Ride the A train all the way into Queens and you’ll find yourself at this scenic summer haven. Historically known as the “Irish Riviera,” Far Rockaway is famous for its rich immigrant past, surf-friendly waves, and the Ramones song “Rockaway Beach.” Lie out in the sun and sand, take a swim, or go onshore for some grub—many of New York’s best eateries have Rockaway locations, including Blue Bottle Coffee and the all-vegan Babycakes bakery. Whatever you choose to do, Far Rockaway is an excellent way to escape to the beach without ever leaving New York.
Though the Hamptons may be known for its exclusive parties, seaside mansions, and high-end boutiques, Montauk offers a more relaxed retreat for even the most haggard New Yorker. Located at the easternmost point of Long Island, “The End” as its locals call it, caters to seasoned surfers and provides lessons for those looking to catch a first time wave. Stocking up on summery attire at Tauk, run by two former models and known for its colorful espadrilles, is a must. Top off a day trip with dinner at Hideaway, an open-air eatery hidden in the back of a marina, and polish off a grilled Mexican corn on the cob while taking in the sunset. What more could a city slicker looking for a little getaway ask for?
Though cautious bathers may want to avoid the less-than-crystalline waters of the Coney Island beach, the Brooklyn landmark still serves up a variety of on-land activities with a sweet punch of nostalgia. With landmarks like the Wonder Wheel and the Cyclone still standing tall but the rest of the park in disrepair, Luna Park was recently revamped to revive the amusement park culture which popularized Coney Island in the first place. Despite these renovations, the area still manages to retain its yesteryear quirk: Perhaps the most charming part of Coney Island’s motifs is their wackiness, a testament to a bygone era that shocked a public blissfully unaware of the Kardashian phenomenon.
It’s hard to find a beach (correction: shore) so infamous—even the shenanigans of those kids on Laguna Beach fail to measure up to the all-out poopshow that’s been nationally televised. A trip down to the Garden State doesn’t guarantee an out-of-the-blue pregnancy or a punch to the face, but maybe that’s for the best. Still, equipped with adequate spray tans and muscle tees, tourists can revel in the sleaze for a day. A trip to tell the grandchildren about, or to hide from the grandchildren?