Since it’s surrounded by water on all sides, Long Island has always been known for its untouched beaches that feature scenic views and tons of amazing amenities. The North and South Shore are typically where these beaches can be found, but the borough of Queens has a few great ones, too. Here are the best Queens beaches where you can relax and cool off throughout the rest of the summer.
Where to Find the Best Queens Beaches
Rockaway Beach isn’t just a Ramones song, it’s also a 5+ mile waterfront haven that stretches from Beach 9th Street in Far Rockaway to Beach 149th Street in Neponsit. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, it’s open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., but lifeguards are only there from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
What to Expect
As it so happens, Rockaway Beach, with their high waves and forceful undertow, is the only official beach for surfers in New York City. There are designated surfing areas on the beaches from 67th to 69th street and 87th to 92nd street.
Rockaway Beach was devastated by Hurricane Sandy, but has since been restored. Now, you can find courts and playgrounds like the one at Beach 30th Street. Also, visit the concession area to try tasty bites like lobster rolls and jerk chicken. Don’t forget, admission is always free, but parking isn’t!
Jacob Riis Beach
Jacob Riis Beach, commonly referred to as “The People’s Beach,” has been around since the early 1930s. It was designed by famed architect Robert Moses as the city’s version of Long Island’s Jones Beach. Interestingly enough, the area was originally used for one of the first United States naval bases.
The beach is named after Jacob Riis, a NYC journalist and photographer who reported on the plight of the city’s poor and working class. The entire facility is highlighted by a historic Art Deco bathhouse that will transport you back to an earlier age in New York City.
In addition to gorgeous beaches, Jacob Riis also has a Pitch and Putt golf course, ball courts and a wide variety of concession stands. Admission to the beach is free, but parking will cost you so try to take an Ollie’s Taxi when you visit!
Fort Tilden Beach
Fort Tilden Beach, which is part of the Gateway National Recreation Area, is located on the Rockaway Peninsula. The beach was once the site of a military fortification that protected New York harbor. It was named after former Governor Samuel J. Tilden, who was around in the 1800s.
This beachfront area is the perfect place for a leisurely stroll along the water and even fishing! There are no lifeguards ever on duty, so this wouldn’t be the best place for swimming. Otherwise, there are park ranger-led tours that highlight wildlife in the maritime forest and the magnificence of the Atlantic shore.
When you visit, take a trip to the observatory deck at the top of Battery Harris East, a historic gun site that once belonged to the fort. There, you will be able to enjoy 360 degree sweeping views of Jamaica Bay and New York Harbor.
Long Island beaches usually receive all of the recognition, but these Queens beaches are just as good and maybe even better!