Beach bums in the Big Apple are in luck: New Yorkers need not travel far for sand, surf, and a just-got-back-from-vacation tan. Leave your stress in the city, when you escape to New York’s other island. Fire up your “out of office” email: the most beautiful beaches on Long Island, New York are calling.
For true island vibes, visit the Hamptons-adjacent, only accessible by ferry Shelter Island. The land at this intimate retreat (the island’s population is less than 3,000) is preserved by The Nature Conservancy, which makes for pristine beaches you’re sure to snag a spot on.
If you think of Fire Island as just another partying destination, it’s time you visited Ocean Beach. Much like the island itself, this popular attraction is suited for both families and the gay community. With lifeguarded waters, a bayside marina, and nary a car in sight, this nightlife hub looks good in daylight too.
Proximity to Manhattan (it’s only 45 minutes away by train) is just one of Long Beach’s appealing features. The rolling sand dunes and iconic boardwalk here are regarded as some of the cleanest in the United States. Long Beach also boasts two bodies of water: the Atlantic Ocean and the Reynolds Channel.
Robert Moses State Park
Natural Feature, Park
Although technically a park, Robert Moses State Park was named one of New York’s best beaches by Condé Nast Traveler. It’s easy to understand the mix-up: the five-mile-long Fire Island park boasts a clean oceanfront, excellent swimming and surfing, and even a historic lighthouse, everything one could want from a Long Island beach.
Gin Beach could be the place pictured on those “Greetings from Long Island” postcards. Calm water, sandy beaches, and boat-watching make for a quintessential LI experience on Block Island Sound. A lifeguard and old-fashioned concessions trailer during the summer complete the (torn from a travel brochure) picture.
This won’t be the first time Main Beach has been singled out for its attractiveness: in 2013, this East Hampton attraction secured the top place on Dr. Stephen Leatherman’s (aka Dr. Beach’s) annual “Top Ten Beaches in America” list. The doc, along with the wealthy area’s loyal beachgoers, prefer Main Beach for its extremely clean water and fine sand.
Another Dr. Beach recommendation, Coopers Beach in Southampton consistently ranks among America’s top ten beaches. The well-to-do clientele here swears by Coopers’ bright white sand, surfing, and luxury amenities, including chair and umbrella rentals and historic mansion views.