Pros and Cons of a Day Trip to Long Beach, Long Island

Pros and Cons of a Day Trip to Long Beach, Long Island

Last Updated on September 16, 2020 by Anisa

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 check out one of the beaches in Long Island.  I had heard good things about Long Beach, Long Island.  Since 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 would recommend doing a day trip to Long Beach Long Island in the summer.

Note: There is a Long Beach Island in New Jersey, which I have not been to yet.

COVID-19 Notice: Long Beach is open.  Please practice social distancing.  Note that the LIRR beach getaway packages are not available for 2020.

Everyone having a great day at Long Beach on Long Island

Everyone having a great day at the beach!

Note: This post contains affiliate links.  Please see disclosure for more information.

About Long Beach Long Island

Long Beach is located on Long Beach Barrier Island, which is off Long Island’s South Shore, about 30 miles to the east of New York City. It’s part of Nassau County and has a population of just more than 30,000.

The city of Long Island takes up the entire north–south span of the barrier island with the Reynolds Channel to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the south. There are two drawbridges, the Long Beach Bridge and the Atlantic Beach Bridge, that connect the barrier island to the mainland of Long Island.

Some street art along the Long Beach boardwalk

Some street art along the Long Beach boardwalk

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!
  • 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 enjoyed our walk along the beach and it would also be great for running.  We even found some shells.
Some of the shells we found in Long Beach

Some of the shells we found

  • 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.
Bikes you can rent on the Long Beach boardwalk

Bikes you can rent on the Long Beach boardwalk

A couple walking along the boardwalk in Long Beach

A couple walking along the boardwalk

  • 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.

A game of beach volleyball in Long Beach

A game of beach volleyball

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:  The Ultimate Packing List for the Beach

Cons of Long Beach Long Island

Just a few things to keep in mind if you do decide to visit Long Beach Long Island:

Lots of people in the water In Long Beach

Lots of people in the water

  • 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.
A peaceful section of Long Beach

A peaceful section of the beach

Obligatory Selfie in Long Beach

Obligatory Selfie

Things to Do in Long Beach Other Than the Beach

Long Beach is a popular destination in the summer because it has such a lovely beach and boardwalk, but you may be wondering if that’s all Long Beach has to offer.  Here are a few more things to do in Long Beach:

  • Long Beach Ice Arena – This used to be the practice facility for the New York Rangers Hockey Team, but now it is open to the public for ice skating.  Get more information about it here.
  • Long Beach Historical Museum – Artifacts from Long Beach’s history are housed inside a 1909 two-story Craftsman-style house that was one of the original Estates of Long Beach summer residence villas.  They also host a lot of special events.  Get more information here.
  • Shopping – You can find some fantastic boutique shops in Long Beach including Reign, Codfish Cowboy, Ooh La La, and LB Surf.

Where to Stay in Long Beach New York

I think it is easy enough to get to Long Beach that you can visit as a day trip, but if you want to make a beach weekend out of it you can.  There are two hotel options in Long Beach:

  • Long Beach Hotel – This hotel is 250 yards from the beach and boardwalk.  It features two onsite restaurants.  Read reviews on Tripadvisor here or check pricing and availability on Booking here.
  • Allegria Hotel – Stay right on the the boardwalk.  This hotel features a seasonal rooftop pool, the Atlantica restaurant, and the L’onda Lounge.   Read reviews on Tripadvisor here or check pricing and availability on Booking here.

Alternatively, it might be better to go with an Airbnb.  Check out the options here.

Is it Worth Visiting Long Beach Long Island?

Yes! 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!

-Anisa

Pin For Later

beach in long beach long island with text overlay

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.

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About The Author

Anisa

Anisa is an experienced international traveler with extra pages in her passport and stamps from 41 different countries across 5 continents (and counting). She was born and raised in Texas. After a 13 year stint in NYC, she moved to England to live with her husband.

52 Comments

  1. Nick

    I was there a two weekends ago. We drove, which was a cluster getting off the island along with everyone else. While finding parking upon arrival was when I saw the LIRR station ? Public transit is definitely the smarter decision if you can get to a LIRR station. The descriptions are spot on and a great relaxing place to be — quick and easy getaway from the city for a day.

    Reply
    • Anisa & Katherine

      Nick – Good to know. I will add that to my post. Thanks for sharing and glad you enjoyed it.

      Reply
  2. Teju

    I have never been- but I would go in the water 🙂 My favorite is Fire Island!

    Reply
    • Anisa & Katherine

      Thanks Teju. Fire Island is great too. I did a summer share there years ago, need to go back.

      Reply
  3. Kat

    I have never heard of charging for the beach. Cali rocks lol

    Reply
    • Anisa & Katherine

      Haha! Unfortunately there are many beaches in the area that do charge.

      Reply
  4. Angie (FeetDoTravel)

    I am a beach person!!! I have always toyed with visiting NYC in the winter for the pretty Xmas lights and NYE fireworks or summer for my birthday … I think I have a winner! No one has told me a story of visiting a beach here before and I love that idea – a refreshing change from the hustle and bustle of the big City! I will take notes from this piece when I visit so thank you!

    Reply
    • Anisa & Katherine

      Angie – Summer is definitely my favorite time in NYC so good choice! Its nice to walk around and explore the city too without lugging all the winter gear.

      Reply
  5. Lisa

    Looks like a nice place to kickback..too bad they charge. There is a couple beaches in Florida too that the traffic becomes a nightmare but no public trans there so thats a good option

    Reply
    • Anisa & Katherine

      Yeah, would be nice if it was free! And yes luckily NY has good public transportation. Not many other US cities that do.

      Reply
  6. Lydia C. Lee

    I still can’t get my head around people having to pay to go to the beach – here the beaches are free but if you drive there, the parking is a million bucks an hour…

    Reply
    • Anisa & Katherine

      Lydia – Yeah I wasn’t used to it either but here there are several beaches that charge.

      Reply
  7. Travel Lexx

    I am not sure I understand how they can charge people to go to the beach but it looks like there is plenty to do and it must be a great place to get away from all the hustle and bustle of NYC!

    Reply
    • Anisa & Katherine

      Yeah, the fact that they charge is annoying but it is not unheard of here. It is a nice getaway though.

      Reply
  8. Lolo

    One thing I could never get used to again if I ever returned back to the states would be no drinking allowed in public open spaces such as beaches or leaving the bar with a beer in your hand or drinking on the bus or trains. I’ve gotten so used to it here in Europe and it’s such a nice way to relax (if you can drink responsibly) and I find it so annoying in the states now how rigid we are and how strict we are on ID’ing all the time! #TheWeeklyPostcard

    Reply
    • Anisa & Katherine

      Lolo – Yes I wish the US was more relaxed about alcohol! It’s nice that you can carry drinks in Vegas. In NYC though they are very strict about it in some areas.

      Reply
  9. Michelle | michwanderlust

    I’ve never been to Long Island, although I’ve been to NYC a couple of times. It seems to be quite a posh area. I’m not a fan of cold water either =S I went swimming once in 14degC water (about 57degF) with an 8mm wetsuit on (actually it was two 4mm wetsuits layered over each other) and it was barely tolerable! But it’s still better than no beach at all, for sure. I wonder why they charge people just for being at the beach – this is the first time I’ve heard of that!

    Reply
    • Anisa & Katherine

      Michelle – Yes it is nice to have a beach nearby even if it is cold water. As far as charging for the beach goes Long Beach is not unique in this area. I guess they charge it because they can?

      Reply
  10. Arnie Jacobsen

    So, they charge for a public beach? Or, is it like in many places in Europe that are a mix of pay and no pay?

    Reply
    • Anisa & Katherine

      Arnie – Yes, they do charge for Long Beach and some other public beaches but not all. I guess it is up to each town to decide?

      Reply
  11. Eva Casey

    I have friends in Long Beach, so I’ve spent time in town though I’ve never been to the beach there! My favorite definitely has to be Montauk, even though it’s a lot farther from the city. Try going there after Labor Day, when the water is warmer, and there are far less people! I also really like the Rockaways – Jacob Riis has a fun beach bazaar during the summer! Thanks for the great info on Long Beach!!

    Reply
    • Anisa & Katherine

      Thanks Eva. Yes Montauk is beautiful, I will have to try it later in the season. And yes I need to check out the Rockaways!

      Reply
  12. Anda

    I haven’t been to that beach on Long Island in ages! Last time I went it looks quite sad, it was raining. You had better luck with the weather.

    Reply
    • Anisa & Katherine

      Thanks Anda! We were really lucky, couldn’t have asked for better weather!

      Reply
  13. Courtney Jones

    I’ve never been to a NYC beach – I think the pros outweigh the cons!

    Reply
    • Anisa & Katherine

      Courtney – Thanks, I agree!

      Reply
  14. Sophia

    This looks beautiful! Will definetly have to check it out if I ever find myself in the NYC area! I actually never knew it was so close to NYC!
    – Sophia from http://sophiawithoutborders.com

    Reply
    • Anisa & Katherine

      Thanks Sophia. I hope you make it out to NYC!

      Reply
  15. Nicki

    I’ve actually never spent anytime here – but now that I have your tips, it will be easy to navigate!

    Reply
    • Anisa & Katherine

      Thanks so much Nicki. Hope you make out to NYC soon, would be great to see you!

      Reply
  16. Frenchieontheroad

    Long beach seems like a nice spot. Paying $15 just to access the beach is unusual for me, it’s better to take the package and save money on it! Thanks for the tip!

    Reply
    • Anisa & Katherine

      Yes! I wish I had known about it before I went!

      Reply
  17. Maydi

    Last time I went to NYC was 8 years ago and during winter, so definitely haven’t been here. Thanks for sharing your experience. I am liking that boardwalk! Looks like it could be a very relaxing and romantic stroll.

    Reply
    • Anisa & Katherine

      Mahdi – Agree winter is not the best time for a NYC beach. Yeah, I liked the boardwalk too. It was nice to take a walk and the benches were great for people watching!

      Reply
  18. Happy Coconuts Travel Blog

    Nice post I will have to check this beach out someday! Makes me grateful for the empty, and free, beaches of Costa Rica however 🙂

    Reply
    • Anisa & Katherine

      Thanks Kari – Yes no comparison, beaches in Costa Rica are better, but when we don’t have time for a trip its a nice option.

      Reply
  19. runawaybrit

    I would have liked to visit Long Island when I was in NYC, but I was there in January. I have never ever heard of being charged to go to a beach though – is that common in the US? I’m pleased you told me – I’ll know for next time. Any free admission beaches nearby?!!!

    Reply
    • Anisa & Katherine

      I think it depends on the area as to whether or not it is common. Here I know the beaches on fire island are free. Also, Sandy Hook (which I wrote a blog post about last summer).

      Reply
  20. Sally

    Great tips especially about the railroad combo pass. I went there years ago with my aunt and cousins. Still looks nice, but water way too cold for this gal!

    Reply
    • Anisa & Katherine

      Sally – Thanks! I’m with you on the water but yeah its a nice place to relax.

      Reply

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