NEW YORK (PIX11) – With temperatures rising, we used Midtown, Manhattan as a starting point for these beaches, breweries, and boardwalks – trips every New Yorker without a car can enjoy.
Rockaway Beach and Boardwalk, Queens
Distance: At just 18 miles from Midtown, this trip is just over an hour when you take the subway (the A line). It’s also the only public beach in New York City where surfers can catch some waves.
- Lifeguards are on duty daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and beachgoers have access to restrooms, a multitude of bars and restaurants, and other activities.
- Guidelines for surfers and beachgoers can be found here.
- A must-visit is the Rockaway Brewery Company, which has an amazing selection of craft beers and tasty jack fruit empanadas.
- Another local favorite is Caracas Arepa Bar, which is only open in the summer.
Fire Island/Cherry Grove
Distance: Just over 60 miles from Midtown, getting to Cherry Grove on Fire Island can be a schlep (but worth the effort). Visitors can access the beach by taking the Long Island Railroad to the Sayville train station. Upon arrival, you can look for shuttles that will take you to the Sayville Ferry, which drop you at Cherry Grove.
Another way for getting to Cherry Grove is by taking a jitney or shuttle bus service. The Fire Island Bus Services is one company that drops you off and picks you up directly at the Sayville Ferry.
“Here you’ll find cute summer cottages, a collection of lively bars, and eateries,” said Time Out New York.
- Fire Island is home to several beaches and towns.
- Beachgoers can make Fire Island/Cherry Grove a day trip, plan to camp, or stay at local lodging areas.
- A must-see is the Sunken Forest, which is home to 300-year-old American holly trees that are a “globally rare,” phenomenon according to the National Park Service.
Asbury Park Beach, N.J.
Distance: Also about 60 miles away from Midtown is Asbury Park Beach, but getting to this quirky beach town is a breeze! You can catch a NJ Transit train from Penn Station and transfer to a bus, or you can take a ferry directly from the city.
- Asbury Park Beach has seen a resurgence of interest in the past few years.
- It has been featured in The New York Times, Time Out, and Conde Nast Traveler, which said, “Asbury got its groove back, and it’s here to stay.”
- Asbury Park has it all, from food to shopping to kids’ activities. You can find a map of their boardwalk here.
- Other popular activities are catching a live music show at The Stony Pony or hitting up Silverball Retro Arcade.
Lighthouse Point Park, New Haven, C.T.
Distance: This trip is about 80 miles away but you can take the Metro-North Railroad, which has air conditioning, and relax as you make the ride. Step off at the station and take a short 10-minute walk to enjoy swimming and a splash-pad area.
- This 82-acre park also has nature trails, a bird sanctuary, and an antique carousel.
- The park is open year-round from 7 a.m. to sunset, and there are lifeguards on duty.
- After a long day of fun, visitors can take a bus to Louis’ Lunch, the restaurant that invented the hamburger, which is served on toasted sandwich bread.
Buttermilk Falls State Park, Ithaca, N.Y.
Distance: At 230 miles from Midtown, this is the farthest trip on the list, making it a nice option for a weekend getaway. Getting to this famous college town, home of Ithaca College and Cornell University, is easy thanks to the Flix bus. You can find tickets as low as $40.
- There are many bars and eateries to experience in Ithaca. With its local brewery and many vineyards, this town is tailored for people who want to have a good time.
- Escaping the city heat will also be easy: a must-see is Buttermilk Falls State Park, which has waterfalls, lakes, and trails.
- Pets are also welcomed at this state park. More information can be found here.