It's our second edition of Gothamist's travel content, Gothamist Getaways. Four times a year, we'll have a week of posts featuring looks at travel, food, products and tips—near and far—for making your trips more enjoyable. So sit back, dream of your next journey and let us know if you have any hints for us—email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you're searching for an accessible, clean beach less than an hour from NYC, hop on the LIRR to Long Beach. The town is making a serious comeback after suffering extensive damage from Sandy. Billy Crystal, who grew up in town, even made a TV commercial to promote tourism in Long Beach.
Long Beach (Nora Gomez/Flickr)
Long Beach, once a sleepy suburb with surf, has been undergoing a transformation. Within the past few years, two boutique hotels opened, there is an annual film festival, and restaurants and cafés are popping up around town. The boardwalk is brand new with ample space for biking.
You can spend the weekend or the day, but here are the essentials for getting around this beach town
Getting Around: If you purchase the LIRR getaway package, it comes with a beach pass and a coupon for local restaurants. Once you get off the train, you’ll be in the center of town and just a few blocks to the water. If you’d like to explore Atlantic Beach, Lido Beach, Point Lookout or the West End of Long Beach, consider renting a bike from Deco Bike.
Beach: Beach passes are twelve dollars (for anyone over 13 years old) and can be purchased at kiosks on the boardwalk. If you arrive by train, you should head down National Blvd., Edwards Blvd. or Riverside Blvd. to the beach. If you stick around for the evening, there are free concerts along the boardwalk.
Long Beach Flicks (Facebook)
Or take in a flick on the beach with Long Beach Movie Nights. This summers line up includes Jaws, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Casablanca
Food: The town is filled with good eats, just steps from the LIRR station. Grab a slice at the Gino’s Pizza, which is just as good as any Brooklyn pizza place.
Shoregasboard (Devon C./Foursquare)
If you want to optimize your time in the sun, hit the Shoregasboard, a group of food trucks from various beloved Long Beach restaurants including SwingBellys BBQ, Lido Beach Kosher Deliand many others located off the boardwalk the at Riverside Blvd.
This year Gentle Brew Coffee has a cart on the boardwalk serving up it’s famed cold brew coffee. If you have a bike or a car, you must head to Dough Hut for fresh and incredibly tasty donuts with inventive flavors like s’mores, cannoli, maple bacon or fruity pebbles topped donuts. If you aren’t a fan of adventurous eats, you can stick to a glazed donut.
Surfing! (Nora Gomez/Flickr)
Afternoon cocktails at Hotel Bars: Lounge on a couch with a martini in the outdoor area at the Allegria Hotel bar. Or sit inside and enjoy the views of the ocean at thus luxury boutique hotel on the boardwalk. With a rooftop pool, and wait service at the beach, you might decide to spend the night. A couple of avenues off the boardwalk in Long Beach’s East End, is the more casual Long Beach Hotel , stop by for a happy hour drink at the bar
Alison Lowenstein, Gothamist Getaways editor, is the author of NYC guidebooks, and travel articles for National Geographic Traveler, Newsday, NY Daily News, Travelandleisure.com, etc. When she isn’t planning trips, she enjoys jogging around the streets of NYC. Despite her athletic pursuits, her favorite food is the donut. You can find her on Twitter at @cityweekendsnyc.