The beaches are open, but most of us will need to put in some travel time to get to any of them. Below, your ultimate guide to getting to (and from) Rockaway this summer. And here's our guide on what's new to eat.
The inexpensive ferry to Rockaway was killed last year, leaving us with one ferry option which costs $20 one way. $20 that you could spend on two margaritas at the Playland Motel. The "good" news is that it "only" costs $30 round trip. You can rationalize this price by BYO-ing everything instead of giving your money to local businesses.
Price: $20/one way, $30 round trip
Time: 55 minutes one way
Hours: The ferry runs Weekends & Holidays only. Schedule here.
More info at newyorkbeachferry.com
This is your best option, especially if you are near the A train, which will deliver you to Beach 67th, Beach 90th, Beach 98th, etc., following your transfer at Broad Channel. Bonus: it's no sea breeze, but you will have air conditioning. (Probably.) Hopefully nobody STEALS THE COPPER CABLE AGAIN.
Price: $2.75 one way
Time: About an hour from downtown Manhattan, but consult the MTA Trip Planner for your personalized estimate.
Hours: In theory the subway runs 24/7, realistically it's always a surprise!
Always check mta.info before descending those subway stairs.
There's a Beach Bus which will take you there. Where, exactly? From Downtown Brooklyn or Williamsburg, directly to Rockaway Beach (dropping off at Beach 95th Street) and even nearby Jacob Riis. Currently there are three departure times on either end of the trip. Bonus: you can drink on the bus—they even have a cooler full of complimentary Sixpoint. Wheeeeeee.
Price: $10 one way, $14 round trip
Time: About 30 to 60 minutes (depending on the traffic), or the time it takes to get through one bottle of Rosé
Hours: Check the schedule here
More info at nycbeachbus.com
SLIGHTLY MORE EXPENSIVE BUS
The Bushwick Beach Bus has partnered with OvRride this year, and will be bringing you to Rockaway in "new charter buses featuring plush, comfortable seating, air conditioning, on board bathroom facilities and plenty of storage for beach chairs, bicycles, picnic baskets and surf boards!" Brooklyn pickup locations currently include Union Pool (Williamsburg) and Pearl’s Social & Billy Club (Bushwick). On the Other Side, they'll make stops at Rippers (Beach 86th), Riis Park Beach Bazaar and Fort Tilden. This bus includes "free refreshments on board and tons of exclusive deals."
Price: $14.95 one way, $24.95round trip
Time: About 30 to 60 minutes (depending on the traffic)
Hours: Check the schedule here; runs every Saturday & Sunday through Labor Day
This is your most expensive option, unless you have your own car. An Uber X will cost you anywhere from $50 to $75 from Brooklyn (that was the fare quote from DUMBO, specifically)—if you are with 4 people this will be about the same rate each as it would cost you to take the ferry. Car services once in Rockaway will also charge you around $80 bucks to get out of there.
Price: All of your money
Time: 30 to 60 minutes depending on traffic
This is a popular (and healthy!) option. Most routes from North Brooklyn take cyclists south on Wythe to Flatbush and across the Marine Parkway Bridge, then east past Jacob Riis Park to the Rockaways. Expect a solid 1.5 hour ride from Williamsburg or Greenpoint—Bikely has some good sample maps that will get you to roughly the right area.
Time: Whenever the mood strikes
Do you need to get over your divorce/someone's death/a substance abuse problem? Those are all things a nice long walk can cure. From Williamsburg, this will take approximately 4.5 hours, and will include a serene stroll through the Broad Channel wetlands. You can shave off 10 minutes if you skip there. Coming from Central Park? That's just one hour more, and includes a very serene walk through Queens' Cemetery Belt. If you would like to walk exactly the amount of miles that Cheryl Strayed walked, you will need to fly down to Orlando, Florida, and start from there—this is 1,100 miles, and will take you about 15 days with no breaks or sleep. The 20 minute wait at Rockaway Taco will feel like the blink of an eye.
If you lived in Rockaway, you'd be home by now.
Contact Maureen Walsh, Rockway's #1 realtor (source: she's our friend's mom)
Hitchhiking (or thumbing, or hitching) is a game of risk! You could end up with a nice free ride to Rockaway. You could end up hearing some interesting tales. You could end up with a new pal. You could also end up in a Gothamist story.
Price: Ranging from $0 to your life
Before popping that thumb, read these tips
Thinking of taking a personal hydroplane or helicopter to Rockaway? Maybe you should aim that whirlybird towards the Hamptons, instead.
STEAL A BOAT
Secure an invite to your company CEO's summer home in Rockaway. When he dies, do not discard the body. Carry it around with you so you can get access to things like his boat.
Price: Your soul
Time: Varies depending on experience
Hours: Always, but better to do this after sundown