Top 10 Beaches in New York

Published on August 13th, 2021

What are the Most Popular Beaches in New York?

It’s understandable if, when you think of New York, the first thing that comes to mind is skyscrapes rather than sandscapes. But make no mistake about it: the Empire State also offers some lovely places to kick off your shoes and dig your toes into the sand, both along the Atlantic coast and along its inland lake beaches. We’ve gathered ten of the best!

Top Beaches in New York

1. Sandy Island Beach State Park

2. Long Lake Town Beach

3. Mayfield Town Beach

4. Lake Superior State Park

5. Midland Beach

6. Coney Island Beach

7. Brighton Beach

8. The People’s Beach at Jacob Riis Park

9. Rockaway Beach

10. Jones Beach State Park

New York Beaches

Here are the top 10 New York state beaches you absolutely do not want to miss on your next trip through the Empire State.

1. Sandy Island Beach State Park

Ontario Lake Sunset - Oswego, NY

Before we head south to the ocean beaches outside of Manhattan, let’s start in New York’s northerly reaches, where Sandy Island Beach State Park awaits along the shimmering shore of Lake Ontario. Characterized by pristine, white sands, panoramic views and a unique ecosystem. Sandy Island Beach State Park is one of the only freshwater dunes systems in the world — which means it’s well worth the trek to this off-the-beaten-path part of the state!

Things to do near Sandy Island Beach State Park: Immediately to the north of the state park itself, Sandy Pond Beach offers a unique stretch of sand between Lake Ontario and inland North Sandy Pond, all of which is to say there’s no shortage of waterfront views to explore while you’re here. You’re also just north of the Deer Creek Marsh Wildlife Management Area and not far at all from the Sandy Creek State Forest. Here are some local RVshare rentals to help you make a whole vacation of it!

2. Long Lake Town Beach

Long Lake Town Beach new york
Image via mylonglake.com

Nestled into the breathtaking Seward Mountain Range in New York’s famous Adirondack region, Long Lake Town Beach is a quintessential lake beach experience for those traveling upstate — and it’s well outfitted for a day of family fun in the sun. The on-site swim dock includes a mini-trampoline, slides, and ropes wings for adventurous revelers of all ages, and the small town of Long Lake itself is immediately adjacent to the beach offering all the amenities and resources you need for a weekend vacation — or even a longer one. This is also a great option for those looking for some extra peace of mind: Red-Cross certified lifeguards stand duty during the height of daylight hours, and free swimming lessons are also available.

Things to do near Long Lake Town Beach: Nearby Lake Eaton offers a beautiful waterside camping option, and the entire area is basically comprised of a multitude of wildernesses to explore, such as Sargent Pond Wild Forest, High Peaks Wilderness, the William C. Whitney Wilderness, just to name a few. Here are some local RVshare rentals to help you make a comfortable and convenient trip to see it all!

3. Mayfield Town Beach

Boating on the Sacandaga at sunset

Great Sacandaga Lake is a well-known destination for swimming, boating, fishing, and all other things watersports — and while there are many lovely access points to choose from, Mayfield Town Beach should definitely be on your radar. Soft sands merge gracefully into the blue waters that extend out to a tree-and-hill-lined horizon, and the area is well known for being well-maintained and kept clean, including the restroom facilities on site. Simultaneously away from it all and within easy reach of area resort amenities, Mayfield Town Beach is the perfect place for a quick daytrip or a longer excursion — whatever suits your fancy.

Things to do near Mayfield Town Beach: The small town of Mayfield is nearby and offers all the restaurants, shopping, and other urban diversions you might need (which is to say, just a few), and also has its own smaller lake to explore and boat on. Here are some local RVshare rentals to consider for your vacation.

4. Lake Superior State Park

Lake Superior State Park new york
Image via parks.ny.gov/parks

No, not that Lake Superior — as you may have noticed, the world’s largest freshwater lake doesn’t have a coastline in New York. But the state does have its own Lake Superior, contained and protected by Lake Superior State Park, and while it’s considerably smaller than its more famous namesake, it’s no less worthy of a destination. This clean, rugged waters are a common spot for area fisherfolk and boaters to explore, and the state park also offers a sandy stretch of beach perfect for laying out a towel or constructing sand castles. There are also plenty of well-thought-out amenities like a playground, picnic tables, grills, vending machines, and restrooms complete with showers.

Things to do near Lake Superior State Park: Tucked close to the place where New York bends to border with Pennsylvania, there are plenty of other excellent wildernesses in this area to explore. For instance, the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River is just 20 minutes away, and the Neversink River Unique Area is just 30. Here are some area RVshare rentals to consider!

5. Midland Beach

Beautiful wooden boardwalk view.Midland Beach.Staten Island. New York

Alright, let’s get into the complex system of incredible, scenic beachscapes ironically tucked into the crook of one of the most urban parts of the entire world. New York City is known for plenty of things, and while beach days aren’t usually high on the list, they should be. For starters, take Midland Beach, one of the premier places to sunbathe on Staten Island (which is already known for its slightly slower pace than is found in some of the other boroughs). Along with its scenic shoreline, Midland Beach is well-developed with thoughtful amenities, such as grills, phone charging stations, sports courts, bike paths, playgrounds and more. There’s even a skate park immediately adjacent to the beach, so you can take to either your surfboard or your skateboard, depending on your mood.

Things to do near Midland Beach: Staten Island offers plenty of fun things to see, do, and eat, as well as some large, meandering green spaces like Latourette Park. Here are some local RVshare rentals to consider for your stay in the not-so-busy part of the city!

6. Coney Island Beach

NEW YORK - JUNE 27: People on the beach on June 27, 2012 in Coney Island, NY. Coney Island beach is from West 37th St. at Sea Gate to the beginning of Manhattan Beach, approximately 2.5 mi (4.0 km).

There’s approximately 0% chance you haven’t already heard of Coney Island, both its (in)famous boardwalk and its sugar-soft sandy beach… but hey, some places are world-renowned for a reason. Coney Island Beach is an absolutely iconic New York experience both for those who live in the city and visitors from further afield, and is the very best place in the United States to kick back and relax on a summer’s day with a hot dog and maybe some cotton candy to go along with it. It’s also home to a full-blown amusement park with thrill rides, fair food, and the rest, and offers a variety of entertainment venues showcasing world-class musicians. Long story short: get there.

Things to do near Coney Island Beach: One of the best parts about this unique city beach — and many of the other city beaches on this list — is how easily accessible it is from even the densest parts of the metropole by public transit. Coney Island is serviced by the Stillwell Ave stop, with connections all the way into downtown Brooklyn and even Manhattan. Here are some local RVshare rentals!

7. Brighton Beach

Aerial view of Coney Island, New York

Immediately adjacent to Coney Island Beach, Brighton Beach offers a slightly different perspective on the same shoreline, with a slightly less crowded, slightly less festival-feeling vibe — though there’s still no shortage of nearby amenities. If you’re looking for an iconic place that still offers some serenity and chill, Brighton Beach might suit you better than Coney, and it also boasts ADA-accessible restrooms and other facilities, lifeguards on duty, and ample public parking. And, of course, the sand is soft and the waves are rhythmic and captivating. You can’t go wrong.

Things to do near Brighton Beach: While of course there’s all the hubbub of Coney Island to explore just down the street, this area is a little quieter (though still supplied with plenty of nearby restaurants, shops, and attractions). We recommend putting the New York Aquarium on your to-do list if you’re at all interested in learning more about the local wildlife — and as always, here are some local RVshare rentals to choose from!

8. The People’s Beach at Jacob Riis Park

Jacob Riis Park NY

Jacob Riis Park is a large preserved expanse in Neponsit, including both well-manicured green spaces and a beautiful beachfront known as The People’s Beach. Soft, golden sands are hugged by the Atlantic waves, and on-duty lifeguards ensure that things are as safe as possible for visitors and swimmers of all ages. Even better, this beach is within easy access of both fun and helpful amenities, including restrooms and showers as well as a golf course, ice cream stand, multiple other eateries and more. It’s also serviced by both bus and train stops, making it easy to reach from a wide variety of points in the city.

Things to do near The People’s Beach at Jacob Riis Park: Within the same stretch of beachfront, you’ll find historic Fort Tilden, which is part of the larger, multi-site Gateway National Recreation Area, which is managed by the NPS. Here are some area RVshare rentals to choose from if you’re looking for a unique stay during your city adventure!

9. Rockaway Beach

Surfer about to paddle out in high surf. Photographed in Rockaway Beach, Queens, New York, in October 2015.

With a name that’s as fun to say as the place itself is to visit, Rockaway Beach has long been a favorite getaway for New Yorkers — and for those in from out of town, too. An ample sand stretch invites multitudes to lay down their towels, and the adjacent boardwalk is more than five miles long and absolutely piled to the brim with fun adventures to be had, from dining to shopping and everything in between. Additionally, Rockaway Beach is well known as a world-class surfing destination, so if you’re the adventurous type looking to hang ten, look no further. That said, there’s still plenty of serenity and easy beachfront living to be done here by those who just want to laze or wade.

Things to do near Rockaway Beach: The better question might be, what isn’t there to do near Rockaway Beach? Enjoy diversions like bars and taco trucks or get ready to take to the waves with one of the many surf shops in the area. There are also, of course, plenty of great RVshare rentals in the area to choose from.

10. Jones Beach State Park

A lifeboat and lifeguard chair on the beach at Jones Beach State Park on Long Island, NY.

Meandering out into the diverse, water-surrounded expanse that is Long Island, there are many, many worthy beaches to choose from… but if you have to choose just one, we might direct you to Jones Beach State Park, which offers an incredible six miles of oceanfront sandscape. Furthermore, the park includes picnic facilities, showers, a bandshell, and so many other amenities to make your beach trip into a full-on event. There are also two freshwater pools for those who are looking to swim without getting salty about it, and a vast boardwalk populated with plenty of entertaining options.

Things to do near Jones Beach State Park: With six miles of oceanfront, it would be easy to spend a whole weekend — or longer — at Jones Beach State Park on its own. But, of course, the rest of Long Island also beckons, from the inner reaches close to Queens all the way out to Montauk. We’ve made a list of the best campgrounds on Long Island — and, of course, have you all set with the best RVshare vehicles to take to them!

Planning an RV Trip to New York

Whether it’s the beaches or any of the other exciting to-dos that draws you to New York, an RV is the perfect way to see it all in comfort and style. We’ve got all the resources you need to make for an epic New York RV trip, starting with the RV rentals themselves, of course.

We’ve also penned guides to the best campgrounds in New York, as well as its best state parks to stay in and explore. And, of course, we’ve written guides to some of its biggest population centers for those of you who are after urban adventures.

Enjoy your stay!

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