! A whole week with an ocean view. Handed in a board package, sent leases to landlords, got upcoming listings planned out. I'm feeling like I've earned some beach time. You too? Oh, but not your vacation week? Don't worry, I've got you covered. Here are my favorite beaches within an hour from the city, and some local activities with a water view. You know you've earned it too.

Sandy Hook Beach

A 40 minute ferry ride from midtown and a quick shuttle gets you to this lovely strip of sand and fun. I highly recommend you forgo the car because the parking lot fills up quickly and it's $15 per car, but the beach is free. It's open 10-6 with lifeguards on duty. There are 6 bathrooms that are well-kept and lots of concessions. Also walking trails and kayaks for rent. Camping is not allowed this year, but it's so close you'll wanna return at the end of the day to get your own bed sandy anyway.

Harbor Island Park Beach

This one is located in the sweet town of Mamaroneck, New York, just 45 minutes from midtown by car. The park is 44 aches and packed with things to do. Stand up paddle board lesson anyone? Swimming is allowed from 10 to 5. After 5 there are no lifeguards on duty, but feel free to lay around till the sun is gone. Day passes are $8 for adults and $5 for kids. Note-- 9am-12pm Saturdays and Sundays are reserved for residents only.

Lake Wawayanda

Located in beautiful Wawayunda state park, this lake is a one hour drive from midtown. Now I usually much prefer a coastal beach to a lake beach, but this one is special. The water is crystal clear and a great temperature. Plus 20 miles of the Appalachian trail runs through the park and the views are heavenly. No really. The website warns you must have a permit for baptisms. There are changing areas and a restroom, a small concession stand. Lifeguards are on duty 10-6, but get there early cause they will turn people away once capacity is reached.

Governors Island

Govenor's Island is back open! Ok, so not a beach, but super easy to get to and surrounded by water. 172 acres of park and only 800 yards from lower Manhattan. There are bikes to rent, good food options, hammocks, adirondack chairs, and lots of play areas for kids. Plus, they now have "glamping", if you want to try an overnight trip in a fancy tent. Bet you can't beat that Manhattan view at night. They're open 10am-6pm, weekdays and till 7pm weekends. You must reserve your ferry tickets ahead of time as capacity is limited. But how great that capacity is limited! Pretty excited about this one for August.

Baylander Steel Beach

Again, not an actual beach. But it's in Manhattan. This a boat (get it, steel beach) docked in West Harlem at 125th street, serving amazing cocktails and beach food. Yes, clam strips, fish tacos, lobster rolls, and more. They are very serious about social distancing and wearing masks when not seated, so reservations are recommended as capacity is limited. That also means you can feel safe when there, though not a lot of space so not recommended for young kids. This is more of a date night. Sun sets are beautiful. If you can't get out of the city but need a beach fix, an evening on The Baylander will get you through your week. I highly recommend the boozy lemonade.

Big City Fishing

And for some family friendly water time in Manhattan, FISHING! Oh, I have always loved fishing, growing up around water. It's insane we are on an island and most New Yorkers have never worked a reel. If this is you, I beg you to take advantage of this free program that teaches the basics of fishing. Though also fine to join in if you're an old pro. Locations are in midtown, the West Village, and Tribeca. 30 minute slots are available Sunday 11-3 and Mondays 5-7:30. Reservations cannot be made ahead of time and you can only have one time slot, but all equipment is provided. It's super fun, and the piers are great for picnicking too.

So there you have it. I don't feel bad leaving you in the city. You have plenty of options to get some "beach" time, of one kind or another. Have a great week, NYC! Get your summer on!

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