Before summer officially winds down, take a chance to explore the Rockaways, New York City’s very own beach getaway, replete with old New York charm, New England-y style bungalows, a pristine beach and hip locales.
It wasn’t always such an easy trek to arrive there, but with improved service on the A train and a new NYCEDC-run direct ferry line, the Rockaways are the perfect weekend escape for city slickers.
The area has had a surge in investment in the years since Hurricane Sandy. The five-and-a-half-mile long boardwalk, once made of rickety wood planks, is now a sleek feat of engineering in concrete, that runs all the way from Belle Harbor to Far Rockaway. Bike racks, fountains, playgrounds, food trucks, and even a bar boasting live music can be found directly on the boardwalk.
A short walk into town will lead you to a bevy of new local foody spots. Nightlife hasn’t quite caught up to the level of Brooklyn or Manhattan, but there are more than enough places to grab a drink and catch some live tunes.
Now, with the famous Lou Reed song ringing in your ears, a perfect day in the Rockaways might include…
Wake up for an early morning free yoga session on the beach. After a well-deserved cowboy breakfast at Edgemere Farms, head back to the coast for surf lessons or contact one of the local marinas for a sailing trip out on Jamaica Bay.
Lunch at Beach Bistro 96 for laid back Brazilian fare before hitting the beach for some more sunshine and maybe a late afternoon jet ski ride.
Enjoy exotic cocktails and blues music at Thai Rock overlooking the bay, then for dinner, it’s on to the gourmet Uzbek restaurant Uma’s for the chef’s special dumplings.
After a late night rocking out at Epsteins, be sure to recover the next morning with fresh, artisanal pastries and coffee at the Rockaway Beach Bakery.
More not-to-be-missed spots:
Rockaway Surf Club
Riis Beach Bazaar and Lobster Bake
Rockaway Brewing Co.
How to get there:
With stops at Wall St. and Sunset Park, drinks and snacks aboard, the ride to the Rockaways from the city has never been easier. Enjoy views of Coney Island, Sea Gate, Brooklyn, Breezy Point — with its calm beach and moored sailboats — and a free shuttle from the ferry to the main drag in the Rockaways.
Take the A-line to Broad Channel and change for the S train to Rockaway Park. Get off at either Beach 90th, 98th, 105th or 116th, and you’ll be in the right zone for beach access and entertainment.
Rockaway Beach Bus
For $19.95, choose several pick up locations — from the East Village to Williamsburg, to Bushwick — and be delivered hassle-free to your beach destination.