When you're after a beach in New York State, the glitz and glamor of the Hamptons and the old-school appeal of Coney Island – both in the vicinity of New York City – tend to steal the spotlight. But there are plenty more sandy havens to be found across the Empire State.
No matter which direction you’re heading, check the water quality at your destination before going for a swim. The 67 beaches in New York’s state park system make it easy, conducting tests at least once a week and posting the results online, at park offices and at any beaches with high numbers.
Here are 12 of our favorites, starting with those close to Manhattan.
The Ramones may have put it on the map back in the 1970s, but over the years, Rockaway Beach has maintained its reputation as a super summertime spot with great waves, good eats and a pleasantly sandy stretch of shore.
This stalwart in Queens hosts the city’s only sanctioned surfing beaches, one between Beach 67th and 69th Sts and the other between 87th and 92nd Sts. Newbies can take lessons from Locals Surf School, and experienced wave-riders can rent boards and gear from a handful of shops nearby.
Local Tip: For refreshments, hit the concession stands at 87th, 96th and 106th, or venture off the boardwalk and head for Tacoway Beach, a seasonal setup that slings fish tacos that are worth the subway ride alone. Dig into arepas at Caracas at Beach 105th St or fresh fish at La Cevicheria at Beach 97th St. Revelers enjoy live music until the wee hours at Rippers, just east of Beach 90th.
Dubbed the "Riviera of New York" when it opened in the 1930s, Orchard Beach is the only beach in the Bronx, and it remains a hot spot to this day.
Don’t expect to find peace and quiet here. Between the playgrounds, the snack bars, the promenade with restaurants and retail, and dozens of basketball, volleyball, and handball courts, the 1.1-mile-long beach is a go-to destination all summer long. The waves are gentle, thanks to its perch on the Long Island Sound, and the sand is accessible, with beach mats and two sand-friendly wheelchairs available upon request.
At Brooklyn’s southernmost point, Coney Island was developed as a resort in the 1800s, and by the turn of the century, its amusement park attractions were drawing crowds from all five boroughs. Though its wide strand isn’t the cleanest, its boardwalk is hard to beat for people-watching.
Steps away from the beach, Luna Park has rides, games and more. Though it’ll shake you up a bit, don’t skip the Cyclone, a wooden roller coaster dating from 1927 that’s a New York City landmark.
For a rainy-day option or a break from the sun, the nearby Coney Island Museum offers an overview of the neighborhood’s colorful history. The NY Aquarium is nearby too.
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On Saturday, October 14 a major solar eclipse will come to North America. From a narrow path through nine states in the U.S. Southwest a “ring of fire” will be seen as the thin outer ring of the sun’s disk remains visible while its center is covered by the smaller dark disk of the moon.
While many Americans associate kaleidoscopic fall foliage with New England, Seattle also brims with autumnal appeal with cool, crisp air and a stunning backdrop of tree-covered hills and mountains. Also: where else can you take in awe-inspiring views of Mount Rainier, knock back a chambong (champagne glass-beer bong hybrid), savor spicy Laotian chicken laap, and retire to a plush room overlooking Elliot Bay in a single day?
Holiday tradition usually dictates staying home for a large gathering with the extended family. But celebrating away can be an exciting prospect. You might not think it, but spending the holidays somewhere else can be much less stressful than hosting or staying with relatives. A vacation rental provides a neutral territory and a much-needed break from your normal holiday routine. All you need to do is to choose a festive place to go. A good place to start is with the country’s most popular Christmas cities. New York City, Santa Claus, Williamsburg, Park City, and Santa Barbara are the most sought-after destinations in the US for the holidays, and these are the best family-friendly Christmas Airbnbs perfect for a Yuletide gathering.
New York is one of 23 states where recreational marijuana is now legal. Travelers aged 21 and older may possess up to three ounces of cannabis (24 grams of concentrated cannabis) and consumption is permitted in most public spaces where smoking and vaping are allowed. Limitations still apply and you might feel more comfortable saving your dispensary haul for the end of the day – nodding off on the subway isn’t going to do you any favors. Get a bite of the Big Apple high life and revel in some post-hike hashish at these cannabis-friendly Airbnbs in New York State.
As a flock of noisy jet skiers circle the Statue of Liberty on a warm October evening, Matthew Rhys looks out at the horizon. “There’s a Welsh word, hiraeth, which is loosely translated to ‘a longing for home,’" he says. “But it's something slightly more than that. It's a longing for something that can never be again.”
A trusted piece of luggage is the cornerstone of any good travel uniform. Sure, comfortable shoes and a sweatshirt to keep warm mid-flight are key pieces of the puzzle, but nothing ruins a journey quite like a broken handle, malfunctioning wheel, or busted zipper. Beyond a solid structure, though, there are myriad considerations to make when finding your ideal bag: How much are you willing to spend? Are you team carry-on or prefer to check? Do you like the sleek look of a hardshell case or want the flexibility of a soft-sided piece? We used this criteria to create what we hope is a handy guide to shopping for the right luggage. Hover over the icons below for more information, and click ‘read more’ for a full review from our well-traveled team of editors and contributors.
In earlier eras, notables such as Theodore Roosevelt, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, Thoreau, Emerson, Sinclair Lewis held court on the grounds of Troutbeck, a private estate since the 1700s in the eastern stretch of the Hudson Valley. These days, since reopening as a resort in 2017, the property is still a cultural gathering place on its 250 acre, Lower Berkshires spread but now the guests are mostly serenity seeking New Yorkers up from the city a two hour drive or train ride away. (Out of staters also fly into Stewart International Airport an hour away). And there are new additions and others in the works to attract them all.
The Danish chef Mads Refslund first began working on Ilis, his new restaurant in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, in 2016. After years of high-profile jobs at places like Manhattan’s Acme and Shou Sugi Ban House in the Hamptons, Refslund, a co-founder of Noma, wanted a permanent space where he could create an immersive culinary experience. The open kitchen, and its live fire grill, is at the center of the 4,800-square foot room on Green Street. The space has 17-foot ceilings with wooden beams and exposed brick walls; custom rosewood tables and leather banquettes frame the perimeter (though a few counter seats provide the best vantage of a meal coming together). “This is about transparency,” Refslund says. The name Ilis is a portmanteau of sorts, with meaning “fire” in Danish and meaning “ice.” It’s a nod to the dichotomous spirit of the restaurant — serious cooking with laid-back dinner party vibes. The menu allows guests to choose from a selection of primary ingredients, say New England scallops or Pennsylvania wild duck, and, in some cases, style of preparation (raw or grilled, for example). The seasonal cuisine is informed by Refslund’s Scandinavian upbringing, as well as his travels to Japan and Mexico City. But, the chef says, “hopefully, it will just become a New York restaurant,” a reflection of the city he now calls home.
Do you focus on food when you plan your travels? According to Tripadvisor, as the latest seasonal travel data indicates, food is the most exciting factor of upcoming trips – over two-thirds of travelers will prioritize food (67%) during their fall travels.
Born in California, Alex Brightman is a two-time Tony nominee and writer living in New York City. He loves watching baseball and basketball when he's not on stage. Right now you can see him as Richard Dreyfuss in “The Shark is Broken” on Broadway.
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