Some street art along the Long Beach boardwalk
Some street art along the Long Beach boardwalk

I am a beach person, but I haven’t spent much time exploring the beaches around New York City because I prefer warm water.  However, since I haven’t had time to make it to the Caribbean recently I thought I should check out more of the local beaches.  Last summer I went to Sandy Hook, NJ so I wanted to visit one of the beaches in Long Island.  I had heard good things about Long Beach, Long Island and it would be an easy day trip, so we decided to give it a shot.  After, my visit I thought it would be helpful if I shared the pros and cons I experienced.  Overall though, I do think it is a great place to go for a summer day trip.  Please note that there is a Long Beach Island in New Jersey, which I have not been to yet.

Pros of Long Beach Long Island

Everyone having a great day at Long Beach!
Everyone having a great day at the beach!
  • It is easy to get to from NYC.  The train ride from Penn Station takes about an hour and then it is an easy 10 minute walk to the beach.  On the weekends, the trains run about once an hour.  Get to Penn Station early to allow for time to buy your tickets, so you don’t miss your train like we did!  Also, you can save on beach admission if you buy the beach getaway package through the Long Island Railroad – unfortunately I found this after I went!   An individual round trip train ticket is $19 on the weekends and admission to the beach is $15, but the package is $23.75 per person.  That saves you $10.25 per person.
  • The beach is very long with beautiful fine sand.  We even found some shells.  We really enjoyed our walk along the beach and it would also be great for running.
Some of the shells we found in Long Beach
Some of the shells we found
  • The water is clear and there were plenty of people enjoying the waves.  There are lifeguards and they were definitely watching.  The lifeguards only allowed people to swim in areas close to each lifeguard chair.  When the lifeguards went off duty at the end of the day, they made sure to get everyone out of the water.
  • There are several bars and restaurants on the street by the train station, many had brunch and drink specials.  There was also an Italian Ice place.  I saw carts on the boardwalk selling ice cream, snacks, and drinks.
Bikes you can rent on the Long Beach boardwalk
Bikes you can rent on the Long Beach boardwalk
  • There is a boardwalk and you can rent bikes if you like or just walk.  There were also benches along the boardwalk where you could relax and people watch.
A couple walking along the boardwalk in Long Beach
A couple walking along the boardwalk
  • We just laid on our towels on the beach but there are chairs and beach umbrellas for rent if you prefer.
  • They had volleyball courts.  I didn’t play but it was fun to watch.
A game of beach volleyball in Long Beach
A game of beach volleyball

Cons of Long Beach Long Island

Just a few things to keep in mind if you do decide to visit Long Beach Long Island:

  • If you didn’t purchase the beach getaway package, you must buy a beach pass for $15 per person to get on the sand.  We were issued these cards which were similar thickness to a credit card that was punched as a receipt.  You are supposed to carry the card with you at all times, but after entering we were never asked to show it.
  • Alcohol is not allowed
  • The water is a little cold for my taste.  Since Russell is used to going into the North Sea in England, he loved it.
Lots of people in the water In Long Beach
Lots of people in the water
  • The water can be rough.  The lifeguards were very strict.  At one point, I noticed there was a lifeguard standing at the water’s edge in addition to the one in the chair.
  • The beach was crowded, but since it is a long beach, you can easily find some space.
A peaceful section of Long Beach
A peaceful section of the beach
  • There is really limited outdoor seating at the bars and restaurants nearby.  I found this a little odd, but I guess it is good to take a little break from the sun.
  • Driving to Long Beach is not recommended because traffic can be bad, so try to use the LIRR.
Obligatory Selfie in Long Beach
Obligatory Selfie

All in all we enjoyed ourselves and it was a nice relaxing, easy getaway from NYC.  What is your favorite beach around NYC?  Oh and don’t forget your sunscreen!

Anisa

Expert Tips:

  • Save money by purchasing the LIRR beach getaway package, but make sure to get to Penn Station early as there may be a long line to get tickets.  You could also buy in advance at Penn Station but tickets are not available online.
  • There are lots of options for exercising at Long Beach – swimming, biking, running, walking, and volleyball.

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Two Traveling Texans


Pros and Cons of Long Beach, Long Island
A travel blog about the positives and negatives of venturing out to spend the day at the beach in Long Beach Long Island.
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50 thoughts on “Pros and Cons of Long Beach, Long Island

  • I was there a two weekends ago. We drove, which was a cluster getting off the island along with everyone else. While finding parking upon arrival was when I saw the LIRR station ? Public transit is definitely the smarter decision if you can get to a LIRR station. The descriptions are spot on and a great relaxing place to be — quick and easy getaway from the city for a day.

  • I am a beach person!!! I have always toyed with visiting NYC in the winter for the pretty Xmas lights and NYE fireworks or summer for my birthday … I think I have a winner! No one has told me a story of visiting a beach here before and I love that idea – a refreshing change from the hustle and bustle of the big City! I will take notes from this piece when I visit so thank you!

    1. Angie – Summer is definitely my favorite time in NYC so good choice! Its nice to walk around and explore the city too without lugging all the winter gear.

  • Looks like a nice place to kickback..too bad they charge. There is a couple beaches in Florida too that the traffic becomes a nightmare but no public trans there so thats a good option

    1. Yeah, would be nice if it was free! And yes luckily NY has good public transportation. Not many other US cities that do.

  • I am not sure I understand how they can charge people to go to the beach but it looks like there is plenty to do and it must be a great place to get away from all the hustle and bustle of NYC!

  • One thing I could never get used to again if I ever returned back to the states would be no drinking allowed in public open spaces such as beaches or leaving the bar with a beer in your hand or drinking on the bus or trains. I’ve gotten so used to it here in Europe and it’s such a nice way to relax (if you can drink responsibly) and I find it so annoying in the states now how rigid we are and how strict we are on ID’ing all the time! #TheWeeklyPostcard

    1. Lolo – Yes I wish the US was more relaxed about alcohol! It’s nice that you can carry drinks in Vegas. In NYC though they are very strict about it in some areas.

  • I’ve never been to Long Island, although I’ve been to NYC a couple of times. It seems to be quite a posh area. I’m not a fan of cold water either =S I went swimming once in 14degC water (about 57degF) with an 8mm wetsuit on (actually it was two 4mm wetsuits layered over each other) and it was barely tolerable! But it’s still better than no beach at all, for sure. I wonder why they charge people just for being at the beach – this is the first time I’ve heard of that!

    1. Michelle – Yes it is nice to have a beach nearby even if it is cold water. As far as charging for the beach goes Long Beach is not unique in this area. I guess they charge it because they can?

    1. Arnie – Yes, they do charge for Long Beach and some other public beaches but not all. I guess it is up to each town to decide?

  • I have friends in Long Beach, so I’ve spent time in town though I’ve never been to the beach there! My favorite definitely has to be Montauk, even though it’s a lot farther from the city. Try going there after Labor Day, when the water is warmer, and there are far less people! I also really like the Rockaways – Jacob Riis has a fun beach bazaar during the summer! Thanks for the great info on Long Beach!!

    1. Thanks Eva. Yes Montauk is beautiful, I will have to try it later in the season. And yes I need to check out the Rockaways!

  • I haven’t been to that beach on Long Island in ages! Last time I went it looks quite sad, it was raining. You had better luck with the weather.

  • Last time I went to NYC was 8 years ago and during winter, so definitely haven’t been here. Thanks for sharing your experience. I am liking that boardwalk! Looks like it could be a very relaxing and romantic stroll.

    1. Mahdi – Agree winter is not the best time for a NYC beach. Yeah, I liked the boardwalk too. It was nice to take a walk and the benches were great for people watching!

    1. Thanks Kari – Yes no comparison, beaches in Costa Rica are better, but when we don’t have time for a trip its a nice option.

  • I would have liked to visit Long Island when I was in NYC, but I was there in January. I have never ever heard of being charged to go to a beach though – is that common in the US? I’m pleased you told me – I’ll know for next time. Any free admission beaches nearby?!!!

    1. I think it depends on the area as to whether or not it is common. Here I know the beaches on fire island are free. Also, Sandy Hook (which I wrote a blog post about last summer).

  • Great tips especially about the railroad combo pass. I went there years ago with my aunt and cousins. Still looks nice, but water way too cold for this gal!

    1. Yeah I was surprised it was so expensive but if you get the package its not bad. Its nice to be able to visit a beach thats easy to get to.

  • Having grown up on the west coast, I just can’t wrap my mind around paying to go to the beach. And then having to pony up for a chair and umbrella, too? I like Hawaii’s attitude – the beach belongs to everybody! That said, at least it’s a nice beach! 🙂 -Rob #TheWeeklyPostcard

  • Never thought about day trips when visiting NYC, looks like there’s lots to do. Interesting they charge I’ve never heard of this for going onto a beach!

    1. Yeah there are actually lots of great day trips from NYC. In the summer, beaches. In the fall, the Hudson Valley is really beautiful with the fall foliage.

  • I have never visited the beaches near New York City. The sand looks wonderful and it’s always fun to find sea shells. Thank you for the detailed description on how to get there as I am not accustomed to urban areas. Thank you for sharing your lovely photos!

    1. Michelle – Thanks for your comment. The sand was really nice and it is not too difficult to get to. Makes it a get place for a mini getaway.

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