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
- It is easy to get to Long Beach from NYC. The train ride from Penn Station takes about an hour and then it is an easy 10 minute walk from the Long Beach LIRR station 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
For more ideas of places to visit in the area, check out this post about the places you can’t miss on Long Island.
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 LIRR Long Beach package, you must buy a Long Beach NY beach pass for $15 per person to get on the sand. We bought these cards which were a similar thickness to a credit card that were 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.
- 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. We did not see any surfers when we went, but maybe they go earlier?
- The beach was crowded, but since it is a long beach, you can easily find some space.
- 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.
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!
Expert Tips for Your Visit to Long Beach NY
- Save money by purchasing the LIRR Long 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.