2006_7_ask_beach.jpgIt's hot, humid, and I want to go to the beach. What are my options?

Well, Gateway National Recreation Area is right in our neck of the woods, extending in three New York City boroughs and into northern New Jersey. It is a good place to start your quest for the perfect patch of sand and cooling waters.

Queens: Jacob Riis Park
2 to Flatbush Ave., Q35 Bus to Riis Beach

Staten Island: Great Kills Park
S78 from Staten Island Ferry Terminal or the S79 from 95th Street at 4th Avenue, Brooklyn, to the park entrance.

New Jersey: Sandy Hook
Train: New Jersey Transit's North Jersey Coast Line to Red Bank, then NJT Bus 834 to Highlands. Buses drop off at or near entrance to Sandy Hook - no transportation onto the hook. Phone 1-800-772-2222

Boat: SteaStreakSeastreak (1-800-BOATRIDE) provides daily ferry service between Manhattan (Pier 11 & East 34th Street) and Highlands, NJ.
NY Waterways offer Summer Ferry Service on weekends only. Cruise departs from Pier 78 at West 38th St., 12th Ave., & World Financial Center. Connections from Weehawken, Hoboken and Jersey City, NJ. Once at Sandy Hook, onsite school buses take passengers to beaches. For schedule phone 1-800-53-FERRY. Academy Lines operates direct from New York City to Highlands. Phone 732-291-1300 or 1-800-242-1339 for schedule.

But don't stop there! Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, Long Island and New Jersey offer up even more sandy shores for you to explore.

Brooklyn
Coney Island - D, F, N, Q at Stillwell Ave-Coney Island
The famous boardwalk, the Cyclone roller coaster, the Brooklyn Cyclones, NY Aquarium, the Mermaid Parade, and the Siren Festival, which happens this weekend.
Brighton Beach - B or Q to Brighton Beach
Great Russian culture

Queens
Rockaway Beach - A train to Broad Channel, transfer to the S to Rockaway Park-Beach 116th St.

Bronx
Orchard Beach - 6 to Pelham Bay, transfer to the Bx12 bus to Orchard Beach
"The Riviera of New York", tennis courts, bandshell and Pelham Bay nearby.

Long Island
The LIRR offers Beach Package Getaways for these beach destinations.

Long Beach - Historic 2 mile boardwalk. Beach Package includes LIRR round-trip rail fare to Long Beach and admission to the beach.

Fire Island - a Hamptons alternative, although some describe it like Planes, Trains and Automobiles to get there...
Robert Moses Beach - includes LIRR roundtrip fare and bus transportation
Sunken Forest - includes LIRR roundtrip fare and taxi and connecting ferry service.
Watch Hill - includes LIRR roundtrip fare and connecting ferry service.

Jones Beach - Four miles of bike paths, a nature center, Olympic-size pool and summer concert series. Beach Pass includes LIRR roundtrip fare and bus transportation to the bathhouses or the Central Mall.

New Jersey
NJ Transit offers Beach Packages to Jersey Shore beaches as well. The packages include off-peak round trip rail transportation and beach admission to these participating beach locations: Asbury Park, Belmar, Bradley Beach, Long Branch, Manasquan and Ocean Grove.

Where is your favorite place to get sand in your ass-crack? What did we miss?

Photo by Rachel Wimpee